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A Framework for Evaluating the Customer Wait Experience
Articles and Chapters
  • Kelly A. McGuire, SAS, Institute, Inc
  • Sherri E. Kimes, Cornell University
  • Michael Lynn, Cornell University
  • Madeleine E. Pullman, Portland State University
  • Russell C. Lloyd, Cornell University
Publication Date
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a model which defines the psychological processes that mediate the relationship between perceived wait duration (PWD) and satisfaction. This model will provide a framework for evaluating the impact of situational and environmental variables in the servicescape on customer reaction to the wait experience. Design/methodology/approach – The approach included one field study and two laboratory experiments in which subjects participated in a service with a pre-process wait and evaluated their experience on a survey. Findings – Perceived wasted time, perceived control, perceived boredom, and perceived neglect mediated the relationship between PWD and wait experience evaluation. When tested using filled versus unfilled wait time as the situational variable, the model showed that having something to do during the wait decreased perceived boredom, resulting in a more positive wait experience. Research limitations/implications – The services used in this paper were functional (as opposed to hedonistic) in nature and wait durations were a maximum of ten minutes. Originality/value – The framework established in this paper can be used to evaluate customer reaction to the elements of the waiting environment design, which will help managers design waiting environments that maximize customer satisfaction, and help researchers to understand changes in the relationship between PWD and satisfaction under different environmental conditions.

Required Publisher Statement
© Emerald. Final version published as: McGuire, K. A., Kimes, S.E., Lynn, M., Pullman, M. E., & Lloyd, R. C. (2010). A framework for evaluating the customer wait experience. Journal of Service Management, 21(3), 269-290. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

This article was the recipient of Emerald Publishing’s Highly Commended Award for 2011.

Citation Information

McGuire, K. A., Kimes, S. E., Lynn, M., Pullman, M. E., & Lloyd, R. C. (2010). A framework for evaluating the customer wait experience [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: