Photo by Clayton Cardinalli
Originally Posted On: Impact of a Queue Management Software on Staff Productivity (coconutsoftware.com)
Studies show that close to 90% of customers would rather go to a different location than wait in a queue. This can cause an immense loss of business during busy times.
Every second a customer might have to wait could end up costing you thousands of dollars of lost share of wallet. These days, queue management software takes a lot of the pain away from customers by giving them control and setting the right expectations. This prevents the process from being stressful for all involved.
If you do not currently use a queue management solution to help manage footfall traffic, you may be getting left behind. Now is the time you looked into solutions. Lucky for you, it’s not too late to learn about the benefits of such a system and how it can help you move into the future.
What It Means
Queue management software is a solution by which your customers can secure a place in a virtual queue. This gained initial popularity through food vendors and doctors’ clinics but spread to the financial sector soon after.
In These Times…
The main thing on everybody’s mind this year is the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers everywhere have concern for their branch’s ongoing ability to help customers and keep their staff safe. Some companies have even put together specific webinars intended to help tackle the problem.
Regardless of your feelings about the virus, public perception has affected customer visitation. This has been ongoing ever since the start of the outbreak. Visitors no longer wish to spend time around others, and public areas have shown concern about liability.
One solution is customers being able to add themselves to a virtual queuing system. This way, they no longer need to stand in line and can instead take a queue place by signing into an app, then waiting outside, in their car, or finish up their errands while they wait. The best vendors provide a method via scanning a QR code or visiting a link on their mobile device to encourage visitors to add themselves to the queue.
In some circumstances, customers could instead add themselves to the line through a greeter, terminal or kiosk in your branch. This is especially useful for demographics who may be uncomfortable with technology or do not have a smartphone.
These customers can then spread themselves throughout the store away from one another. Or, they may even leave the location and return when called, should there be occupancy limitations. Look for a vendor that offers the ability to notify waiting visitors when its their turn, either through SMS or email notifications.
Automated Ticket Generation
Queue management systems often have an integrated ticketing process. This allows members of staff to track and process any ongoing problems in a well-documented manner.
Employees in this situation can even communicate ongoing issues, helping one another to a greater degree than ever before.
As a customer, everyone knows it can be frustrating for staff to refer them from one person to another. If that needs to happen in your branch, you can make the process seamless by allowing any staff to view the history of the customer’s concern at any time.
We’ve all been in a situation where the queue has been way too long.
A virtual queue manager can estimate and inform customers of exactly when their place in line will be “up”. This way, visitors to your location can plan their day around arriving exactly when they need to.
This prevents any of them from needing to wait for a moment more than they intended to. Then, you can direct them straight to a staff member who can help them.
No customer wants to be dealing with a member of staff, only to have someone else attempt to interrupt.
More anxious members of the public may even become rattled if they feel like a long queue is forming behind them. This will lead to them having a negative experience of the visit.
Using queue management software means your staff members can fully focus on one person at a time. You will have a lower number of customers waiting in your location, allowing for a more tailored experience for each visitor.
That singular focus lets staff members complete their jobs faster. After this, members of the public will feel less worried about the branch being too busy, ensuring a more pleasant experience.
Queue Management Software Savings
You can use queue management software to track through-rate at teller desks and offices. This means you can track how many members of staff you need in your location at any time. Staff numbers can be further adjusted once you gather ticketing metrics to fully optimize your workforce management to reduce wait times even further.
With a little accounting, this will reduce costs and allow more focused training of staff. Your staff will be thankful as their jobs get easier and they can track their workday that much simpler.
In simple terms, you can increase a team’s productivity with better time management. This means your operational costs will plummet and your profits could soar by up to 30%.
Avoid Queueing Disasters
When there are two or more queues, it’s natural for customers to overuse one, leaving the other empty. This is when problems can arise and cause customers to have to wait for longer than is necessary. Similarly, staff moving customers between queues can waste visitors’ time.
A virtual queue gets rid of that by putting people in a faster, clearer system — one that they don’t need to physically experience.
You can shuffle customers around behind the scenes to prevent them from waiting too long. You can also triage those who have very fast or simple issues dealt with first. This allows your staff to take their time with the more intricate issues.
Raise Money Through Waiting
Bars and restaurants have already solved the problem of queues. When waiting for a table, a server will often direct customers into a smaller bar area. Virtual queuers can entertain themselves during this time. They may buy drinks and make small-talk, earning the restaurant money.
