Your queue seems to be moving along well, until seemingly out of the blue, service begins to lag, causing frustration for everyone waiting to be served. Perhaps the source of the slow-down is an unusually long service for a particular customer or maybe it is an insufficient number of agents or cashiers to meet the demands of current foot traffic. Whatever the case may be, how can you stay on top of what’s happening in your queue to avoid potential lags and continually deliver exceptional service?
The answer, of course, is to be more proactive. But the question, of course, is how?
When you're proactive in your approach to queue management, you are prepared to handle the ebbs and flow of customer foot traffic. You’re able to make accurate staffing decisions, ensure your queues are set up to handle traffic volume, and avoid having to spend your day putting out fires.
So, how can you get there? Here are four ways:
Knowing how to meet customer volume with staffing and open stations requires that you first determine the sort of “people volume” you’re working with. Naturally, knowing how many customers you’re responsible for at any one point can give a ballpark idea as to what is necessary to meet that demand. People counting technology can be surprisingly easy to implement and can compute, in real-time and even predictively, how many customers are (or will be) coming into the queue.
Your business will likely experience a natural cycle of peak foot traffic and slow periods. Historical data can identify traffic trend particularities to identify when to expect lulls versus highest demand. This insight is powerful in its ability to optimize business operations to align with seasonality and other fluctuations.
From a quality and resource standpoint, it is not ideal to be overstaffed or understaffed. With foot traffic insights in your toolbelt, you can identify optimal service allocation with accuracy and confidence. With just the right amount of staff on the floor and at the register or service counter, you can act on your mission to provide the highest possible quality of service.
One of the best opportunities to proactively manage queues is to be alerted of potential problems before they unfold. With pattern recognition, you can identify when there are backups caused by an abnormally long queue, traffic blockage, or customer surges. The root of the problem could even be poor wayfinding or an inefficient shop layout that causes customers to collect in one area of the store. If handled well, you might be able to resolve the issue before customers even realize that there is one.
When evaluating queue analytics technology, be sure to prioritize solutions that offer historical data to identify recurring trends as well as real-time insights to allow you to take appropriate action. To help you stay in control at all times, the system will also ideally allow you to set custom thresholds for customer flow or KPI events, such as maximum acceptable waiting periods, and monitor real-time data to automatically deploy digital alerts if these values are surpassed. To get started with adding proactive queue management to your service strategy, explore Lavi Industries’ industry-leading queue analytics solutions.