5 Questions to Help You Craft Your Queue Management Strategy

April 18, 2016Perry Kuklin

The waiting line is an important part of any business in which customers must wait to be served. Therefore, the steps to create, sustain, and manage your queues are equally important. So, how do you go about forming a queue management strategy? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you have the right line formation?

Start here. Your line formation is one of the simplest things you can consider to not only establish efficient operations, but to keep customers happy.

Many operations are turning to a single-line, multiple-server approach. This line formation is proven to reduce actual wait times while making customers feel like they are being treated fairly, because they are! It is the only way to ensure a first come, first served method of helping customers. Others feel the multi-server line is the best approach to serve the distinct needs of different customer groups. Still others are choosing to get rid of the line all together.

Carefully consider what line formation is best for your customers.

2. Do your customers “enjoy” the waiting experience?

Can a wait really be enjoyable? Typically, when we think of waiting we picture long frustrating time frames that are a waste of our valuable time. But your waiting line does not have to conform to these perceptions.

By entertaining, informing, and distracting your customers from the wait at hand, you can actually turn a frustrating experience into something far more enjoyable. Examples include: merchandising displays and digital screens showcasing promotions and videos that keep customers entertained, busy, and most of all not focused on the wait at hand.

What will you do to create an enjoyable waiting experience?

3. Would a virtual queue work for you and your customers?

Consider eliminating the physical queue. Depending on your type of business and the physical layout of your location, you may be in the position to take advantage of the benefits of a virtual queuing system.

One of these benefits includes eliminating the physical space a queue occupies. Replace the space with chairs so guests can relax while they wait. Or utilize merchandising displays so customers can continue to shop.

Ultimately, a virtual queue can reduce the stress of waiting because customers are free to wait where they please instead of being constricted to a line. Can you implement a virtual queue?

4. Are you tapping into mobile?

Mobile is a serious queuing tool to consider as businesses that successfully incorporate mobile options often show higher customer satisfaction ratings.

Mobile options include: the ability for customers to register for their place in line, communicate directly with service agents, and receive text alerts during their waiting period. Mobile goes hand-in-hand with virtual queuing and combined they are an attractive and versatile strategy for businesses and their customers.

5. Is your business suited for pre-scheduled waits?

Pre-scheduled waits puts the power of waiting in the hands of your customers because it helps relieve the pressure of not knowing what to expect. If your customers have to ask themselves will this errand take me five minutes or an hour, you may lose them to the unknown because they don’t have an hour to wait. Pre-scheduling lets them arrive on time for their service while they feel as if their time is respected, not wasted. They can even postpone their spot if they are running a little late or reschedule if needed.

Are you ready to craft your queue management strategy? Remember to consider your customer at all times presenting them with the options and opportunities that make them feel like they are in control of their own wait. These same tactics not only help you increase customer satisfaction, but can create greater queuing efficiency.

How will you take your first steps towards a successful queue management strategy?

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