Queue Management Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide | Skiplino

Queue Management Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide | Skiplino

13 Feb 2023

Whether it’s renewing your license or waiting for a Big Mac at McDonald’s, there is almost nothing worse than waiting in a long lineup.

Most people have places to be. Busy lives to attend to. Why would they want to spend a half-hour or even more waiting in line?

In fact, a half-hour is being generous. One survey showed that customers are only willing to wait an average of 14 minutes before they turn around and walk back out the door.

Surely, as a business owner, there must be steps you can take to help smooth out this process for your customers. A system you can put in place to keep your customers from simply leaving because your lineup took too long.

Thankfully, queue management systems are here to the rescue.

Now before you start scratching your head wondering how to implement this unknown process into your business, it’ll help to understand exactly what we’re talking about here.

What is Queue Management?

While the term “queue management” is fairly self-explanatory, there’s actually far more to it than just that. For a queue to exist, it means that the demand exceeds the ability to quickly supply. As demand continues to grow, queues become longer.

Queue management seeks to remedy this issue in different ways. By streamlining the queueing process, not only do your customers get a break, your employees and management benefit from it as well.

There are many different types of queue management systems available to businesses. Depending on the type of business you’re in, this can influence the queue management system you put in place. However, no matter what industry your business falls into, queue management in some form is going to be beneficial to you.

Types of Queue Management Systems

By now, hopefully, we’re on the same page and you understand that you need a queue management system in place.

But which type should you go with? What are the benefits to each? What are the disadvantages?

Type of Queue Management SystemsProsCons
Physical barriersEasy to implementCan be stressful for customers
Ticket-based Allows use of waiting room Keeps customers from feeling trappedTickets can easily be lost Reduces customer identity to a number on a ticket, no personalization
Sign-in sheetsAllows use of waiting room Can gather more info than just a nameCan be disorganized Transferring info from paper to digital is time-consuming
Digital managementTime-saver, customers handle sign-in themselves Can gather extra data besides names No need for transferring data from paper to digitalMaybe a little more difficult for customers who aren’t tech-savvy

As you can see, physical queue management tends to be far less effective than digital. You don’t want your customers to feel trapped in a queue, and digital queueing software can easily remedy this problem. While the software can have a slight learning curve, choosing one that is user-friendly will give you the best chance at making sure your customers adjust accordingly.

Common Problems with Traditional Queues

inefficiency-with-traditional-queues

By now, you’re probably asking “What makes traditional queues so ineffective? Why should I change up the system I’ve been using for ages?”

There are a multitude of different issues regarding traditional queues. However, without going overboard, here are a few of the more common problems seen on a regular basis.

Line Jumpers

Imagine how a customer would feel if they’ve been waiting in line for ages, only to watch someone jump the line and be served before them. It will surely leave a sour taste in the customer’s mouth, whether they choose to say something about it or not.

Line jumpers are a glaring issue with traditional queues. However, they can be stopped in their tracks by using just about any type of queue software.

Just think: If you’re using a queue software that requires people to sign in and present their number when they come up to the counter, there’s no way someone can cut in line. The software doesn’t allow it.

It Wastes Time

Every minute your customers spend waiting in a physical line is time wasted for them. What makes it even worse is when they have no clue how long the wait might be. This results in customers leaving the line, never to come back. And who can blame them? They likely lead busy lives themselves and don’t have time to wait in a lineup no matter how badly they desire your product or service.

If customers were able to check-in online or with an app, their perceived wait time would be much shorter. They have the freedom to check-in from anywhere they want, and aren’t pigeon-holed between barriers with no end in sight.

Poor Accessibility 

With a traditional queue, your customers have only one point of access. They have to stand in line and wait. If they leave the queue for any reason, they lose their spot. End of story.

See how this can be problematic?

With a queue management software or app, your customers can reserve a spot in line from their work laptop. Or from home. Or from their mobile while walking to the office. Multiple points of access make your queueing process far more tolerable.

Benefits of Queue Management Software

So by now, we can agree that traditional queueing is less than ideal, and most of the problems associated with it can be solved by choosing an effective queue management software.

But what are some other benefits to digital queue management? Surely there must be more to it than just solving traditional queue problems.

Improving Customer Service

queue-management-system-improves-customer-service

As we’ve mentioned previously, your customer’s wait experience can make or break their perception of your business. If they spent the past hour being led through a labyrinth of red tape, chances are you won’t be getting a great review from them.

When customers are given the freedom to check into your queue at their leisure, their outlook on your business will be far more positive. 

You can also use queueing software to make the customer experience much more personal. Having your customers input certain data into your queue software can help you segment them further, allowing for more personalized service.

Improving Efficiency

Think about it this way: If you don’t need a staff member constantly paying attention to the queue to ensure it’s going smoothly, your productivity levels will soar.

This is especially true during busy times. With a traditional queue, it can be difficult to manage the lineup when there are loads of customers waiting. Trying to prevent line jumping to keep customers happy can be an arduous task.

With queue management software in place, this task is taken care of. Your staff won’t need to worry about managing the queue themselves and can instead focus on giving customers the best experience possible.

Even if the daily time saved is minimal, that time adds up over the course of a year. It’s hard to imagine how much time you’re losing when you need an employee delegated solely to queue management.

Increased Customer Loyalty

Since your queue management system has such a lasting effect on your customer’s perception of your business, a bad queue experience can lead to your potential customer going to a competitor instead.

A common rule used in relation to customer loyalty is known as the Pareto Principle. It states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to make a good impression on your customers when it comes to your queue management.

With digital queue management software, you can keep complaints about long wait times to a minimum, and in turn, boost your customer retention rates. A true win-win situation.

Analytics

Not only does queue management software help improve the customer experience, but it also provides benefits later on down the road as well.

