Waiting is Becoming Fun! The Influence of Advertising and Infotainment on the Waiting Experience
M van Hagen, J Kramer, M Galetzka, A T H Pruyn, Dutch Railways, NL
This study aims to reveal the effects of infotainment as an explicit distracter on waiting experience at railway stations. We expect that infotainment enhances the value and shortens the perceived duration of the wait.
The Influence of Infotainment on Waiting Experience.
Nobody likes waiting. But waiting for service is an unavoidable experience for customers and appears to be a strong determinant of overall satisfaction with the service and customer loyalty (Pruyn & Smits, 1998).
Waits for public transportation are different, in comparison with other everyday-life services, because they include: waiting situations without a line, waiting situations without formal service rules, outside waiting situations, highly diverse waiting locations, randomly distributed waiting times and waits without feedback. Furthermore, waiting for public transportation is different because travellers are obsessed by time (Durrande-Moreau & Usunier, 1999).
The past years, the Dutch Railways have invested al lot in trains, maintenance and the railway timetable to prevent delays. However, waiting and delays are inevitable. As customers? satisfaction with the service will be affected by the perception of waiting (time) it is important to find ways to make time pass as quickly and pleasantly as possible, but the clue is how to do that. The question rises what the Dutch Railways can do to positively influence the perceived waiting time. Answer to this question can lie in using infotainment as explicit distraction. According to the attentional model of time perception (Thomas & Weaver, 1975), explicit distraction leads to shorter perceived durations of waiting. This is due to the fact that attention is drawn away from the internal clock that is responsible for the perception of time passage (Zakay, 1989). Thus, watching infotainment in a waiting situation would cause customers to be less occupied with time since their cognitive systems are busy processing other (non-temporal) external stimuli.
The purpose of this research is to study the effects of infotainment as an explicit distracter on waiting experience.
Design & Methodology
In order to collect our data we developed two experimental studies. The experiments will be held in a virtual reality train station.
Study one shows advertisements at the platform. It is a 3 (0 sec vs 20 sec vs 40 sec) x 2 (busy vs quiet) x 2(task orientation vs recreational orientation) between subjects experimental design.
Study two shows infotainment and entertainment on an big screen. It is a 2 (Information vs Entertainment) x 2 (busy vs quiet) x 2 (task orientation vs recreational orientation) between subjects experimental design.
Respondents will get the assignment to catch a certain train. The waiting time varies between 1 and 10 minutes. Respondents are free to do whatever they want during their waiting time. After they have caught the train, a questionnaire will be presented. The questionnaire assesses cognitive and affective responses to the waiting time, waiting environment and content displayed.
Through this research we expect to gain more insight on the influence of distraction on waiting experience. We expect infotainment to work as a distracter. Furthermore we hope to find out in which condition a certain kind of content is appropriate and appreciated by passengers. For example, very busy travellers may prefer information and travellers with a recreational orientation may prefer entertainment as distracter. Overall we expect that by using infotainment in a right way we can improve service quality and customer satisfaction.
Association for European Transport