Scheduling your Customers!!!!!!!

Scheduling your customers now that’s a thought. Helping smooth your workload and create a nice steady flow across the day. Reducing periods of overstaffing (where there are more Colleagues than Customers) and Understaffing (where Customers experience queuing or a reduced service level due to Colleagues being too busy). It may be more of a reality than you think, have you ever:


  • Booked a delivery slot for your home shopping?
  • Arranged an appointment to see your Bank Manager?
  • Bought something from Argos and been given a collection number?
  • Visited Disneyland and used a Fast Pass or the RideMax software to plan which rides to go on in which order?
These are examples of where the company is effectively scheduling your time in the queue, to reduce your waiting time and help them plan how many Colleague they need more effectively. Companies are exploring and developing this kind of “pre booked” shopping experience as we speak, in the near future you will be able to book appointments in real time to:
  • Select your new mobile phone
  • See you Doctor/Pharmacist/Optician
  • Buy a new car
  • Pay for your shopping

The first steps to making these kinds of offers to possible to Customer are:

Understanding Workload

How and when should I make the appointments available to the Customer? How long will each appointment take? These are all questions any business should have the answers to ensure they add value for customers, resource is not wasted on things that don’t matter and salary can be allocated appropriately and equitably.

Conducting a Work study and inviting the right independent experts to review your business operation will answer all of these questions and much more.

Work Study, or Time & Motion as it is commonly known, brings images of stop watches, disruption and a high price tag. Application of new technology is changing this.
Palm computers (PDA’s) are now deployed to capture data; increasing accuracy, data granularity and speeding up analysis. Disruption to customers and store colleagues is minimal with expert study teams blending in to the background. And with the best providers the price tag is reasonable.
The results of a work study will deliver standard times (see example below) for all aspects of the store operation and customer facing activities and can typically be tailored by store type/format. The granularity provides opportunities to understand how time is being spent and benchmark the process against peers. Additional techniques can be used to also provide a view of how store managers spend their time and how the store team’s time is split up across the trading day versus customer footfall, helping you understand where the opportunity to Schedule Customers can be accessed.

The most important thing a work study delivers is the ability to truly understand the workload in each store and use the standard times to build a salary budget from the bottom up. You can ensure a fair and equitable allocation of your salary pot based on business volume drivers and your policies.
And if you are looking to understand your salary spend to free up more time for customers, investing in a Work Study allows you to make informed, evidence based decisions to reduce spending in a way that does not affect the things that are important to your customers.


Effective Workforce Management (WFM) solution:

  • An effective Workforce Management solution would be able to offer up options based on the working times, location and colleague availability to cover the customer demand, maximising service and cost. This can automated via a text or e-mail to the appropriate line manager.
  • Plans could have been adjusted within minutes to see the service and cost impact of moving colleagues to cover or bringing colleagues in for extra hours. This could then be automatically communicated to colleagues to avoid minimal disruption for customers.

If you are interested in an informal chat about how Workforce Management and Work Study could help your business, how an independent consultant can articulate your requirements and help you navigate this complex and rapidly changing market, visit our website  www.rethinkproductivity.co.uk or e-mail us at simon@rethinkproductivity.co.uk