9 Benefits of a Queue Management System
Are long lines avoidable? Some businesses would answer no, even though there are proven strategies for minimizing customer waiting times.
That leads to another question: How much effort should businesses put into trying to shorten long lines? Sure, customers might feel less impatient, but is that reason enough to address the problem?
A virtual queue management system provides relief and a better overall experience for customers. However, that’s just part of what can be accomplished—businesses themselves reap a variety of benefits from the best queuing solutions. Here are nine ways a virtual queue makes life better for organizations and their customers.
1. Improved Employee Efficiency
A long line may require employees to actually manage it—from trying to figure out who is next, to calming down frustrated customers, to interrupting their work to tell someone, “I’m helping this customer now; the line starts back there.” Moreover, customers agitated by a long wait may be less focused and more short-tempered when their turn finally arrives.
A queue management system eliminates the time-wasting distractions that add up over the course of the day, ultimately allowing more customers to be seen and freeing up resources for other tasks. Happier customers also generally mean less frazzled employees, who then stay more focused on efficiency.
2. Improved Service Quality
Employees who can focus on one customer at a time and not worry about the throng of people visibly waiting in line are better able to serve that one customer better. They don’t feel the need to rush the interaction and are more inclined to go the extra mile because there is less pressure to get to the next customer.
A queue management system also can collect information about customers and their needs while they are waiting. That intel becomes instantly available to the staff, who can tailor service or designate a specialist for each customer who reaches the front of the virtual queue.
3. Better Storewide Sales
In retail, a traditional, stand-in-line queue forces people to spend time waiting. The sight of a long line can drive customers to get their one item, get in line and endure the wait, then leave—if they stay at all. Although queues can be designed to encourage impulse purchases, the customer is still being denied access to the rest of the store.
Virtual queues upend this reality by giving customers access to browse the entire store while they wait their turn to be served. Because people aren’t confined to a certain space, the potential for additional sales increases. Impulse purchases are still in play, but with a queue management system, those purchases aren’t limited to a few nearby items but, rather, everything.
4. Reduced Wait Times
A virtual queue’s combination of improved employee efficiency and shorter, more productive interactions decreases how much time customers spend waiting for their turn. Moreover, because they aren’t tethered to a physical line and can move freely around (or outside) the store, their perception of how long they’re waiting also decreases. In other words, what was once a 20-minute wait may take only 15 minutes and can feel like 10.
5. Staff Satisfaction
Most employees prefer to deal with happier, less anxious customers, which a queue management system can provide. Virtual queues also make employees smarter and more useful when dealing with their customers.
Both of these outcomes can lead to employees who feel more satisfied and connected to their jobs. This matters, because research has shown that engaged employees are more productive, better appreciated by customers, and less likely to quit—and that businesses with engaged employees are 21 percent more profitable.
6. Increased Customer Loyalty
Customers appreciate not only great service, but also little things that make their shopping experience and their lives easier. A queue management system may not reduce wait times significantly for every customer, but even just giving people a few minutes back or not making them stand in a line or sit in a crowded waiting area—particularly during a pandemic—shows you care.
Loyal customers are repeat customers, and repeat customers are 90 percent more likely to make additional purchases, according to research from HubSpot. Virtual queues prioritize customers, who, in turn, may decide to prioritize you right back.
7. Streamlined Communication
We’ve all been somewhere—a meat counter, a post office, a DMV—where we had to take a number and wait for it to be called. Besides being highly impersonal, this setup dictates that the first communication between customer and staff is being shouted at. Aside from the feeling of relief when your number is called, this inefficiency does nothing for the relationship being established between consumer and provider.
A digital queue management system establishes communication early and streamlines it to, during, and even beyond the transaction. Customers can be alerted, via their smartphones, on their place in line and provide information that will help staff serve them better.
8. Customer Data
The digital backbone of a virtual queue management system offers something traditional queues struggle with: pure data. Advanced reporting capabilities of the best solutions can measure wait times, peak and slow periods, customer satisfaction, and more. This easily gathered and retrievable data can help inform strategy as well as improve efficiency and, subsequently, the customer experience.
9. Reduced Operational Costs
A queue management system benefits organizations by improving efficiency, eliminating the logistical requirements (e.g., barrier expenditures, floor space, customer traffic flow) of a physical queue and generating valuable insight from user data. All these advantages reduce operational costs and, thus, boost the bottom line. This might be the most powerful argument for adopting a virtual queue.
A pattern emerges with all these benefits: They tend to build upon each other. For example, happier customers mean happier employees, who become more productive, which reduces costs—and the data can back up the results. Qtrac can help you realize these benefits and more with our industry-leading queue management solutions. Check out our e-book, Why Virtually Queued Customers Buy More, to learn more.