One-size-fits-all may have some applications, but queue management certainly isn’t one. Single line queue? Automated call-forward queue? Virtual queue? With so many ways to approach your waiting line strategies, it can be difficult to choose the right solution.
Virtual queuing can be a powerful approach in the right situation. However, what sort of customer experiences benefit most from virtual queuing? Here are four ideal use cases:
Take, for example, jewelry shopping. It is typically a very personal experience that involves a lengthy and emotional decision-making process. An ideal experience would include a sales associate who becomes intimately aware of your customers’ needs to help them find the perfect piece of jewelry. Imagine the case of picking out an engagement ring, for example. The decision is a big, emotional one and will likely require an extensive one-on-one service to try out many different styles and cuts of the rings available. It could even take multiple trips to the jeweler to make the big decision.
In cases like these, customers are there for the experience alone and it would detract from their visit to walk into the store and face a long wait in line. Instead, virtual queuing allows the couple to visit the store and skip the queue altogether. They can register for service online to be there only for the time of their booking, or they can sign up at a kiosk to know their wait time and return for that or browse the shop until their service time.
Many professional services require the one-on-one attention of a specialist and each service takes time. Here, virtual queuing can be the perfect choice. A walk-in hair salon, personal banking, and walk-in medical clinics are examples that involve customers waiting for their turn to have the uninterrupted attention of a professional. Virtual queuing can allow customers to pre-schedule their wait via a mobile app, or check in upon arrival and spend their wait time relaxing or running other errands.
There are a number of opportunities to use virtual queuing as a way to enhance the customer experience in food hospitality. Restaurants, for example, can use virtual queuing with pre-scheduled arrivals (reservations) to manage customer expectations, reduce balking and reneging, and better anticipate an influx of customers.
Cafes can also use virtual queuing. Starbucks illustrates the value of using a mobile app to make online orders and skip the line altogether. This can be a great way to manage queues and deliver an exceptional customer experience at particularly challenging times, such as during peak volume.
Buying online and picking up in-store is fast becoming a popular solution for shoppers who want maximum convenience without the cost of shipping. Consider integrating virtual queuing with your ecommerce platform and allow customers to send an alert via their mobile device when they have arrived to pick up their purchase. Your customer can browse or simply find parking and walk to the pick-up counter while your staff gathers their merchandise from inventory, resulting in virtually no wait time for the customer.
Would removing the physical queue enhance your company’s customer experience? If you sell a personalized service, need to plan ahead, or run a high risk of customer abandonment due to long wait times, it may be worth looking into virtual queuing. Learn about digital queuing solutions here.