How to Build Your Queue Management Tech Stack
If you’re like most managers, you’re finding yourself with an increasing number and range of technologies to facilitate all aspects of your business. Queue management is no exception. As you strive to improve this critical juncture of the customer journey, a well-built tech stack can save money and time, gain more efficiencies, reduce customer wait times, increase impulse sales, provide better analytical insights, and more.
Let’s take a step back. When we talk about a queue management tech stack, we’re referring to the collection of tools used by managers to monitor, measure, and manage the queuing process and the surrounding customer experience. It’s the combination of technologies that help you, your managers, and your employees optimize processes related to your customer queues and waiting lines.
From queue monitoring to digital signage and virtual queuing systems, many organizations have a range of tools making up their queue management tech stack. Let’s look at what we would consider some of the most important technologies:
Queue Monitoring System
This is the brains of the queue management tech stack. Using one of many methods, including sensors, cameras, or WiFi, it collects and interprets what goes on in and around the queue. Queue monitoring systems can measure the number of customers at any given time of day, how fast they’re moving through the queue, average wait times, service productivity, and more. This is what gives you the “pulse reading” on your queues and enables you to efficiently allocate resources.
Call-forward systems work to optimize customer throughput and increase service efficiency by streamlining the way agents hail customers at the checkout or service line. Using a button-push on a wireless remote, or similar technology, agents can instantly alert the next waiting customer and effortlessly guide them to an open service position using audio and/or visuals from strategically-placed LCD displays.
Call-forward systems can be an extremely valuable tool in the queue management tech stack for especially lengthy or widespread service areas, such as airport terminals or large retail checkout areas, where customers may have trouble identifying the next open register or service agent.
Digital signage can offer an impactful connection to your customers while increasing product awareness and driving in-queue sales. The key to successful digital signage is customized content including promotional stills, how-to videos, and simple lists that feature easy-to-digest information.
To fully benefit from the flexibility and customization features of digital signage, a powerful central media management system is used. It provides the ability to change content as often as needed across multiple stores and regions with the touch of a button. This simple-to-use addition to the tech stack can also have a big impact on in-queue sales as it engages customers with targeted and relevant information while offering incentives to buy.
Mobile technology can follow the entire customer journey creating a clear path to a great customer experience. The first mobile touch can occur via text message, web page, or mobile app – often before the customer enters your physical location. This touch starts the chain of mobile interactions that promote your brand and encourage sales through mobile discounts and social media interactions that offer even more value to engaged consumers.
One of the most mutually beneficial mobile features to customers and managers is giving customers the ability to reserve their place in the queue while they are still shopping. The time normally spent waiting in line is now time spent shopping which entertains the customer and boosts your sales at the same time. Most importantly, effective mobile communications shows customers you understand their needs for convenience, productivity, and control of their own time.
Text to Register Queuing
Imagine allowing your clients and customers to enter a service queue from virtually anywhere. Adding text-to-register technology to your tech stack allows people to use a quick text message to add themselves to a queue from virtually anywhere.
Upon registering, customers receive a link to a personalized queue web page that keeps track of their progress through the queue including how many customers are ahead of them and approximate wait times. And when it’s their turn, they are alerted via a chime or vibration of their mobile device.
Virtual queuing is a powerful technology solution to address waiting line inefficiencies and long wait times. It leverages technology to manage waiting lines and optimize customer flow by placing customers into a queue for service, calling customers to be served, and monitoring service allocation – all without a physical waiting line. Taking away these intimidatingly long lines diminishes customer dread of getting stuck behind a slow-mover and the temptation to rubberneck as they wish they had chosen a different line.
Customer Feedback Mechanism
Are your efforts working? Are customers happy with the way your queue is being managed? Satisfied with the wait times? You won’t know if you don’t ask. That’s why many businesses are looking to add real-time customer feedback mechanisms into their queues, capturing customer feedback on the spot to identify sore points and gauge the response to their queue management efforts. The technology to support this can be mobile-enabled via a mobile app or placed directly in the queue in the form of a touchscreen survey.
How are you building your queue management tech stack? The right collection of tools allow your queue managers and employees to more efficiently monitor, measure and manage the queue process from start to finish while focusing on the all-important customer experience.