5 Ways to Know for Sure if Your Queue System is Working

May 18, 2016Perry Kuklin

While each touchpoint you have with your customer is important, your queue (waiting line) represents a unique opportunity. Queue management significantly impacts customer satisfaction, which in turn impacts profitability and long-term business success.

The waiting line is where your customer must choose to stick with you in order to complete a transaction. Do they do it without a second thought? Do they do it with a smile? Do they come away feeling better about your business than when they entered the queue? Are your systems working for your customers, for your employees, for your bottom line? Do you know?

Today it’s critical to monitor and manage the health of your queues. Luckily, there is technology to automate this practice. Queue management technologies allow you to track queue activity, providing real-time and historical data to help you design and adjust operations to maximize customer satisfaction and revenue potential. But what queue performance indicators should you be monitoring?

Here are 5 key performance indicators you should be watching:

#1 Traffic Patterns

Are shoppers migrating toward certain queues or areas of the store? Can they easily locate the queue entrance? Does queue overflow block passageways or store entrances? Intelligent queue management technology can be used to recognize customer flow patterns and events such as a traffic blockage, an unexpected surge of customers or long queues. Footfall analytics can assist in designing a queue flow that responds to real customer behavior, meets their actual needs and ultimately provides a better experience.

#2 Customer Counts

Knowing the number of customers in the queue at any moment in time is a basic metric – and it is one of the most powerful. Counting customers allows managers to plan and utilize resources most efficiently. Real time data can be valuable to immediately address queue conditions. Managers can receive real-time alerts delivered to their mobile devices when wait times or service rates fall out of compliance, allowing them to open additional queues or redirect customers before a problem escalates. Historical traffic trends allow for quality planning and improved resource allocation and productivity levels.

#3 Wait Times

Collectively, Americans spend roughly 37 billion hours a year waiting in lines. As a business responsible for subjecting customers to waiting, think of the difference you can make when that experience is positive and more efficient than expected. Technology can help you to know your specific and average waiting times by time periods, allowing you to, optimize service allocation, predict future wait time, and ultimately reduce your customers wait time.

#4 Arrival Rates

The rate at which customers enter a queue - the arrival rate - is an important indicator of service needs. Monitoring how quickly, or slowly, customers are arriving in real time can allow managers to maximize efficiencies and maintain balance in the queue. Arrival rate, paired with wait times and footfall patterns, can empower you to create and manage a queue that keeps customers happy and employees productive.

#5 Abandonment

When you can identify how many customers turn away, and the associated wait time, queue volume, location, and time of day, you have the power to do something about it. With accurate abandon rate data you can associate and adjust key operations to resolve the concerns that leave customers frustrated enough to walk away.

Intelligent queue management is the process of using technology to measure, monitor, and manage the efficiency and performance of a queue and its corresponding service points. Get more intelligent about your queues and reap the rewards of happier customers, greater productivity, and positive business results.

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