7 Resolutions for a Better Queuing Experience in 2017

January 12, 2017Perry Kuklin

There’s nothing like a brand new year to assess what can be even better. As we gear resolutions toward quality improvements, it is essential to keep customers in mind. Shorter waits along with more interesting and convenient queues can turn the dreaded experience of waiting into an enjoyable one your customers appreciate. Improving your queue experience can also offer benefits related to efficiencies, maximizing sales, and even building customer loyalty. Below are seven resolutions to consider as you take your queue to the next level this year.

1.   Keep Customers in the Know

Known waits feel shorter than unknown waits. So don't keep customers guessing about how long they'll be waiting in your line. Whether you're operating a virtual queue or your customers are standing behind a line of customers, let them know what the estimated wait time actually is. You can keep customers informed via signage placed in the line or through your mobile app or virtual queuing system. They might be surprised to find what looks like a 10 minute wait is really only 5. By keeping them from guessing, customers are less likely to overestimate how long they've been waiting or will need to wait, and are more likely to see their purchase through.

2.   Try a Single Line Queue

Change can be tough. It can be hard to imagine turning a long-standing multi-line/multi-server queue into a single-line version. But the rewards might surprise you. With clear and encouraging communication to your customers, they just might embrace (and appreciate) the benefits as much as you will.

Here's what you can expect: A single line queue is proven to be faster than a multi-line approach. Actual average wait times decrease as the system facilitates faster service. In a single line, multi-server waiting system, if a slow-mover holds up a single point-of-transaction, the line continues to flow to the other service agents. The wait feels fair to everyone, and customers can take focus off choosing which line to be in and put their attention on in-queue merchandise or entertainment. Single line queue offers multiple advantages.

3.   Give Virtual Queuing a Look

One way to delight customers is to add value through convenience. With virtual queuing you can respect your customer’s time, allowing them to do what they want during their wait time. A virtual queue also offers convenience by providing mobile or other electronic methods to check in and be updated about the wait, right where they already are - on their device. Looking at a virtual queue could satisfy just what your customers are looking for - convenience, freedom and efficiency.

4.   Bring Customer Feedback into the Loop

Beyond the bottom line indicators, how do you know if your efforts to meet customer needs are hitting the mark? The best way is to go straight to the source and ask your customers. By including customer feedback tools in your service system you can provide your customers with a voice and increase the likelihood that your service will be exactly what they are looking for and needing. By 2020, 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience[1]. To create the highest level of win/win/win between your company/staff/and customers, include all of them as you design your products, services and systems. With feedback you can set everyone up to win this year.

5.   Make the Most of Your In-Queue Merchandising Strategy

Merchandising in the queue offers a multitude of benefits. From reducing perceived wait times to boosting impulse sales, there are many reasons to make in-queue merchandising a priority. But are you maximizing the potential by taking advantage of the best merchandising displays, fixtures, and signage to present your products in their best light? Weigh your current approach against the newest display options that include cascading bowls, baskets, and much more.

6.   Put the Power of the Queue into Your Customer’s Hands

What if your customers could text ahead to save their place in a virtual queue? And how about if you could send an automated text to confirm their wait time and/or let them know when their time to be served is approaching? These abilities and much more are possible when you put your queue management system in the palm of your customers' hands via mobile queuing. Check it out for a surprising twist to your 2017 queuing strategy!

7.   Give Your Queuing Equipment a Once-Over

To keep your customers safe and to keep your reputation positive, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance of your fixtures and equipment. If you haven’t included your queue system components in a maintenance audit recently, it is high time to prioritize a once-over. The time, energy, and money invested in keeping your fixtures and equipment up to date may seem like an invisible investment - and that’s just the point. Keep operations smooth and seamless without disruption and let your customers know you’re current and reliable by having a spotless environment rather than a worn out or unpredictable one.

To help you implement any of these solutions or for more ideas on how to make the most of your customers’ queue experience, contact a Lavi queue management expert anytime. Our resolution is to help you make the most of your queue.

[1] SuperOffice Customer Experience Statistics

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