Surprise, surprise. Turns out a bad check-out experience leaves a sour taste in our mouths.

From giant food chains to hardware stores to fast-food outlets and high end department stores, retailers across the country are making reduced wait times a top priority for enhancing the shopping experience and building loyalty.

Turns out most of us don’t like waiting in line much, and would appreciate a little hospitality when we spend our hard earned money, thank you very much.

Could there be anything more powerful than using a military and law-enforcement weapon to track and win the war against long checkout lines?

That’s right, folks. Now supermarket giant Kroger Co. is enlisting infrared cameras which detect body heat paired with in-house software to determine the number of lanes that need to be open to reduce the customer’s average wait time to 26 seconds from 4 minutes just 3 years ago. When I think of all the time I’ve wasted in that grocery line…

Not to be left out, McDonald’s is seeking to reduce complaints about customer service with a new “dual point” ordering system….

Wal-Mart is experimenting with an app to scan bar codes and track their spending…

And Nordstrom, like Apple, gives their associates hand-held devices so that customers can pay from any where in the store.

Of course not every company has the wherewithal to invest in military grade technology, or even hand held portals. But how much effort does it take to keep track of our customers through the purchasing process? When a customer leaves, assuming they are satisfied with the experience until that point, isn’t their exit is just as important as the way they came in? We’re all  looking for a fast, friendly, and efficient departure.

After all, we put so much effort getting people to our doors, let’s do the same helping them get out.

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