Perceivedwaiting time is the time duration that a customer feels when he or she waitsfor a service. According to Maister (1985), perceived waiting time depends onmany factors such as the customers’ feeling of being occupied, waiting stage,the feeling of anxious, the certainty of the wait, whether reason for the waitis explained or not, whether the customer is alone or not and finally the valueof the service. Pruyn and Smidts (1993) and Smidts and Pruyn (1994) have namedthis duration as a subjective waiting time as against the objective waitingduration which is the actual waiting duration the customer has been waiting.
Ontop of that, many other researchers (Larson, 1987; Davis, 1991; Katz et al.,1991; Taylor, 1994; Carmon et al., 1995; Lerclec et al., 1995; Hui & Tsc,1996; Jones & Peppiatt, 1996; Moreau, 1999; Looy et al., 1998; Diaz , 2002) have evaluated customer’s perceived waiting duration.Consumersperceive waiting time as short when the waiting environment is comfortable andfamiliar (Davis and Berdrow, 2010; Jone and Peppiat, 1996; Solomon andSurprenant, 1985). Additionally, companies can improve the waiting environmentto reduce customers’ negative perceptions regarding waiting time.
Servicecompanies can reduce waiting time by providing customers more certaintyregarding their waiting time, giving particular reasons for the wait,comforting waiting customers, reducing customers’ anxiety and providing queuingcustomers with activities to keep them occupied. Particular measures to improvewaiting environment include distracting customers by offering information suchas electronic bulletin boards, movies, music and news, (Cameron et al., 2003;Davis and Heineke, 1994; Hul et al., 1997) or diverting their attention fromwaiting to other matters such as by giving complementary snacks (Lambrecht andTucker, 2012; Wang, 2007; Usunier and Valette-Florence, 2007).
Suchimprovements of the waiting environment can reduce customers’ perceived waitingtime (Katz et al., 1991; Kc and Terwiesch, 2011; Larson, 1987). In summary,improvement of the waiting environment is defined as the treatment of thewaiting environment to distract waiting customers.These factorsare waiting information provided in case of delay (Hui and Tse, 1996; Antonideset al., 2002).
Apart from considering waiting as an economic cost, it maypsychologically affect for consumers in facing uncertainty about the waitinglength and experience signi?cant stress. Studies have suggested that anyinformation on the waiting duration can reduce the uncertainty of the wait andlower the overall level of stress experienced by consumers (Maister, 1985).Previous research highlighted the impact of queuing information and waitingduration information on the cognitive and affective aspects of the wait whenthe wait is long (Hui and Tse, 1996) and during busy periods (Clemmer andSchneider 1989). The satisfiedcustomers will probably talk to the others about their good experiences. Thisfact, especially in the Middle Eastern cultures, where the social life has beenshaped in a way that social communication with other people enhances thesociety, is more important (Jamal & Naser, 2002).
Although satisfaction hasbeen defined as the difference between expectation and performance, there aredifferences between quality and satisfaction. For example, Parasuraman et al.(1991) stated that satisfaction is a decision made after experiencing it, whilequality is not the same. On the other hand, in satisfaction literature,expectation for goods is “would”, while in service literature, expectation forgoods is “should”.