Real Business only deal with Real Customers

app 7 Apr 2024

Today is 4 days away before the Ramadan has ended. I went to a car workshop that was not so far from my house to check the car before it used to go to Malang. I do not often go there actually, just because this time will go far from Bekasi, and the car must be prepared for the worst thing during the trip.

I know this time there must be many people going there with the same purpose as me, I just know it because a few days before, I had already seen the workshop was full of cars, parked on the road in the front of the workshop waiting the queue to be executed by the mechanics.

assorted-color vehicles inside building
Photo by Alex Suprun / Unsplash


within a few minutes, about 2 PM I arrived at the workshop. I walked to their office room and started to book the queue. I had thought this process would be smooth like any moment before.

There are 2 people at the office desk, one is a guy who checking the monitor and staring at some numbers and the data (probably related to the product thing), and the other one is a woman, who's wearing a different uniform, I'm sure she's the receptionist who will guide me to book the queue.

Asking to Book

Well, this is not my first time here, but the initial conversation was not too smooth. I told the woman that I needed a service for my car and she told me that the queue was too high, she kept telling me the cars waiting outside had already made their queue full until 7 PM.

This information was probably based on their calculation of the current workloads and also based on the time needed to service every car out there.

woman facing on white counter
Photo by Christiann Koepke / Unsplash

She continued with a suggestion I'd never thought of before, without asking for my plate number, or asking my name, or if I was registered before on their booking system, she suggests to check the queue later via WhatsApp because they are already in a full queue.

I didn't get it the first time, but... kept waiting on WhatsApp ?? how could she know that the person asking was me? or how did they tell me that the queue was ready but getting full again when arrived? at this moment I still don't understand the method that she told me.

She didn't ask for my phone number, or my name, my car plate, etc. How did she know that I was the right person when asking via WhatsApp?

A Calm Moment

You know, at this moment I am almost angry to hear that no guarantee that she can give me. For me as a customer, it is not a good or ideal option to wait. Later on, I understood that it was one-way communication, I know this because she told me to check the queue by sending a WhatsApp message if there was a new slot, and they would reply, otherwise, they would not say anything back.

This time, it does not make any sense...

Video gif. A woman pulls on Nick Young's arm, trying to hold his hand. Nick looks at her with confusion, but is trying to be polite. The camera zooms on his face and turns to look stare into the camera with a big confused grin on his face. Question marks appear around his head.
Feeling so confused

What if there's a new slot and when I travel there, some person grabs my queue and leaves me without any option again, because they're not registering any information about me, what can I do about that? asking again via WhatsApp? waiting again? this doesn't make any sense at all 🤣

Leaving with a Thought

I know this is not right, but I have to understand the rules she told me, so I'm leaving. When walking back to my car, I'm thinking what's wrong with this system, this procedure must not be because of unprofessionalism, I know that because she's talking with patience and calm (and asking the online official account for this procedure after that moment).

Meme gif. Zach Galifianakis as Alan on The Hangover looking blank while complicated math equations pop up around his face.

During my trip back to my home, I kept thinking and thinking, what's wrong with this system...did I miss something?

Business is Business

Then I knew this was about a real thing, businesses only dealing with real customers, they don't want to waste their time managing the queue system, where the rate of customers not coming is high, because this type of customer will not be paying upfront for just about to book their queue, and they simply kept that.

When you have a business, there may be a chance you provide procedures for them just to make them keep on your line. Imagine this, you have a restaurant where in some moments like this Ramadhan, the booking rate is very high near the maghrib time, so you make a system queue where customers can book the table and enjoy the resto service later.

Now let's think about the gap here, your customer may book the queue before, then come near the maghrib time, and order the menu (happy path), but on the other side, they might not show or come to the resto, making the table is empty while other customers waiting outside of the restaurant, does that sound a problem to you?

On-demand Information

When I drove my car back, I thought this was the one that everyone must be dealing with every day in a different situation. You already know the two examples above, the car waiting queue and the restaurant queue.

Imagine you need to go to some coffee shops and guess people did not fully book the table in that place, then suddenly when you arrive, you see the coffee shop is fully booked, would you be upset about that? What if you knew there was a full book before you went there? would that be great? you can save more time to do other things or go to another coffee shop.

Reserved table decor
Photo by Alfred Quartey / Unsplash

You see the pattern right? this is about on-demand information, the real-time information that could make you decide on other options, and don't waste your time, remember, our time is limited.

For example, You have a spa business, where the slots of the customers are limited (e.g. under 10 slots). You open the queue by providing a booking system, where everyone can book and attend the spa at the same time (or near) as recorded in the system (happy path right?), but in reality, there may be customers who are booking the slot and never come and doesn't confirm anything about their unattended. Instead of everything working as expected, now you have a new problem, unconfirmed customers make long waiting lines whereas other ready-to-go customers just see their high queue numbers and still need to wait. So you introduce another feature called a down payment, but that does not make your customer happy.

Another example, let's say you want to go to a music event in a very far place. You don't know whether this concert still had a slot for parking cars or not, or it was full of people going there, or maybe worse like there was chaos at the concert and you keep driving there. What if you can ask some people right there, randomly but the real people attending the event and telling you there is a bad condition and better not attending this event? would that be priceless information to you?

You got the idea, right? this is about ephemeral information that every time we need to know, we ask, and will accurately give us a different result.

But there's a Social Media!

I know about this, but to what social media you would compare for this thing? WhatsApp? Twitter? Instagram? FB? None of them maintained this kind of fast-changing information, since people don't care about others and they were happy with the current situation.

For me, personally, it looks like we need something to solve this. I've been dealing with this kind of problem many times (as far as I can remember) and returned without any solution, at least in this period of time.

An App for That?

Again, I'm an engineer, and a developer who loves to make useful apps, but this kind of app would need a huge resource, and also a huge time to invest, then there's no guarantee that your app will succeed.

Let's make an App for anythingbusi

Hei, we're just for fun right? you found a problem, you make an app for that, the rest is another story. Also, this problem would be more fun because you need it, introducing it to other people will be hard, but it's possible.

Thank you for reading

You've been here since the first paragraph, and I appreciate that. This is just my opinion about the new situation out there, nothing special. Thank you for reading this weird, opinionated, and not-very-interesting story, however, this is the place I can write for all of my experiences. again, thank you.


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