Whether waiting to buy or waiting for service, customers understand that waiting in line is just one of those things you have to physically do. Or is it? Is it possible to redefine your queue and make it part of an increasingly digital customer journey?
Let’s look at how you can create a digital journey through your queue, using a retail environment as an example:
1. Waiting for a fitting room.
Customers can easily become frustrated if they feel pressured to get in the fitting room line just to ensure that they can try on the clothes already in hand. But what if they can secure a spot in the fitting room line, even if they’re not physically standing there?
A virtual queue with integrated mobile texting can be the answer. Shoppers can use your mobile app or a kiosk to get in line for a fitting room. While they wait, they can continue to shop. When a fitting room opens up, the next customer in line can be immediately notified via text message sent through the mobile app. If a customer isn’t ready to try on their haul just yet, they can respond to the notification and request to be digitally re-queued without losing their place in line – they’ll simply be called a little later, and the mobile app can be programmed to provide this estimated waiting time, further putting customers at ease.
2. On to the checkout.
Digital technology can be used to let customers know the estimated wait time, from entering the queue to checkout. For the people who would rather spend more time shopping than waiting, they have the option to continue to browse until the line gets a little shorter. Of course, in-line merchandising can enhance the waiting line too, making it possible for customers to continue to shop while they wait in line.
Digital methods can also be used to call forward the next patron to an open checkout point once they’re in the waiting line. Call-forward technology is digitally powered and uses visual and audio cues to get the attention of the next patron in line. The single-line queue moves more quickly with this methodology and it creates an environment of fairness among customers.
Furthermore, technology can deliver real-time alerts to managers when wait times exceed acceptable ranges or new stations need to be opened up. Having a smart queue that notifies you before a problem occurs is invaluable, especially in retail environments where the traffic patterns can change on a dime.
3. Capturing feedback.
Was the line too long? Too unorganized? Just right? A customer feedback tool can be placed at the end of the queue to gain instant insight into how your queue performed in the eyes of customers. Don’t be afraid of feedback – you want to know exactly where your queue is performing well and where it might be underperforming so that you can tweak the bumps in order to create a seamless shopping experience from store entry to checkout.
Today’s customers expect more than ever. And they’re more connected digitally than ever. If your waiting line isn’t keeping up, it’s likely falling behind in terms of meeting customer expectations for speed and enjoyment. How can you bring technology into the queue to create a better experience? Ask your customers their opinion – chances are, their suggestions will include upping digital enhancements so that convenience can be enhanced and resentment can be drastically reduced.
Trying to figure out the best way to digitally enhance your waiting line? Speak with a Lavi expert about the options available for your business.