Leveraging Virtual Queuing Data: What Type of Metrics Measure Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is so important to success. Consider these two statistics from Salesforce:
- Eighty percent of consumers value experience as much as the products and services they’re purchasing.1
- Two-thirds of customers expect businesses to understand “their unique needs and expectations.”2
The challenge is figuring out what type of metrics accurately measure customer satisfaction. Virtual queuing offers a surprising way to generate actionable customer experience data while improving the experience itself.
Beyond the Usual Metrics
Many businesses rely on the established standards—the generic customer satisfaction (CSAT) score and the proprietary Net Promoter Score (NPS)—to measure their customers’ happiness. These metrics remain important, and if you’re using them, you should continue to do so.
However, CSAT and NPS come with drawbacks—notably, you’re relying on people to participate in surveys to generate the data you’re seeking. Unless a customer is overly annoyed or wildly impressed with the service they received, they’ll sometimes pass on the survey. You miss out on the experience of everyone in the middle range. These people have important opinions that they aren’t sharing, which can skew the data.
Virtual queuing supplements customer surveys by tracking customer behavior. If someone in a virtual queue interacts with the system, takes less or more time at the point of service, or simply leaves from their place in line, the software notes that. All that data adds up to provide a powerful view of what customers are feeling and how they’re acting.
What Type of Queuing Metrics Should You Use to Measure Customer Satisfaction?
There are no absolutes when considering what type of metrics to help measure and analyze customer satisfaction. The combination that works best for one organization might not be best for yours. Much depends on your operations, your customers, and your goals. That said, the following metrics are a good place to start when crafting your strategy:
Estimated Wait Time and Actual Wait Time
Actual wait time is a simple metric: the number of minutes between the moment a customer enters the virtual queue and the point of service. Estimated wait time is how many minutes the system calculates that a customer can expect to wait, based on factors such as the number of people in the virtual queue, the services they need, and the number of employees available.
Actual wait time gives you an idea of the efficiency of your operation; estimated wait time lets you see what customers are seeing and, possibly, reacting positively or negatively to. Comparing the metrics can show the discrepancies and deliver insight on what might not be working with your processes.
Customers enter a virtual queue by scanning a QR code, sending a text message, entering their information into a kiosk, or getting help from an employee. Once in the system, a customer’s information remains in the system and can then identify the next time they use the queue and what services they might need. Tracking repeat visits measures the effectiveness of not only the virtual queue but also customer satisfaction and your entire operation.
Interactions with the Queuing System
A key goal of virtual queuing is to make waits more tolerable for the customer, even if those waits aren’t necessarily shorter (which often, they are). The best platforms allow customers to interact with staff and the system. These interactions can be measured and analyzed to determine several things, including:
- How often customers are interacting
- What information they’re providing and what questions they’re asking
- What they need help with
- What triggers their interactions (e.g., service requests, waits that exceed initial estimates)
Ideally, you want customers to use the queuing system to the fullest, but a lack of interactions isn’t necessarily bad. For example, low wait times may mean fewer interactions but still suggest a better customer experience.
Engaging with Digital Promotions
Virtual queuing solutions that let you send digital promotions to customers’ smartphones offer a great opportunity for increased sales and engagement—which, of course, can be measured. For example, a coupon for a dollar off a drink at the coffee kiosk encourages customers to spend more, and if they redeem the offer, their wait turns into revenue. System metrics can tell you which promotions resonate with customers and at which part of their waiting journey.
Digital appointment scheduling allows customers, at their convenience, to set their own appointments with your business. Their use and reuse of the system offer another metric that not only measures engagement but also can inform your operation’s staffing, training, hours of business, and more.
Interactions After Customers Leave the Business
As already stated, a customer in a virtual queuing system stays in the system after they’ve received service. You might choose to send digital promotions afterward or links to surveys for customers to describe their experience. Or, if customers have questions later, they may ask them by returning to the website they were previously accessing on their smartphones. All these interactions can be turned into data that provides additional intelligence on the customer experience.
Customers Who Abandon the Queue
Even for the most effective virtual queues and most efficient operations, some customers will enter the queue but abandon their place in line before receiving service. Measuring when and why this happens is essential for improving the customer experience. The data can tell you:
- The average time before a customer leaves
- What estimated time to wait most often led to a customer leaving
- Whether revised estimated wait times were a factor
- What days and times of day were most prone to abandonment
- What interactions (or lack thereof) most often resulted in a customer leaving
Naturally, sales and ROI are metrics you can’t overlook when using a virtual queuing system. Our guide, Why Virtually Queued Customers Buy More, explores how using queue management can help your bottom line.