5 Ways Your Online Queue System Affects the Bottom Line
Many businesses see long lines of customers as a positive sign. People are in your business, which, in this era of COVID-19 when there is a tendency for customers to favor online shopping over brick-and-mortar, is half the battle won.
However, consider the customers waiting in those long lines. Their feelings might not be as positive as yours. They might be in line for a simple customer service need and wonder why they chose this day to visit your business. They may have items in their carts but decide to abandon their purchases because they just want to get out.
Customer experience is as important to your bottom line as actual sales. Nearly one in three customers will leave a brand they love after a bad experience1—and being in line for a long time might qualify for some people. But 42 percent of customers would pay more for a welcoming experience.2
More businesses are choosing an online queue system to reduce the negative impact of long lines, improve customer experience, and accelerate revenue. Here are five ways virtual queuing affects the bottom line:
1. Higher Customer Volume
Physical queues—even ones that are well organized—still require a fair amount of management from employees. Customers who’ve been waiting in line or a designated area for a long time may not be in the best mood when their turn arrives, so they may take a long time explaining what service they need. Furthermore, employees frazzled by angry customers and a visibly long queue might not perform at peak levels.
A virtual queuing system creates efficiency by requiring less manpower to operate and manage. People who are free to do what they want as they wait are happier, more focused customers and generally require less time at the counter when they reach the front of the line. Employees can digitally ask waiting customers for information—such as what they need or if they have any special requests—and be ready to provide the best service possible. The queue moves faster because of all these efficiencies, thus allowing businesses to see more paying customers in the same amount of time.
2. Increased Sales Opportunities
A queue management system opens the business up to customers while they wait. The opportunity for impulse purchases increases, but some people might even plan their shopping excursions around their waits. In this way, a virtual queue turns wasted time into an active shopping experience that boosts profits.
Some online queue systems take the revenue concept a step further by allowing businesses to send promotional offers to customers while they wait. People in a virtual queue will check their smartphones for updates, and businesses can take advantage of this behavior by also delivering coupons, information about current and upcoming sales, featured items and departments, and other promotions. And because customers are already in your system, you can keep occasionally sending them offers even after they leave the business.
3. More Repeat Customers
We won’t sugarcoat this: Standing in a long, crowded line—especially with a pandemic still in progress—isn’t fun. A good queue management solution reduces this unpleasantness, thus enhancing the customer experience. Customers who leave after receiving great service tend to become repeat customers who spend more money at your business.
Repeat customers are also more likely to leave good online reviews and tell others how excellent you are. This attracts new customers who also enjoy a good experience at your business, and the cycle starts all over again.
4. Happier Employees
As already stated, virtually queued customers tend to be more cooperative with employees. Furthermore, not having to manage a physical queue reduces employee stress. Good employees will feel satisfaction in their job when they are able to solve customer problems; a top-notch queue management solution contributes to this sense of accomplishment.
Employee turnover has always been a big concern for businesses in many industries, including retail. Workers leaving isn’t just inconvenient—it’s costly, in terms of both the expense of hiring and training a new employee and the expertise and efficiency lost when someone leaves. If a queue management system leads to happier employees, that can reduce turnover, which will help the bottom line.
5. Actionable Data
Online queue systems produce impressive sets of data, from average wait times to abandonment rates—and much more. These analytics not only show how well the system is doing its job but also reveal efficiency and bottlenecks, buying trends, customer behavior, and other operational insights. The data also informs staffing, sales, floor layout, and other strategies that optimize revenue.
With the bottom line in mind, virtual queuing needs to produce an ROI without initially breaking the bank. Check out our guide, How to Avoid the Hidden Costs of a Queue Management System, to learn more.