Top 7 Tech Tools for Queue Management Today

Intelligent and efficient queue management is a must for quality customer service today. The queue is the ‘final say’ or the last impression made before a customer walks out the door. And it’s often the first thing remembered when considering a return visit. Rather than a necessary evil, this aspect of the customer experience can be a win-win. With technology integration, today’s queue can be completely transformed into a streamlined, efficient system that meets customer needs on many levels.

Check out our top 7 picks for the top technologies to manage your queue today:

1. Virtual Queuing

With virtual queuing, you can basically eliminate the “wait”, allowing your customers to make use of their waiting time however they choose. Customers can use their desktop or mobile devices, or in-store kiosks to register for their place in line or change their appointed time, which allows for choice, flexibility, power, and control – all benefits customers appreciate. Staff can also manage resources to meet customers’ needs as the virtual queue provides visibility into upcoming traffic well before a line at the register would.

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3 Categories of Retail Analytics You Should Be Watching

The right retail analytics can be just what you need–actionable data–to help you transform your business into the healthiest profit center it can be. Data can help you understand customers better and make small adjustments to meet their needs. When it comes to your retail queue, tracking and understanding a few key analytics can be a simple 1-2-3 to up-level your service and your profits.

So, what types of queue analytics should you be watching?

1. Footfall Analytics

When you accurately count people and measure traffic trends in your store, you are able to allocate resources for the highest level of customer service. If you know how many people you are serving, when and where, it becomes much easier to manage your store and serve your customers. You can respond immediately as you detect flow and patterns such as a long queue or traffic blockage. This also translates into a great customer experience if a quickly forming line or surge in customers is responded to with additional cashiers or sales people. With powerful analytics, you can optimize staffing to meet customer demands at all times.

2. Shopper Behavior

Do you know where your customers travel in your space? Where they spend their time and how they move about? Monitor movement, direction, and dwell time to help design the most efficient flow and create a superior customer experience. With this information, you can take action to correct flow that causes traffic blockage or maximize promotional opportunities in spaces where customers like to linger. By understanding customer behavior, you can also monitor safety and compliance and manage any unstructured zones.

3. Queue Management

Keep wait times and conversion rates both on target. When you have access to quality real-time data, managing an efficient and effective queue is a breeze. With accuracy, the right retail analytics solution can provide data for wait times, service point utilization, conversion rates, and more.

Quality analytics can help you measure, monitor and predict so you can set and exceed your own performance metrics and business goals.

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5 Efficient Ways to Cue Your Queue from Beginning to End

Progress equals happiness. For customers who are ready to checkout or be served, there are few things more satisfying than an efficient queuing process from the beginning of the queue (where does the line form?) to the end (how do I know who’s next in line?).

Here are five efficient and effective ways to use ‘cues’ to make your queue more efficient.

1.   Clear and Strategic Signage

If there’s one cue that has stood the test of time, it’s signage. Whether digital or printed, your queue signage can make the difference. Use signage to guide customers to the start of your queue and all the way through to the exit. The comfort customers gain knowing they’ve arrived in the correct line will be well worth the effort. Leave no doubt, make your signage count.

2.   Flow/Path Markers All the Way Through Service

From the “line forms here” start of your queue all the way to the door, make sure your customers can easily navigate their way through the entire queue system. As you design your queue, it can be better to over communicate with extra signs, stanchions, and instructions rather than to leave a customer with questions.

3.   Clear Service Counter Locators

One aspect of a clear queue path is identifying where the checkout or service agents are located. Use lights, numbers, barriers, counters, etc. to let customers clearly know where to go to complete their transaction.

4.   Automated Call Forward System

As customers move through the queue, a prominent and efficient call forward system can maximize productivity and ‘cue’ customers in when it’s their time to be served. Digital signage combined with audio cues and station lights, all easily facilitated by a call forward system, make calling the next customer forward a breeze.

5.   Queue Monitoring with Estimated Wait Times

Intelligent queue management systems use real-time customer data to track and record traffic and queuing patterns to predict customer flow and accurately estimate wait times. The data can be used to inform waiting customers of how long they should expect to wait before being served. And that’s a ‘cue’ that can make customers more patient all the way through. (Tip: Read the Intelligent Queue Management Guide for more info on exactly what to include and how to use real time data to make the most of your queue.)

A well-informed customer is a happy customer. How will you use cues to build a queue that keeps your customers coming back for more?