In another industry, what would that look like? For example, a bank or credit union would not be aiming to sell anything.
One possibility is to provide a source of entertainment for parents with children. This may give customers who are parents the freedom to prepare themselves. Or encouraging visitors to finish running their errands while they wait for their spot to be up. Otherwise, informing people of changes to policy via SMS or email while they wait may save time later on.
Much like the use of a bar, removing physical queues can generally improve customer flow. This will end up enhancing customer satisfaction by making it easier for visitors to find where they need to go.
In general, a reorganization of your branch will push the workplace toward a smoother operation. Later, this will lead to more fulfilled staff and greater revenue generation.
With a virtual queue, you may even find you do not need the same amount of space as before. You may discover you can move your business’ location somewhere more affordable or reduce its carbon footprint to save money. With branch network strategy becoming very important in the wake of COVID-19, how a location’s footprint is used will become a key topic of consideration for managing costs.
Feedback Is Key
Many queue management solutions have the option for links to cloud-based feedback generation. If your customers or clients are receiving their place in line via SMS or email, this means you should be able to reach them after their experience. Don’t be afraid to ask afterward how they felt treated through an automated survey.
Direct feedback has the potential to increase communication with customers. This will allow you to discover problems in your business processes or staff training and resolve them.
In digital systems, this feedback can also be instant, letting you deal with problems as they appear. This may only be a stressed employee you need to pull from the floor and put on break. Or it may be something you never would have considered before.
There is an unfortunate truth you never want to tell your customers: some visitors are more important than others to the health of your location.
You might think all customers are equally weighted when you start using a virtual queue management system. This is not always true. Many virtual queues allow for customer recognition via cell phone number or login.
Using a virtual queue lets you concentrate on the few customers who make the biggest splash. Thus, you can ensure their visit gets the response it deserves.
It’s even possible for a system to notify managers when specific customers book time slots. The manager can then be available when the customer is about to walk in the door.
It’s always good to make sure the customers who are the most important get the welcome they deserve.
Deal or No Deal
With a queue system, you can determine exactly what a customer’s spending, saving and borrowing habits are over time. Using this information, you can take steps to offer loyal customers rewards.
With such specific and targeted methods of marketing, you can focus on exactly what a customer may want at any given time.
Over repeated visits, your staff will learn who each customer is faster and understand how to assist them better. This will earn your location a reputation as one that truly cares for its visitors.
With so many advanced techniques, it is also important to remember the basics. Implementing a queue manager in your branch means customers have to wait for less time.
The last thing you want is to associate being in your branch with impatience and frustration. Instead, you can ensure you keep your customers’ loyalty by making sure their time is not wasted.
With targeted reminders for specific customers, you can inform visitors of upcoming events. This helps them be aware of the importance they have in your branch and lets them feel like part of a community.
Loyalty is key to ensuring your customers do not switch to a competitor. A virtual queue will protect that bond.
More Organized Flow
Case studies suggest that as you start to use a queue management system more, you will begin to notice patterns in customer habits. Moving forward, you should be able to recognize areas where a priority queue would make sense.
As well as priority queues, you may be able to recognize when specialized queues would help. Using a queue for one specific task, staff can focus on that one role and perform its functions faster. This would move customers through the system at a higher rate.
In a physical queue system, you cannot always do this. Customers may not always choose the right service to address their problems. With software handling this behind the scenes, you can guide individuals to the right place with more success. Then, they can meet one-on-one with the person best suited to meet their needs, reducing the chances of a mismatch of skills or expertise.
One of the secondary benefits of an automated queuing system is a less overworked and stressed staff group. With more relaxed staff, work in your branch will flow much better, which can even help reduce illness. Due to this, fewer days off and a healthier work-life balance will occur. Overall, this will lead to fewer time-off requests. After this, you will see the positivity of your workforce reflected in how they treat customers. Great gains are achievable by everyone in the process having a better experience.
Giving Customers Control
Queue management software can handle a huge number of problems for financial institution branches. By leveraging this solution, you’ll be able to change your entire process for the better.
If you’re a financial institution, like a bank or credit union, it’s time to review Coconut Software’s Lobby and Visitor Management solution. Click through to schedule a consultation and see what we can do for you.