636801208109686249636801208109686249636801208109686249636801208109686249 3 Practices of Perfect Queue Management

3 Practices of Perfect Queue Management

June 13, 2013Perry Kuklin

Businesses that focus on improving their queues will see a resulting improvement in both employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

Understanding the logic behind queue management is often the greatest key to success: It’s about what your business needs from an operational standpoint, but it’s equally about what your patrons deserve from an “experience.” Businesses across industries – from retail to banking to healthcare to stadiums to airports – must deal with customer queuing, and it’s a significant factor that impacts the quality of the customer, shopper, visitor, ticket holder, patient, or passenger experience. Businesses that focus on improving their queues will see a resulting improvement in both employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Here are three sides of the equation to consider:

#1Manage customer flow to reduce actual wait times and improve employee productivity.

Consider both sides of the counter – the wait time for customers and the productivity of employees – and you’ll find plenty of areas of improvement. Agent or employee productivity is improved with solutions to facilitate customer hailing and re-queuing. Wait times are cut down as a result of these agent improvements and also as a result of solutions like station lights that efficiently point customers to open registers or audio cues that automatically call customers to the right service point. Queuing formations, such as single-line queuing, also inherently reduce average wait times.

#2Assess the psychological impact of queuing, specific to your facility, in order to reduce perceived wait times while promoting and cross-selling your product portfolio.

There is the operational side of queue management, and there is also the psychological side. Operationally, there are queue adjustments that can be made to make a line move faster. But, just as important – if not more so – is a person’s perception of how long they’re waiting. By implementing distractions – for example, LCD screens displaying videos or promotions, in-line displays for merchandising or reading materials – you can help people feel like their wait is shorter than it actually is. Smart businesses look to both operational and psychological methods in order to make the waiting line experience more satisfying.

#3Generate metrics for improving productivity and optimizing staff levels.

Rather than waiting for customers to complain or walk away, smart queue management involves proactive monitoring of the queue. Today there are affordable solutions for people-counting, service-time monitoring, and real-time queue analytics to help managers catch problems before they get out of control. Managers can anticipate heavy traffic flow to the queue and immediately deploy staff when wait times are approaching an acceptable limit.   Customers recognize good treatment just as quickly as they recognize poor treatment. The organization and management of your queue influences how your customers view you, while also impacting the effectiveness of your employees. Speak with a Lavi expert to determine the perfect queue management for your business.

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