7 Signs You Have This Retail Problem (And The Solution)
Virtual queuing is a relatively new concept. The first use of the word queue in relation to people standing in a line occurred sometime in 16th-century France. For modern humans, though, digital queue technology has been in use for more than 60 years—which, in our fast-paced society, makes it feel ancient.
Think about when Disney and Six Flags started using FastPass and FLASH Pass, respectively. You were told what time to report back to your ride, and instead of winding around metal stanchions, you went right through the gate. Game changer.
Theme parks understood they faced a queuing problem and found a solution. Now that you know that solution is possible, you’d probably think less of an amusement park that doesn’t feature some kind of virtual queue system—and your business is no different. Restaurants, retail outlets, government services, and banks can all benefit from the positive opinions of customers who go through a digital queue solution, but first you need to determine if you have a queuing problem (hint: you probably do).
7 Signs You Have a Queuing Problem
Queue theory is the name for the study of how people move through lines and how they think about it—short lines are good luck and long lines are bad luck, for example. A queuing system is a tool to more effectively move those same people through those same lines. You likely have a process for serving your customers, but these are some obvious signs that you need to upgrade to a virtual queuing system.
1. Crowded Waiting Area
A crowded waiting area is probably the most visible clue that you have a queuing problem. Standing in line makes customers feel as if their wait is longer—and if they actually wait more than eight minutes, the chances of them walking out before being serviced increase exponentially.
Your staff also feels the pinch of trying to move buyers through service more quickly. Concentrating on the person in front of them can be difficult when they’re worried about everyone else in line. The result can be less satisfactory service, making customers feel as if you don’t value their time and employees feel disconnected from their work.
2. Queue Abandonment
Shoppers who patronize businesses that move them efficiently through service with employees who understand their needs are more likely to report a positive experience not only when you send them a survey but also when they talk to their friends. They’re also more apt to shop with you again.
In contrast, a full 76 percent of customers surveyed said they would abandon a business and shop with their competitors if they thought lines were shorter elsewhere. Those are real dollars walking out the door or bypassing your door completely for even the perception of a shorter wait time somewhere else.
3. Customer Complaints
Unhappy customers aren’t usually afraid of voicing their opinions, and with the ubiquitous nature of social media, their negative thoughts can be amplified at lightning speed. A study authored by researchers from DePaul University and Harvard Business School published in the journal Affective Science found that people actually produce more positive content on social media, but it’s the negative news that spreads faster.
A less tangible but still very real potential harm to your brand reputation is another casualty of a queuing problem. You also face revenue loss not just from the shoppers trashing you online but also from buyers who were considering shopping with you and who will now spend their money with your competitors.
Less obvious signs that you have a queuing problem can be found in your customer data—or the lack thereof—as well as in your marketing costs and the level of employee morale.
4. Low Customer Retention
The cost of customer acquisition is almost always higher than if you retain a strong base of loyal shoppers. Not only are you spending more money on ads, but you’re probably spending more time creating content that inspires someone to stop scrolling on the social platforms where your customers gather.
There is a very real cost to educating potential customers about your product or service, no matter if you rely on paid marketing or organic search. If you’re losing customers, you’ll see the evidence in how much money you direct to advertising and/or the time you put into creating content to generate leads.
5. Lack of Customer Data/Connection
When you have a queuing problem, you also have a more tenuous connection with your customers. Because you’ve already given them a bad impression of you, they are less likely to welcome communication from you, leaving you with a less accurate ideal customer avatar.
If you don’t know who you’re serving, then it’s difficult to offer products and services they need and want or to present a better version of something they’re already using. Not understanding their needs means you can’t target a solution to the problem they have, leading them to other businesses that do.
6. So Many Leads, So Few Sales
Despite the convenience of online shopping, people still like to visit stores to touch and feel their potential purchases. After they’ve browsed your location and selected items for purchase, the last thing you want is your customer staring at a long line.
Long lines discourage conversion because when buyers think their wait will be too long, they will abandon their place in line—and their intended purchases.
7. Less Effective Employees
Without an efficient queuing solution, you may have low employee morale. Instead of feeling productive even when they’re busy, they feel more like they’re putting out fires reactively.
But when you utilize a virtual queue system, you put the power of delivering a great customer experience in their hands. Your workers feel empowered because they understand what shoppers need and deliver it each and every time.
How Virtual Queuing Can Help Solve Your Queuing Problem
Customers feel valued when they feel that a business respects their time. Virtual queuing puts control of their time firmly in your shopper’s hands.
Digital queue solutions from Qtrac eliminate lines with remote check-in from any device. Customers can choose to wait at home while they watch a movie, browse your store, or run other errands.
What it means for you is greater control over managing customer traffic and shifting workers to where they’re needed most. Additionally, as your customers interact with the software, you’ll better understand their needs and have the ability to meet them with improved product or service offerings, promotions, and offers.
Happy customers buy more. It sounds almost too good to be true, but there is a link between customer satisfaction and your bottom line. Customers who have a great experience with your business will spend up to 140% more.
Nearly 80 percent of customers are willing to share stories about good customer service. That means a 21 percent boost to your bottom line, so can you really afford to wait any longer to implement a virtual queue system?
There are many ways a digitized queue improves customer service:
- Appointment scheduling: Customers can see at a glance what dates and times work with their schedule.
- Personalized service: If your workers greet shoppers by name, there is an 80 percent chance they’ll make a purchase.
- Efficient workflows: Customers are routed to the departments where they need service, and you can staff accordingly.
- Increase brand loyalty: Buyers believe their wait times are shorter when they aren’t tethered to a particular location.
- Safer experience: By controlling occupancy, you prioritize the well-being of your teams and your customers.
- More sales: Browsing often leads to impulse buying.
Qtrac’s virtual queue solutions offer opportunities to better understand your customers.
After they’ve checked in from their device, you’ll know immediately if they require translation or interpretation services to complete their purchases. Once they arrive for service, they can be routed to a member of your team who speaks the same language.
The software is built to adapt to your business needs, so you will know when VIP customers check in, for example. They get the attention they deserve every time they buy from you without anyone around them being any the wiser.
Even better? You can communicate with them directly and send them targeted offers and promotions while they wait and after their transaction is complete.
Improve Customer Experience
When customers are called by name and then served by an employee who knows what they need, their confidence in your business increases. Both examples of great customer service are made possible by the remote check-in feature of Qtrac’s virtual queuing systems.
Operationally, you don’t have to worry about integration with other programs and software you already use. Qtrac’s digital queue solutions fully integrate with your other CRMs for a fully automated marketing experience to increase your lead conversion rate.
Benefits of Implementing Virtual Queue Solution
Digital queues improve the customer experience from the very first interaction with the software through appointment scheduling and remote check-in. From short wait times and the ability to wait anywhere to more efficient service from your workers to personalized offers for the things they already use, want, or need, your shoppers will reward your respect for their time with increased brand loyalty. Customers spend up to 17 percent more with a business that offers outstanding service, even if your products and services are priced higher than your competitors’.
If you’re ready for your business to level up, request a demo today.
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