The Ultimate Checklist for a Well-Run Queue

March 31, 2015Perry Kuklin

Your queue has the potential to add value to your business. Of course, the opposite is also true. A well-run queue is more productive and efficient. A disorganized, poorly-managed queue can turn customers away and tarnish your brand’s reputation. Is your queue well-structured? Do you know how your service agents are performing? Are your customers satisfied with the time they spend waiting? Have you taken advantage of opportunities to increase impulse sales in the queue? Take a run through this checklist to uncover some of the best ways to improve your queue.  

Planning

Space – Allow enough space for the queue. Consider customers and their baggage, carts, or other items. The spacing of your queue can also determine how customers view the wait - a full queue can be a turnoff, while a queue with space to spare invites customers.
Queue layout - Use retractable belt stanchions to create a flexible queue layout or solid barriers or panels for a more permanent installation.
Single line queue - A single queue leading to multiple checkpoints/service agents is generally faster than a separate line for each service point. Explore a single line configuration for your queue if faster service is your goal.
Well-constructed path - Create a queue that is easy to follow. Straight lines are simple, but a serpentine line may be needed to fit the most customers.
Shortcuts – During slower periods ensure your queue can be shortened up as well. Stanchions with retractable belts make it easy to lengthen or shorten the line on a dime.
Clear cue to the queue – The universal symbol for “the line forms here” are two retractable belt stanchions. Place these at the head of the queue and for even more clarity, add signage to the top of the stanchion post.
Defined waiting point - Tell customers where to wait for the next available agent or cashier. Post-top signage or floor graphics can accomplish this.

Queue Structure

Stanchions – Stanchions, also known as posts, are the lynchpins of an effective queue. Most are available in a variety styles, colors, finishes, and heights that will complement your business and fit your queueing needs.
Gridwalls - Simple and lightweight solutions for displaying and selling items in your queue, gridwalls attach to two stanchions and hold a variety of accessories including hooks, baskets, and shelves.
Slatwalls - For a more versatile in-queue product display, slatwalls are compatible with solid shelves, baskets, hooks, signage, and more.
Rigid rails - Create a sleek and secure queue with rigid rails. Use with or without signage to complement your business.
Retractable belts – Simple and versatile queue barriers that expand with your queue. Retractable belts are integrated into a stanchion or are available as a wall-mounted option.
Signage panels - Complement your queue with hinged frame sign panels, slim frames, rigid rail signage, or end cap signage that highlights your brand or product.
In-line table - Where needed, add a slim in-line table for customers to use as a writing surface.

Queue Signage

Tall banners - Draw attention to your business message with vertical banners. Tall banners will draw the attention of patrons near and far.
Post-top signage – When needing to direct customers in and out of a queue, consider a simple and sleek post-top signage solution.
Side-mounted Post Signage – Sleek, eye-catching signage runs the length of the post, offering a highly visible branding and wayfinding platform.

Merchandising Accessories

Shelves – Use a shelf to cleanly display larger merchandising products in the queue. Be sure to keep shelves organized and not cluttered as customers will interact with this merchandise as they wait.
Hooks - Perfect for displaying different kinds of merchandise, from t-shirts to key chains.
Bowls - For a simple in-queue merchandising solution try bowls. Most come in an acrylic or wire basket material that are perfect for small impulse purchase merchandise.

Technology

Digital signage - Reduce perceived wait times by as much as 35% and increase impulse sales with digital media in the queue. By providing entertainment and product promotions, you can reduce the perceived wait time and boost sales.
Call-forward queuing - Increase efficiency by streamlining the way agents hail customers. A simple wireless remote at the agent’s desk prompts customers with visual and audio signals via a digital display.
Virtual queuing – Consider doing away with the waiting line altogether! Create a pleasant waiting experience by allowing customers to continue their shopping while waiting for service. When a customer’s turn in line is up, they are alerted via a ticket number, digital display, or text message.
People counting - Manage your queue with greater efficiency and effectiveness while improving the customer experience. With people counting technology you can measure and monitor the queue and provide managers with real-time data to head off problems before they occur.
Merchandising analytics - Bring web-style analytics to your front-end merchandising. Using people counting technology, combine queue data with SKU sales to maximize impressions, optimize dwell times, and increase sales.

We hope this checklist will help you create a better queue for your business. Need help planning your approach? Talk to a Lavi queue management expert.

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