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Is a Customer Flow Management System the Same as a Queue Management System?

by Qtrac

No matter what public place you visit, you’ll likely wait in some form of queue. Shared cultural norms simply demand we wait in a certain order to receive service. For this reason, business owners and office managers constantly seek ways to improve and optimize the waiting experience.

Customer flow management aims to make visitor intake and navigation more efficient. An effective customer flow management system maximizes efficiency by appropriately organizing its clientele in a timely manner. So how can implementing user-friendly, scalable technology streamline this task? Qtrac shows you how.

Defining Guest Management

For many brick-and-mortar locations, productively managing the flow of guests is essential. So what does effective visitor management look like?

To truly understand the goal of a customer flow management system, we take its individual components for exactly what they mean.

  • Customer = whomever you serve
  • Flow = movement
  • Management = monitoring and directing
  • System = formal interface or software

Combine these definitions, and the result perfectly captures the purpose of such a system. The objective is to monitor and direct the movement of whomever you serve using a formal interface. Depending on their goals, some organizations may require multiple subsystems to sufficiently serve their clientele.

A customer queue management system is one great example of customer flow management technology. Businesses and offices employ a queue management system to facilitate a positive waiting experience for their guests. This objective falls under the scope of a customer flow management system.

Understanding Visitor Management Systems

Depending on their strategies, organizations use various management systems to control and direct customer flow. To help determine the ideal method for you, we draw some parallels between customer flow management and a queue management system:

Queues = Waiting

If you’ve ever waited your turn for something, you waited in a queue. These circumstances include but aren’t limited to:

  • Physical lines (e.g., store check-out or amusement park rides)
  • Virtual waiting rooms (e.g., accessing concert tickets or video games online)
  • Lobbies (e.g., the doctor’s office or Department of Motor Vehicles)

Queue management systems leverage applicable technology to manage waiting lines, virtually or in person. For many companies, an effective queue management system is the backbone of their business model because it facilitates the majority of the services they provide. For example, Ticketmaster primarily distributes online event admission, so a wide-scale virtual queue management system fulfills its main business goal.

For other organizations, however, customer flow is more dynamic and requires a multifaceted approach. Such models demand customer flow management systems with more flexibility that automate priorities based on current needs or environment. Take Amazon as an example—their various departments offer different services depending on what the shopper needs, therefore requiring a more complex flow management system.

Think Bigger Picture

Queuing is only one aspect of managing customer flow. Consider some other ways in which certain businesses work to control and regulate the flow of visitors:

  • Reception
  • Navigation
  • Information
  • Interaction
  • Translation
  • Verification
  • Documentation
  • Inspection

All of these responsibilities fall under the umbrella of customer flow management. Consider the service or services that your guests wait to receive. Does your organization require a better process for one or more of the above tasks? If so, think past basic queue management and examine the bigger picture for how you can improve in these areas. An integrated customer flow management system could be the ideal solution.

Varying Business or Office Needs

As we’ve learned, even organizations in the same industry may serve completely different audiences. For this reason, prioritizing the specific needs of clientele when determining how to best manage customer flow is a must.

As your organization grows and develops, so will the needs and demands of your visitors. Leverage their feedback as often as possible to ensure peak satisfaction throughout your company’s journey. Qtrac systems offer different follow-up communication features as a tool to gather these responses.

And don’t be afraid to try something new that others in your industry aren’t yet doing. Take this example: In the early 1990s, the first self-service checkout terminals appeared in grocery stores, and the change didn’t go over well initially. It took decades to work out the kinks, but now nearly every supermarket and convenience store offers self-service checkout, and the popularity of self-checkout continues to grow.

4 Advantages of a Customer Flow Management System

What is the queuing strategy for your business model? Regardless of your current method, you can probably find a way to improve this procedure, if only slightly. Can it be safer? Faster? More enjoyable? Believe it or not, small changes in your flow management can make a big difference. Consider the following benefits of an updated queuing system:

1. Provides Value to Visitors

  • Streamlined check-in and check-out processes save them time.
  • Optimizing wait times reduces customer stress.
  • Custom integrations provide valuable information and resources.

2. Synchronizes Your Company

  • Shared databases allow universal access to important data.
  • Cross-system integrations standardize procedures at different branches.
  • Communicate efficiently across distances and time zones.

3. Offers Scalability & Customization

  • Customize needs and offerings by location.
  • The software adapts to organizations of any size, scale, or sector.
  • Versatile technology applies to businesses in any industry:

4. Improves Productivity

  • Automation of repetitive tasks frees up time for employees.
  • Staff can focus on boosting the customer experience.
  • Better use of resources and bandwidth helps avoid understaffing.

Integration Potential

With all these advantages, you may conclude that implementing such a system for your organization requires an operations overhaul. However, Qtrac makes integrating this technology with your existing systems surprisingly simple.

Your new and improved customer flow management system doesn’t need to uproot regular procedures. By working based on the individual needs of the organization or business, we can ensure a smooth transition that serves your customer base and team members.

Achieving Peak Customer Flow

The bottom line: Successful, people-centric operations make constant improvements to better manage customer flow. You can’t necessarily perfect your customer flow management system, but you can always strengthen its ability to provide outstanding guest experiences.

A queue management system is a modern method for bettering customer flow and thus the overall experience. By offering technical support, rigorous software updates, and comprehensive training, this technology streamlines not only customer flow management but also internal operations.

Boost experiences, optimize service, and avoid additional costs with Qtrac digital management software.

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