Nobody likes waiting in a queue. The simple act of lining up for service feels a little demeaning and the longer a customer needs to wait, the more frustrated they feel. This becomes infinitely worse if even one customer decides to jockey for position or start bothering the others around them. Even in situations where customers may be able to sign in and sit down, waiting can make even a few minutes seem to tick past like hours and needless to say, this isn't great for the customer satisfaction of your business or medical practice. Whether you're in healthcare, retail, or even running a restaurant, if you frequently see queues out the door or waits that are getting excessively long, what you need is a queue management solution. And no, we don't mean "take a number".
One of the best innovations of modern queue management technology is the ability to reach out to customers through their mobiles. A simple queue management app your customers can tap into is better than tickets, sign-in sheets, or those little vibrating coasters used to summon table parties in busy restaurants. Here are just a few ways that a queue management app can improve your customer experience.
1) Update Customers On Their Place in the Queue
Especially in situations where your customers sit together in a room or wander the store waiting for their name to be called, it can be difficult to impossible for a customer to know just how many others nearby are ahead or behind them in the queue. After a certain amount of time waiting, it's easy to assume that every single person is ahead of them or even that people who arrived later are being allowed to go first. A queue management app can tell customers not only where they are in the list but serve as solid proof that their name does, in fact, continue to move toward the top of the line.
2) Remove Uncertainty of Infinite Wait Time
The other misconception that tends to form in the inpatient customer mind is that the wait time can stretch on forever. Even relatively short waits by your venue's standards can seem like a seemingly infinite amount of time to a customer who has no idea when they will be called. Fortunately, a queue management app can help estimate the amount of time it will take to get to each customer's turn and help them see it as a finite amount of time, something they are capable of waiting patiently for.
3) Keep Customers Entertained During the Wait
Idle time always seems longer than occupied time. Whether your customer are waiting in chairs, standing nearby, or even standing in line wishing they'd worn more comfortable shoes, just waiting becomes pretty insufferable. If they didn't bring a book, don't care for your magazines, and are getting impatient, the waiting time can become increasingly more unpleasant. A queue management app gives them something to look at, interact with, and you might even integrate an entertaining activity or two to keep them occupied.
4) Let's Customer Know When They Can Leave and Come Back
One truly amazing thing about digital queue management through a customer's mobile is that they don't actually have to wait around near the counter, desk, or even in your waiting area in order to sign in and then be present in time for their turn. With accurate queue placement and time estimates, your app can let customers know when there's enough time to pop out for a coffee, go grab a book from their car, or even step out for a quick lunch if the wait is long enough. This not only reduces idle irritation, it also brings down the crowding and number of agitated customers in your waiting area on a busy day.
5) Allows Customers to Reschedule Quickly if Necessary
Finally, customers will sometimes realise they need to reschedule after checking in. If an emergency comes up and they have to run, a queue management app allows them to check back out and reschedule with a few convenient taps. If it happens that your wait time is too long for their schedule, the app allows customers to discover this early, reschedule, and move on instead of waiting around getting more and more worried until they finally have to run.
Queue management is the art of reducing both wait time and perceived wait time for customers, clients, and patients across every industry. If your business has been seeing problems with long wait times and agitated customers, the simple integration of a queue management app can transform the wait experience and make the entire process more convenient for both customers and your staff who work hard to provide service in as timely a fashion as possible.
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