Photo by Melanie Pongratz, Unsplash

 

After several months of quarantine and mixed results more services are reopening, as many businesses and consumers have started to get impatient with the lockdown. People are beginning to go out again and everything looks normal except for the fact that masks are required in many regions and the virus is still at large. By now, some forward-thinking companies have landed on customer queuing systems as a key part of their action plan for keeping employees and guests safe. When it comes to queuing technology, there are several prominent providers in the market, but before you choose the perfect system for your business, here is a list of must-haves to make sure all your business needs are met.

1. Contactless Queuing

The whole idea behind virtual queuing systems is to reduce physical contact with other people and shared surfaces, providing a safe environment for people and drastically reducing individual wait times. Choosing a system that allows customers to check-in and reserve their spot in line without having to be physically present is a must. In an ideal queuing system, customers can check in from anywhere and are served instantly when they arrive, increasing overall satisfaction and brand approval. As an added benefit, technologies like WireSpring SmartFlow also include features like pre-visit questionnaires and appointment booking within the service, which gives people a chance to say what they’re looking for and allows employees to efficiently allocate resources. Contactless queuing is likely here to stay even after the pandemic, so making sure your queuing system includes these capabilities should yield dividends in the long run.

2. Universal Phone Support

Another crucial aspect of a queuing system is minimizing any extra steps that consumers must take to join the queue. The main goal of a customer is to take the path of least resistance to quickly get in, complete a task, and leave safely. Having to download an external app or go through a long registration process can be a big deterrent that may cause people to seek other options -- especially if they are first-time customers. Not only is ease-of-use important, but many businesses fail to recognize that their system must also be flexible when it comes to mobile messaging. A great queuing system should accommodate different types of smartphones and varying levels of Internet/web access. Meeting the technological needs of your potential visitors or customers can help streamline the queuing process.

3. Flexible Management Platform

No matter how easy the customer side of the system is, the right queue management system must also be easy for your business to implement and manage. Some queuing systems require a physical kiosk or tablet that you need to install and connect to the rest of your business ecosystem. Others rely upon a web-based interface, and yet others support either approach. When reviewing different options, it may be helpful to take a mental inventory of your services, determine how many queues you’ll need, and understand the complexities in order to pick a system that is capable of fitting your workflow and maximizing your efficiency.

4. Real-Time Analytics

Having the proper tools to track and manage your queues is one of the most important parts of a queuing system. Every company has a different approach to the variety of things they’d like to see on a reporting dashboard. In this case, make sure to choose a system that can show real-time queue data as well as historical reports. Information is key when it comes to making quick and strategic decisions, especially if your business tends to experience ebbs and flows with your walk-in traffic.

5. Digital Signage Integration

Even in a time when leaving the house can be a hassle, customers like to be engaged throughout their in-person experience. The best queue management systems are linked to digital signage that helps customers better navigate a stressful situation, provides them with entertainment, or otherwise enhances their experience. Since digital signage is already present at many businesses and is a great way to improve the consumer experience, any new queuing system should provide widgets or other integrations so you can display the queue status on your existing displays.

With many virtual queuing products on the market, there are numerous options for helping you manage walk-in traffic and improve the customer experience. Queuing systems have been around for a long time, and modern technology has finally caught up to the ticket dispensers and pagers of yesteryear. These new smart queuing systems offer a robust set of benefits that’s not just limited to reducing wait times. As you think about whether a queue management system is right for your business, we hope this checklist will help you become more informed about the options and choose the perfect one for your needs.

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