The Anatomy of a Modern Queue

April 06, 2016Perry Kuklin

Your waiting lines are like living, breathing parts of your business. They ebb and flow with customer demand and play a vital role in the entire customer experience. Today’s healthiest waiting lines offer a comfortable and streamlined experience to customers, while also making it easier for employees to serve customers. When it’s your job to make the customer experience the best it can be, it’s important to understand the “anatomy” of a high-functioning, modern queue. Here are four key components:

The Brains

A queue should never be left to fend for itself. Thank goodness for built-in “brains” like queue monitoring technology. Through various technologies, your queue monitoring system collects important data about what’s happening within the parameters of the queue so that you can best manage your waiting customers as well as your service staff. Today’s queue monitoring systems are sophisticated, and their jobs are to let you know how many customers will be around and when so you can staff queues accordingly or open new lines in order to reduce average wait times, increase service productivity, and enhance the overall customer service experience.

The Brawn

When the brains are in place, it helps to have some dependable brawn in the anatomy of your queue, and call-forward queuing takes on that role masterfully. Any queue worth its salt in today’s consumer culture should have long-ago retired the yelling of, “Next customer over here!” Call-forward queuing does a great job of hailing the next person in line to an available service agent. Whether using a single line queue or a virtual queuing system, the next waiting customer can easily find the assigned service agent, creating efficiencies in the queuing process that reduce overall service time and increase productivity.

The Emotions

The majority of your customers likely have their lives wrapped up in their handheld device. So connect with your customers in the way they prefer – through palm-of-hand communication. Text- and mobile-based communications make it possible to follow a customer’s entire journey, which means you have a way to craft an outstanding customer experience at every juncture of their journey, including the waiting line. The first mobile interaction can occur via text, mobile app, or webpage and, in some cases, this touchpoint can be established before your customer ever enters your premises. Using text- and mobile-based communications imparts to your customers a message of, “Hey, we get it, you’re busy. We’re trying to make this relationship as easy, convenient, and productive as possible for you.” And, ideally, it’s a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. Tap straight into the emotional side of waiting by offering customers estimated wait times. When they know how long they’ll be waiting, they are less likely to overestimate their wait, and studies show the wait actually feels shorter when the wait time is known.

The Senses

A diverse and appropriate selection of merchandising options appeals to customers’ sense of touch and sight, enabling them to continue shopping while they wait. Even if they’re in a virtual queue, at some point customers will be called “on deck” to be served, and even if they’re waiting for just a minute, it can pay to include merchandising – that last-minute impulse purchase can be worth its weight in gold. To further encourage customers who still want to shop, entertainment options within the queue can give them a push in the right direction. Not only does digital entertainment – which can include promotions or advertisements for the merchandising that’s right at their fingertips – encourage folks to buy, it keeps customers busy, distracting them from the wait at hand. The anatomy of a queue isn’t complicated, but it is finely tuned. Learn more about the best options for your enterprise. Speak with a Lavi queuing expert today.

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