Customers will only wait so long. And service agents can only work so fast. So, what’s the formula for keeping wait times in check and service rates moving along at a productive rate? Even knowing that customers arrive at often unpredictable rates and transaction times can rise and fall in often unpredictable ways, you can optimize your success with the right analytics at your fingertips. When it comes to queuing, footfall analytics can provide the insight you need.
What is footfall analytics?
It’s any system that allows business owners to track the number of people entering a particular area or an entire store or venue. Footfall analytics systems can not only capture the number of people, it can also look at how people move around and through an area and it can even tie back to sales data to measure conversions.
Getting back to wait times and service rates, let’s look at 4 ways insights from footfall analytics can help you achieve the right combination of acceptable wait times (keeping the wait time at an acceptable length for your customers) and productive service rates (maximizing the productivity of your service agents or cashiers):
What’s measured can be managed. When you can accurately measure, monitor, and predict wait times in both structured and unstructured queues, you are better equipped to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Knowing your wait times means knowing them in the here-and-now, in real-time. Historical averages are also useful but it’s far better to have a system that can tell you how long people are waiting right now and if those wait times are subject to change based on the number of people who are entering your store or venue right now. With real-time data you can immediately address issues by opening more service stations or redirect customers to shorter lines.
As with wait times, if you don’t measure them you can’t manage them. How much time does it take a cashier or service agent to complete a checkout or customer transaction? Is it what you would expect? Is it in line with the service rate of other agents? Using footfall analytics, you can monitor service time and better manage efficiency to increase transactions per time period. This can help bring down wait times for customers and contributes to overall operational effectiveness.
A 2 minute wait can soon turn into a 10 minute wait when an influx of customers walks through the door. And if you fail to see that coming, the results can be painful. Monitor customer arrivals to help predict service loads and manage labor allocation. And track and monitor service rates to discover training opportunities. These are both possible when you employ footfall analytics.
Everything is easier with automation! To really take the guesswork out of managing queues and service rates, look for ways to automate the processes. Pulling from data captured through your analytics system, use automation to trigger processes or alerts based on customer flow or KPI events to help optimize wait times and staff productivity.
Knowledge is power. And the right footfall analytics system can put the power of data into your hands to let you better manage wait times and service rates for a better and more profitable customer experience. Are you using analytics to optimize the management of your queues?