4 Signs Your Queue Needs an Update

June 03, 2015Perry Kuklin

Once a queue has been set up, it still needs to be maintained. There are many elements that are responsible for making a queue operate seamlessly, or fail spectacularly. Design, organization, staffing, signage – each piece of the puzzle should be thoughtfully considered and monitored in order to keep customers happy and keep the line moving. Here are four signs that make it clear your queue is in need of some TLC.

1. Upset customers

The last thing any business wants is disgruntled customers. A poorly designed or mis-managed queue can create unhappy customers in an instant. Do customers complain about the line being too long? Are they confused about where to enter the queue, where to exit, and where to wait? Are customers irritated because they feel like they have to search for a better, shorter, or faster-moving queue? It’s time to consider how your queue is put together and determine what elements need to be removed – or added – in order to keep your customers happy and loyal.

2. Long waits

Both real and perceived waits are essential to factor into effective queue management. If the actual wait is too long, that’s a problem. If the perceived wait is too long, that’s equally concerning. Are your servers taking too long to tend to each customer? Is the queue inadequately staffed? Can the line accommodate the ebb and flow of customers? If your queue fails to meet your customer expectations for waiting time, it’s time for you to consider a queue update.

3. Crowds at the register

If there are too many customers waiting to be served and an unclear method of waiting in line, customers may feel the need to pile up at the register. Crowds at the register is a clear sign that your queue needs some help. It’s time to give people a clear path to the waiting line, a place to wait for the next agent or cashier, and something other than a crowded mess.

4. Stressed employees

Service agents take the brunt of the grief from customers who have been waiting too long or have experienced a less than ideal wait. Unhappy customers, in turn, can easily create unhappy employees. Likewise, when employees lack the support or insight they need to be able to predict and manage the ebb and flow of customers, stress levels can rise. If your employees are exhibiting signs of stress due to the length, organization, or flow of your queues, it’s time to consider an update. If your queue isn’t working, you’ll know it and your customers will too. So look for these signs then talk to an expert about how best to update your queue.

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