5 Use Cases for Queue Management Software
Step outside of your professional shoes for a moment and into your role as a consumer and a human being. How often do you visit a store, a restaurant, or an airport and think to yourself, “I hope the line isn’t long,” only to be disappointed when it is?
When wait times are long, you risk jeopardizing not only the customer experience but also the sale itself. Qtrac data through the first half of 2021 shows that increasing retail wait time from five minutes to 30 minutes nearly triples the abandonment rate. For banks, the rate is quadrupled.
Although waits might be inevitable in some industries, businesses should do whatever they can to reduce wait times and perceived wait times, improve customer flow and the customer experience, and boost their bottom lines. Queue management software offers a way to achieve these goals and more. These five use cases highlight how virtual queueing and appointment scheduling help a variety of industries:
1. Higher Education
For as much as colleges and universities value the student experience, they often don’t pay as much attention to the lines students are forced to endure. Although the days of undergrads standing in line while trying to register for classes are mostly over, students still face plenty of bottlenecks that waste their time and erode their experience.
Queue management software offers solutions to reduce wait times and increase efficiency across the campus. For example:
- Even when class registration is digital, registration days often still have many moving parts. Queue management systems can minimize or eliminate the need for students to wait in long lines, allowing them to attend to other parts of the registration process.
- Registrar offices get busy like banks do. Queue software can let students either secure a turn in line or book an appointment ahead of time.
- With appointment scheduling software, health and counseling services can better manage staffing, resources, and, most importantly, students’ care needs.
- Appointment scheduling also can help students book times with instructors, tutors, or advisors during non-office hours.
- Libraries can use appointment scheduling to help students book study rooms, computer labs, meeting rooms, and more.
As an added benefit, when students are comfortable using queue management technology in one department of the university, they won’t hesitate to use it in another.
Unless a retailer has only one or two registers and a low volume of customers checking out at one time, queue management software won’t help too much (but there are solutions that can help retailers manage long checkout lines). However, customer bottlenecks can happen all over the store, from returns to technical support to individual departments (e.g., in-store pharmacies, automotive, deli counters). In these areas, queue management can help.
Consider technical support, for example. A customer comes in with a problem with a piece of technology they bought from the retailer, only to encounter a long line of other people looking for assistance. The customer can stand in a line for their turn, or they can enter a digital queue and receive a text notification when their turn is close and then return for service.
In this example, the customer experience improves because people decide how they wait instead of being confined to a physical queue or waiting area. They also can interact with staff while they wait, thus increasing the odds that they’ll eventually receive better service (e.g., a specialist who can better solve the customer’s problem). In the meantime, the retailer also benefits by encouraging waiting customers to browse the store and make additional purchases.
Healthcare has a reputation for long waits, so much so that people may consider skipping going to the hospital or an urgent care clinic for a minor health problem because they fear being stuck in a lobby or exam room for hours. Some emergency rooms have tried to give people more information by advertising real-time waits on billboards or their websites, but a degree of uncertainty remains whenever a patient visits a hospital or healthcare clinic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for safe, efficient waits at hospitals, which may not always have the resources to effectively manage appointments, queues, and crowded lobbies. ERs will always be a challenge, but other areas of hospitals—such as pharmacies, vaccine and testing clinics, walk-in outpatient care, and more—can benefit from a queue management system.
When patients can check in and receive updates via their smartphones, waits won’t seem as long and stressful. Moreover, the efficiency gained with queue management software allows staffers to see more patients. Perhaps most importantly, this can lead to better care.
4. Financial Institutions
Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are also notorious for long wait times and annoyed customers. Waiting for a teller isn’t the only delay people may encounter—someone who needs to see a bank officer to open an account or apply for a loan might find themselves stuck in a waiting area until one becomes available.
A queue management system streamlines the customer experience, especially during peak periods. For a look how this works, scan this QR code for our “bank”:
With this solution, a customer can enter a busy bank, scan the code, input basic information, and then receive a notification when their turn for service nears—and receive estimated wait times along the way. Bank employees know exactly what the customer needs, which leads to better and more efficient service. The customer journey becomes nearly seamless, and people leave feeling that their bank really cares about them.
Perhaps more than any other industry, air travel is all about the customer experience. Will the flight be smooth? Will my luggage arrive safely? Will I depart and arrive on time? Wait times are inevitable, and many physical queues can’t be made virtual.
However, some elements of airports can benefit from queue management systems. Customer service lines, baggage offices, and sit-down restaurants are some examples of places that can experience long lines and people standing around when they don’t really need to. A virtual queue allows patrons to secure a place in line and visit—and possibly spend money in—other parts of the airport as needed. Again, this system emphasizes the customer experience and gives people some control when other parts of their travel, such as if their flight will be on time, are not as certain.
The best virtual queue systems are designed by companies that are already experts at physical queueing. Qtrac software incorporates years of expertise and decades of data into a solution that uniquely meets our clients’ needs. See a demo and let us show you how we can benefit your business, no matter your industry.