In most parts of the world, 2022 has meant a nearly complete return to normalcy. And consumer behavior has been no exception. In fact, January alone 2022 saw a 2.1% increase in consumer spending. The trend is likely to continue throughout the year.
This is great for businesses, but not necessarily great for their lines. And long lines mean unhappy guests and a diminished customer experience. In the end, guests will opt to go elsewhere if the wait times are too long, hurting both your brand identity and bottom line.
That’s where a queuing system, or waitlist system, comes in. Any business that has a waitlist now has the option to automate and streamline their queue in order to reduce wait times and keep their guests happy. So, let’s dive into some of the basics what is a queuing system, how line management works, a few of its benefits, and how your business can get started with a waitlist solution.
What Is a Queuing System?
Also known as a waitlist system, the purpose of a queuing solution is to help customers who are waiting for service. Though it’s important to remember that this answer is oversimplified. Waitlists management is a complicated part of any business to manage.
You can think of a waitlist as a set of principles aimed at controlling customer flow and streamlining the experience. A waitlist is not something that is needed once or twice. Rather, the real value is in a continuous process. On paper, a huge number of visitors is a good thing for your business. But a problem arises when the influx of customers exceeds the capabilities of employees to serve the customers in a reasonable time. And, as we mentioned above, the result is always lost customers.
How Does a Queuing System Work?
Consider this. A group of people at your business standing in a line without a clue as to why they’ve been waiting so long. You can feel the anxiety – the guests don’t know how long they’ll be waiting or exactly why they’re waiting for such a long period of time. In the end, they’ll feel powerless, frustrated, and eventually will leave.
Meanwhile, a well-run business is supposed to improve the lives of your customers and offer them a great shopping experience. So, even in the event that there is a delay, it’s important to communicate regularly with your guests. Explain why the delay is happening and offer an accurate estimate of any remaining length of the delay.
A waitlist solution provides customers with a sense of control and empowers them with knowledge. Guests can register for services using self-service kiosks or mobile tablets placed at points of high foot traffic. After signing up, the kiosk screen provides relevant information, such as the individual’s place in the queue, the number of people ahead of them, the service point that they need to go to, etc. With clear instructions and text message notifications, the queuing process is faster than ever. Checkouts are efficient, waiting time is reduced, and the shopping experience is greatly improved. Meanwhile, the staff receives valuable metrics such as queue lengths, waiting times, and other information provided by the system that works to foster better customer service.
What Industries Does Waitlist Management Work For?
While a queue management system may seem like a niche solution, it has broad applications across many different types of businesses. In fact, any business that has any wait time to receive service can benefit from a line management solution.
Retail Queue Management
The most obvious application is in brick-and-mortar stores. If retailers cannot manage their lines efficiently, they risk losing customers to their competitors. Long wait times and mismanaged queues are an issue for businesses worldwide. Implementing a waitlist solution for retail transforms lengthy wait times into a smooth customer experience. Customers who are met with proper queue management are far more likely to complete their purchases and turn into loyal customers.
Implementing a line management system at a retail store will give shoppers some peace of mind when entering the line or allow them to continue shopping for a bit if they deem the wait time to be too long.
Line Management for Ticketing Spaces
Another popular application of this software is at businesses that sell tickets, such as museums, theme parks, zoos, aquariums, etc. Lines at such establishments are common sources of headaches and can easily deter someone from deciding to attend. Through timed ticketing features and waitlist management, these businesses can give their guests an accurate estimate of wait times. This also allows them to spread out their attendees to create better flow throughout all facilities.
Pharmacy customers are an important demographic here. Many will go elsewhere to fill their prescriptions if they experience long wait times. Hospital and clinic waits are also an issue. Patients, understandably, don’t want to spend more time in a hospital than necessary. A healthcare waitlist solution helps control patient flow and builds a better atmosphere for both hospital staff and patients. The waitlist solution serves to reduce anxiety and frustration.
Queue Management Software in Education
College students visit the admissions office to get answers to their questions. It helps to have organized and orderly waiting lines which prevent students from crowding limited office space, especially during peak times.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Line Management Solution?
While we’ve covered many of the benefits of queue management in its description of what it is and the various industries it serves, let’s dive into a few of the specific benefits of implementing such a solution for your business.
Build Better Customer Loyalty
In today’s highly competitive environment, retaining a customer is more cost-efficient than getting a new one. Customers tend to be more selective and are not afraid of switching to a new brand. Customer loyalty needs to be a key objective. You need to ensure that your customers appreciate the experience they’re receiving. Even the smallest details matter. Long wait times may not have been a deal-breaker a few decades ago, but that is no longer the case. Reducing wait times plays a major role in building a positive customer experience. Metrics like expected wait time, queue length, and wait time to service time ratio can make or break a business.
Plus, less time spent waiting results in more time spent shopping. Even when it doesn’t affect the shopping habits of your customers, shorter waits will have them leaving your place of business in a much better mood, more likely to return themselves, and more likely to encourage others to visit your store, too.
The last moments we spend at a counter are the most crucial. A customer decides whether he or she enjoyed the overall shopping experience or not. No amount of additional customer service trumps that impression. By creating a better shopping experience, queuing solutions help your business turn visitors into loyal customers.
Gathering Customer Data
The waitlist solution doubles as a people counting solution. Since it automatically keeps track of all registered customers, businesses get easy access to some critical data. You can generate detailed, real-time retail analytics: number of visitors, number of no-shows, areas with low/high footfall, wait times, idling, and service times. Such data help your business take advantage of sales opportunities and further improve your service. And the ability to compare current data to historical data helps you understand whether you’re moving in the right direction.
Better Staff Performance
A waitlist solution is aimed at making life better not only for your customers but also for employees. Once employee time is freed up to pursue more important tasks, customer service improves by leaps and bounds.
Analytics help with determining whether the use of staff is efficient or not, highlighting potential issues with the workforce. For example, it helps you identify which employees have a harder time managing visitors. Once problem areas are identified, you can provide additional training, deploy more employees to the area, or add another service point.
LineupApp Queue Management and KORONA POS
KORONA POS now integrates with one of the premier queue management solutions on the market, LineupApp. The solution keeps your point of sale and line management under one system, streamlining your efforts to build shopper loyalty, analyze important trends, and provide a better shopping experience.
To learn more about LineupApp, visit their website. And to see how it works with KORONA POS, click below to schedule a custom demo of the two solutions in action.