How?

With analytics, of course.

With a digital queue software, you can monitor things like:

  • Average customer wait times
  • Total number of customers
  • Employee performance

Using different reports like these can help you improve your queue management efficiency even further.

To take it one step further, many queue management apps allow you to collect customer feedback. Since there’s virtually no better way to make customer service based improvements than by asking your customers directly, this is an excellent benefit to take advantage of.

Boosting Revenue

queue-management-software-increases-revenue

But wait, how does queue management software increase revenue?

Well, there are two main reasons:

  1. Improving operational efficiencies cuts out time-consuming and costly processes
  2. Customers are free to browse for other products when they aren’t forced into a physical lineup

Like we mentioned before, queue management software increases employee efficiency. By eliminating the need to use human queue management, this employee is free to work elsewhere. Since you’re paying this employee to do a job, this helps optimize your labor costs.

Also, since queue management software allows you to store customer data and monitor analytics, you won’t need to delegate time to transfer this info from paper to digital.

When customers aren’t forced to stand in line, you allow them the freedom to browse other products. While often forgotten about, this benefit can be crucial to landing a huge up-sell or cross-sell. By respecting your customer’s time, they’ll often repay you in a big way.

Choosing an Appropriate Queue Management System

You’re ready to make the switch to a digital queue management system.

You do a quick Google search, and immediately you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options available to you.

What do you do now?

It’s important to take note of the key considerations involved in choosing the right queue management software for you.

Flexibility and Customization

The software you choose should be flexible enough to meet the needs of your business. That’s a given.

Based on customer needs and demands, you may have to alter your queueing process. Choosing a queue management software with a high level of customization will make it much easier to do so.

On top of that, you’ll want your queue software to align nicely with your brand identity. Keeping all your processes and visuals on-brand is an often-overlooked marketing strategy.

Skiplino offers tons of customization capabilities from the in-app experience to the digital signage displaying called tickets.

Mobile Optimization

With over 40% of transactions taking place on mobile, it should be a no-brainer to choose a queue management software that’s well-optimized for mobile.

Think about it. One of your potential customers wants to check into your queue, but they’re out for a walk. They open your queue management software on their phone to try and check-in. It takes forever to load and isn’t user-friendly. They then give up and your competitor scoops them up with a mobile-optimized check-in software.

This scenario occurs a lot more often than you think. And it’s entirely avoidable.

Take Skiplino’s Queue Management System, for example. All your customers need to do is download a simple app. From there, they just select their desired time. It’s that simple.

queue mangement system, Queue Management Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide | Skiplino, Skiplino

Since the app has a mobile-first mentality, your customers won’t have any issue using it. It was designed with mobile optimization in mind.

Never underestimate the power of mobile optimization. Mobile usage is only going to keep growing, after all.

Real-Time Monitoring

In order to deliver an efficient service, the ability to monitor your queue status in real-time is a must-have for queue management software. With this feature, you’ll be able to make important decisions regarding your business queues right then and there. For businesses with more than one location, real-time monitoring should also allow you to track queues at all of your different locations.

On top of all that, your queue management software should have an alert system designed to notify you in the event of a problem with the service. Just be aware of that.

How Cloud-Based Queue Management Systems Work

cloud-based-line-management-software

In your search for a queue management system that best suits you, you may have come across the cloud-based queue management systems. In order to understand how this works, first you’ll need to learn what cloud-based software is.

It’s likely that you’ve heard of Apple’s iCloud before. Software that allows you to backup your phone to an online storage space that you pay for. Since this storage space is online-based and not saved to your computer hard drive, you can’t lose it.

Cloud-based queue management systems operate in a similar fashion. From your customer appointment history to vital analytics data, cloud-based queue management software backs up your info to remote servers online. This means that your appointment and customer data is not only safe and near-impossible to delete by accident, but it’s also accessible through several different channels.

As you can see, the benefits of a cloud-based queue management system are certainly worth considering. Keep this in mind when choosing the right queue management system for you.

FAQ

“Is it difficult to set up a queue management system?”

That depends. While there is always a learning curve when adopting new software, if you choose a queue management system that prioritizes ease of use, you can cut down on this learning curve significantly.

It’s also important to choose a queue management system with great tech support. If you run into problems, they’ll be able to help you out and get you back on track.

The short answer here is no, they aren’t difficult to implement if you choose the correct one. 

“Is a queue management system worth implementing?”

Yes, it is.

There is always a cost attached to implement a queue management system. That’s no secret.

However, with the amount of time and money you’ll end up saving in the long run, the initial investment is entirely worth it. From fewer missed appointments to freeing up staff members to perform other tasks, you won’t regret switching to a digital queue management system.

Are queue management systems completely automated?”

To an extent.

With most queue management systems, you can set them up and their main features work on their own. No need to continuously go in and change settings.

However, it’s up to you to interpret the data saved through the software and use it to suit your needs. 

Queue Management Systems Summary

Let’s face it. Traditional queueing methods are a thing of the past. Customers hate waiting in lines, trapped between the red tape with seemingly no end in sight.

Implementing a digital queue management system is the best way to remedy this problem. 

You know the benefits. Now you’re armed with the key considerations when choosing the right queue management system.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to join the future.

Looking for a Great Queue Management System?

comparing-queuing-management-system

There’s a vast sea of queue management system options out there at your disposal. How can you know if you’ve made the right choice? Even with all the core considerations in mind, making the decision can be a stressful task.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Why not check out Skiplino’s Queue Management System? Our cloud-based queue management software gives you all the core features you need. From mobile-optimized booking solutions to analytics and reports, Skiplino’s got you covered.

If you’re still unsure about queue management systems or just looking for simple advice, you can get in touch with us. We’re here for you.

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