Building Frictionless Customer Experience with Queue Machine Systems
A study from the CMO Council, as reported by Inc.com, found that 47 percent of consumers will ditch a brand if they continually are unhappy with the customer experience.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to reduce customer friction has become even more important. Consumers have tolerated so much throughout the pandemic that if their experience with a business organization is subpar, they won’t hesitate to consider an alternative for the next time.
Long queues have always been a source of customer friction, and in the pandemic era, waiting in line can feel especially tense. A queue machine system, also known as a Virtual Queue or Queue Management System, offers a solution and a strategy to create a frictionless experience that not only puts customers at ease but also impresses them—which will always benefit your brand.
A Less Stressful, More Enjoyable Wait with a Queue Machine System
Perhaps the worst part about waiting is when you’re forced to wait here, in this spot, and don’t you dare leave or you’ll lose your place. Walk back and forth in this queue, and no line jumping! Or, stand or wait here with dozens of other people, and hope they aren’t sick or contagious …
All that may have been stressful for you to read because you’ve most likely felt that stress when you’ve been stuck for a long time in a queue or a waiting area. Some businesses and organizations handle physical queues well, and some waits are simply unavoidable. But when a queue is annoying, it’s more than inconvenient—it hurts the customer experience as well as your reputation and brand.
A queue machine system allows people to wait on their own terms and not be tethered to a line or waiting area. Customers check in on their phones, perhaps with a QR code (as shown), through a kiosk, or with an employee. Afterward, they’re mostly free to do whatever they want—browse the store, step outside for some fresh air, get a cup of coffee, and so on. The electronic queuing system sends notifications alerting customers when their turn finally comes up. This approach is much more enjoyable for your patrons, who can wait on their own terms and not feel so stuck.
Scan the code above to see a Queue Machine System experience.
An Interactive Wait That Starts a Dialog
An alert saying that it’s time to return for service isn’t the only notification that electronic queuing can deliver to customers on their phones. The system can also send other helpful texts, including:
- Updates on the customer’s wait, including estimated times and how many people are ahead of the customer
- Questions about the customer’s needs and what kind of service is required with a request to fill out an online form to answer those questions
- Special offers and suggested products—tailored to the customer’s needs and past purchases and interactions
Whether there’s a little back-and-forth or a lot, the organization is telling customers that their patronage is important and that they’re more than just a number in line. Customers feel reassured that the business hasn’t forgotten about them, and they appreciate your diligence and the updates you’re providing. All these interactions—a dialog that has started—will lead to an even better experience for the customer at the next step.
A Personalized, Friction-Free Experience at the Counter
The most obvious benefit when customers are alerted that their turn or appointment has arrived is that when they approach the counter or receptionist desk, they get immediate service or, at most, wait until the person in front of them is done. There will be exceptions, of course, but for the most part, the timing is near perfect.
When interactions occur via the system, the magic of a queue machine system can really shine through. Employees can tailor their service to specifically meet the customer’s needs (e.g., assigning a specialist to handle a technology question). Customers won’t feel like they must explain everything at the counter—they’re already being attended to while they wait. The in-person interaction often goes much smoother, and the customer experience inevitably improves.
Insight into Staffing Requirements
Queue machine systems collect all sorts of helpful data, from average wait times to interactions statistics to abandonment (when customers simply leave before their turn) rates. These analytics inform operational strategy, particularly on how to staff your business.
For example, the data can show which days of the week and hours of the day get the most customers, the most walk-ins, the highest number of unusual service requests, and so on. These numbers can correlate to how many employees were on the clock, how busy they were, and how efficiently and effectively they were able to serve customers.
The benefit is obvious: The queue management system gives hard data on the number of employees—and the skill sets of those employees—you need for every shift. The data can also be followed in real time so that if you’re seeing longer waits than normal, you can shift employees around or call people in to help alleviate the bottleneck.
The Sum of Your Efforts: Shorter Waits
Electronic queuing and appointment scheduling deliver efficiency gains at nearly every step of the customer journey—before, during, and even after service—and your operational strategy. A few minutes saved here and there add up to shorter wait times for your customers.
Of course, there will be days when you’re just busy, and no matter how well the queue is managed, customers will be saddled with a long wait. Queue machine systems not only help chip away at these waits, but they also reduce customer perception of how long the wait is. If someone is allowed to move about the store while in the queue, a half-hour wait might not feel so bad. And when customers receive updates on their phones, they see the minutes counting down. When you provide a top-notch waiting experience, customers often know you’re trying your best and are more likely to be patient when they are in a virtual queue for longer than normal.
The best queue machine systems come from providers with a deep understanding of not only electronic queuing technology but also queue management itself. Qtrac brings unparalleled expertise to both these areas. Schedule a demo to see all the benefits our system can deliver to your operation.