Queue Management Technology Every Retailer Should Consider

May 20, 2014Perry Kuklin

Once a customer is in line, a retailer’s work is still not done – the waiting line is truly where the crux of a retail experience takes place. The queue is the love-it-or-leave-it moment where a customer chooses to stay in line (ideally, with plans to return in the future), or chooses to depart the store completely with no intention of ever going back. Technology, communication, and action can keep customers happy and make them more willing to wait. You can ease or even eliminate customer frustration while simultaneously strengthening customer acquisition and retention with any of these queue management technologies.

Call-Forward Electronic Queuing

With call-forward electronic queuing, retailers can give customers the opportunity to daydream, enjoy the distraction of in-line merchandising, or focus on engaging promotional messaging on display in the line. Ideal for single-line queue configurations, the call-forward technology optimizes customer throughput while eliminating agent down time. Through LCD displays, station lights, or audio cues, customers are hailed to the next available service station, increasing customer flow and service efficiency and decreasing perceived wait times. 

Virtual Queuing

The members of our modern, wired society don’t want to be encumbered by a line. Give customers the freedom to wander around and do as they please with their time through a cloud-based virtual queuing system that eliminates the physical line, while also reducing perceived and actual wait times. Retailers can allow customers to register for their “place” in line via an on-site kiosk or through the internet via their smartphone or PC. Virtual queuing systems notify customers of their turn via in-store LCD displays or with text messaging,. Customer satisfaction increases with the virtual queuing method, and retailers can leverage the technology to add customer touchpoints via digital signage, in-store kiosks, text-messaging, and more.  

Centralized Media Management

The implementation of digital displays is only as good as the management system behind it. Centralized media management offers the ability to control, change, and customize signage as appropriate, in not just one retail location but across hundreds of displays in various regions.  

real-time queue management

Real-Time Analytics

Knowing which queuing methods and technologies are appropriate for a specific retail location is crucial to business success. And being able to act immediately if a queue is stalled, slow, or too long makes it possible to maintain customer loyalty. Real-time queue analytics allow queue managers to be proactive about their queuing techniques by tracking data and reporting it immediately. Real-time intelligence can alert managers to variations in the queue condition so that corrective action can be taken immediately. These solutions are also valuable in predicting wait times so adjustments can be made to the queue before waits become a problem.  

Business Benefits of Queue Management Technology

Queue management technology has multiple benefits for managers, service agents, and customers:

  • Service efficiency is increased. Queue management technology that enables service agents to hail customers more quickly can increase average service efficiency by 35 percent.
  • Wait times are decreased. There can be a 10 to 30 percent decrease in average customer wait times when queue managers are equipped with technology that allows them to monitor queue performance, reallocate resources as necessary, and prevent service breakdowns.
  • Perceived wait times are decreased. How long customers think they’re waiting is just as important as how long they’re actually waiting. Queue management technology like digital signage keeps customers busy and distracted and can lower their perceived wait time by as much as 40 percent.
  • Impulse purchases are increased. The combination of digital signage and in-queue merchandising can increase impulse purchases by a massive 400 percent.

The business benefits of queue management technology in a retail environment can impact an entire store’s success by keeping lines efficiently monitored and, as a result, keeping customers happy.

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