4 Awesome Outcomes of a Well-Planned Queue

It can’t be emphasized enough that your queues/waiting lines are critical junctures in the customer experience. Business is quite literally won and lost when you ask customers to wait in line. Even a few minutes can make or break brand loyalty and a lifetime of sales from each customer.

Consider these statistics:

  • A majority of customers (80-90%) would leave for another retailer just to experience a shorter checkout queue. (Romsey 1992)
  • People overestimate how long they’ve waited in a line by about 36 percent (NY Times)
  • Half of customers will purposely avoid a brand in the future if they must wait longer than 5 minutes. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Customers are likely to abandon a queue after only 2 or 3 minutes if it’s not moving fast enough. (Wall Street Journal)Continue Reading

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?

10 Ideas to Solve Just About Any Queuing Problem


Every business is as unique as every waiting line. But there are some core challenges that every business faces. From maintaining queue integrity to keeping wait times in check, we’ve compiled some of our most popular queue management ideas to address the most common queuing challenges for you here:

Idea #1: Magnetic Base Stanchions

Magnetic base posts help create a semi-permanent but flexible barrier that is designed specifically for high-traffic venues that call out for a sturdy stanchion that won’t shift out of place. The magnet firmly attaches to a floor-mounted steel plate, keeping the stanchion in place until you’re ready to move it for cleaning or rearranging the queue.

Problem solved: Compromised queue integrity
When your queue perimeter or partition wall is continually challenged to maintain its integrity as customer traffic flows through, you need a strong base. You want to avoid core-drilling stanchions into the floor but seek the integrity and strength of a permanent solution.Continue Reading