Most businesses try to decrease the amount of time their customers to wait for a service because most people hate waiting.Simple enough, right?
Well, turns out most people most people don’t mind waiting — some actually prefer it. In the Harvard Business Review last year, Michael Norton and Ryan Buell point out that “customers find waiting more tolerable when they can see the work being done on their behalf—and they tend to value the service more,” even if what is shown “is merely the appearance of effort.”
The authors conducted two separate experiments to prove this theory. The first one in which customers had to choose between a slow travel-booking website (30 seconds to a minute to yield results) with which they could see each airline being canvassed and one which delivered results instantly but ‘invisibly.’ Remarkably, more people preferred the slower site.
All in all, Norton and Buell posit that people don’t mind waiting in line or for a service, as long as the work being done is transparent and the end product is desirable.
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