What is a Virtual Order Queue?
Virtual order queues are reshaping the way brands approach customer service.
They can make lives a lot easier for employees and employers, too. Virtual order queues can enhance a company’s efficiency and even help it increase profits.
That’s a lot for one tech solution to provide.
To fully understand the power of virtual order queues, let’s get down to basics. What are virtual order queues, and how do they work?
Here, we’ll provide practical definitions, highlight the benefits you can unlock with virtual order queues, and more!
Virtual Order Queues, Defined
A virtual order queue is an electronic system that manages the flow of customer orders in a business.
That’s the simple definition. Of course, today’s best virtual queue providers include a lot more perks in their services—but we’ll get to those in a moment.
Customers check in to a business’s virtual order queuing system using their smart devices. Once it’s the customer’s turn for service, they receive a notification alerting them to interact with your staff.
Depending on the systems your business already has in place and the needs of your target audience, you can leverage several different types of virtual order queues. Some of these include:
- Mobile app-based virtual order queues, or queues that require customers to interact with a specific app on their devices
- Website-based virtual order queues, or queues that receive customer info and submissions through a website
- Text-based virtual order queues, or queues that customers can text to join and receive SMS notifications from
- Email-based virtual order queues, or queues customers email to join
There are also virtual queue services that combine aspects of each—for example, queues that don’t require a specific app and can leverage SMS or push notifications. As you consider your business’s needs, think about the types of features and interactions that would be most helpful for you!
Although virtual queues can seem complex, they’re intuitive in practice. That includes onboarding and setup.
Depending on the type of virtual order queue best for your business, you need only a few things to get started: a computer or tablet to set up the system, an internet connection, and maybe a display screen or monitor … and that’s it!
How Do Virtual Queues Work?
Here’s a quick overview of how virtual queues work:
When a customer realizes that they want to interact with your brick-and-mortar business—say to place an order for pickup or talk to one of your service representatives in person—they’ll do so through your site (or on an app or kiosk, or via email.) This step decreases the chances of your customer showing up at your business, balking at a 30-person line, and heading back out the door.
When your virtual order queue software receives the customer’s request, your system will assign the customer a place in your business’s virtual line.
Crucially for everyone involved, your customer does not actually have to stand or wait in a physical line.
After your customer joins the virtual line, they will receive a notification about how long their wait will likely be. They can check the line at any time to receive status updates, which helps them plan their day or their errands accordingly instead of having to waste hours of their day in a waiting room.
At the same time, the virtual order queue system alerts the business. This helps businesses plan out their operations accordingly to manage resources and reduce stress on employees.
When the customer’s order or request is ready, the customer will receive a notification. They can then pick up their order or talk to your staff, and, once that’s done, the process is complete.
Virtual order queues offer clear benefits for both businesses and customers. For example, these systems reduce a lot of stress, frustration, and wasted time for employees and customers alike.
How Does Virtual Queue Management Benefit My Business?
Improved customer experience, reduced wait times, and increased operational efficiency, oh my! The business benefits you can count on after checking out a new way for customers to check in are profound.
But the true business benefits only start with upgrading the waiting-in-line experience or providing businesses with a simple way to meet customers where they are in ways that might have been difficult otherwise (e.g., providing multilingual support).
Virtual queue systems give businesses key insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and experiences. If you learn from and leverage this data, you can level up the services and goods your business provides to give your customers what they really need.
This can help you manage resources better. It can also help you achieve more orders and sales more efficiently, which helps you drive more significant revenue growth.
Because your customers are more satisfied with your revamped, reduced-wait ordering experience, they’ll be more likely to become repeat customers. Your brand will be perceived a lot better. That also translates to more profit potential!
Let’s See Them in Action: Virtual Queue Use Cases
Virtual order queues may sound nice in theory, but do they really work for real businesses?
Absolutely. We’ve seen virtual queues transform the day-to-day operations of businesses in wide-ranging industries, including …
- Education: Virtual order queues can help increase the efficiency of a variety of campus processes, from password resets to registration to bookstore checkout and more.
- Banking: When your customers need to speak with a teller, they can grab a spot in line virtually—not in your drive-through or in your lobby area.
- Telecom: Looking for ways to provide more personal service? Virtual queues can help you tailor your queue system to your client’s needs and glean valuable insights about what those needs are.
- Vets/animal hospitals: From prescheduling appointments to sending reminders and even allowing nervous patients (and their owners!) to skip the waiting room, virtual queues can make the entire vet experience a lot easier for everyone.
- Government: Virtual queues can make government offices more secure and efficient for personnel, families, and civilians. Whether you run a military base or a DMV, shorter lines and less-stressed staff are always a good thing!
- Retail: No matter what type of product you’re selling, virtual order queues for retail businesses not only help you serve your customers more efficiently, but the data you collect can give you an edge in creating a flawless customer experience all around!
As we mentioned above, the benefits of virtual order queues don’t stop there. Because you’re adding time and energy back into your day by managing queues more efficiently/in a more hands-off manner, you can spend more time on real value-adding projects for your business.
Ready to Level Up Your Company’s Customer Queue Experience?
If you’re interested in accessing all the benefits of virtual order queues, we’re here to help. At Qtrac, we’re dedicated to offering up-to-the-minute industry info and stellar, innovative, reliable virtual queue services.
When you’re ready to see what benefits virtual order queues can bring to your business, schedule a demo with our team, or chat with one of our friendly service representatives.
And, if you’re interested in seeing even more clearly why virtual order queues are a must for your business, read our guide Why Virtually Queued Customers Buy More.
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