Virtual queuing allows you to manage service queues and optimize customer flow while taking the “line” out of waiting. Customers register for their place in a virtual queue, and the system monitors and manages the line, calling forward the next customer automatically.
When you first introduce a virtual queue, it’s common for customers to show some resistance or uncertainty about the new process. Change can be hard for people. You can smooth the transition and realize the benefits of virtual queuing sooner by having a plan in place.
Here are three ways to help customers enjoy a smooth transition to a new virtual queuing system:
A few weeks before your virtual queuing system goes live, begin educating customers. Let them know what’s coming and how your store or service area may change as a result. This “head’s up” allows customers to reset their expectations and avoid being suddenly thrown off by a new queuing experience.
One way to give your customers notice is through signage in the existing queue that announces the new change as well as what the virtual queuing experience will entail and when it will happen. Consider running an explainer video to help customers visually digest what to expect in the near future.
Take the time to demonstrate how to use the new queuing system. For the first few weeks, you can station employees to help customers use the new system at check-in kiosks. As a more long-term solution, you can post a sign or short video that breaks down the steps involved.
If you’re using physical check-in kiosks, it is also important to make the stations easy to find. You can use two retractable belt stanchions, universally recognized as the “cue to a queue” to guide customers to the check-in.
Resistance can happen whenever you alter something your customers are used to. This applies to anything in your business, including virtual queuing. To counter this, make the benefits known by informing customers why you’ve made the switch. Highlight benefits such as the ability to pre-schedule a wait and to spend time relaxing instead of standing in line.
Virtual queuing can certainly help facilitate a smoother customer experience. However, the way you introduce your new virtual queue should be just as smooth. Strive to make the transition to digital easy by keeping customers informed about what to expect, how it works, and the value of switching to virtual queue management.