Psychology of Waiting


Okay, folks, this will be my last ROND Report for several weeks.  One way or another, my maternity leave will kick off by Monday.

I leave you in good hands with upcoming guest posts on the docket.

Now, to the newsletter:

Topic of the Week: Psychology of Waiting

A few years ago I invested in a great company called Clockwise.MD.  Clockwise provides healthcare companies with a queue management tool that dynamically updates patients with their expected wait time.

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of the Clockwise exit and as I was thinking about the business, one specific attribute stuck out to me as particularly relevant today.

Clockwise’ solution was purposefully built to help healthcare organizations navigate the psychology of waiting.

No one likes waiting.  Waiting is awful.  Unfortunately, it’s an inevitable part of business and life.

Businesses can’t serve every customer at the same time.  Managers can’t deal with every employee concern immediately.  Babies don’t magically show up by your due date (much to my annoyance).

We all have to wait; however, smart organizations learn how to nurture and navigate customers, employees and overdue pregnant women through waiting processes to avoid dissatisfaction.

If you are interested in digging into this topic, there are many resources discussing the psychological considerations of waiting.

I recommend starting with a 1985 paper by David Maister entitled, “The Psychology of Waiting Lines.”  In his paper, David walks through a list of psychological factors to consider when attempting to manage a customer’s experience with waiting.

While 33-year-old scholarly papers are often outdated and obsolete, in today’s age of expected instantaneous gratification, the points in this article are truer today than they were when David initially wrote the paper.

I strongly encourage everyone to add this to your weekend reading list. It’s short and insightful.  Here’s the link.

Have a great weekend everyone!

About the author

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

By Danielle O'Rourke

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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