Virtual Queuing: When an Empty Waiting Line is a Good Thing

Fila virtual: Cuando una fila de espera vacía es algo bueno

Última actualización: December 15, 2015Perry Kuklin

Having customers waiting in line is instinctively a good sign for business. But Black Friday door buster deals and the latest iPhone releases aside, it’s pretty clear that most people like to avoid waiting in line—especially when the line is long. Long waiting lines tend to equate to wasted time and feelings of frustration. They can also result in lost sales as the sight of a long line can cause customers to turn the other way. But without the line of customers, many businesses would be, well, out of business. That is, unless the waiting line happens to be a virtual one. As the name implies, a virtual queue is one that eliminates the physical queue. It takes away the intimidatingly long lines of customers, the rubberneckers desperately wishing they’d chosen to stand in a “better line,” and the dread of getting stuck behind a slow customer. Virtual queuing is a powerful solution that can improve the customer experience simply by eliminating the line.

What is virtual queuing?

Virtual queuing is an approach to managing customer waiting lines that utilizes technology to virtually place customers into a queue for service, provides a means for calling the customer to that service, and offers a system to monitor and manage the customer/service workload and optimize its efficiency. Virtual queuing can be extremely effective at dispersing waiting crowds and creating a more pleasant environment for customers. For businesses, virtual queuing also offers some key benefits. It frees customers to shop while they wait, which can lead to higher impulse purchases and less reneging. And it allows customers to arrive for service when the business is actually ready to serve them, virtually eliminating the most frustrating part of service. Another benefit of a virtual queue is that the floor space you would normally dedicate to a queue can be used in other ways. What’s more, powerful analytics inherent with virtual queuing systems allow businesses to manage and optimize service and workload. Finally, virtual queuing provides multiple touchpoints and channels of communication directly with the customer, providing a perfect fit within an omni-channel marketing plan. Americans spend roughly 37 billion hours each year waiting in line. Does it make sense to eliminate the waiting line at your business? Would your customers be happy to spend their time shopping, relaxing, or being more productive? Learn more about virtual queuing across industries in our latest e-book, “Don’t Hate the Wait.”


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