Choosing a queue management system can be tricky because you have unique needs and queueing problems and concerns. Once you have gone through the process of determining what may work best for your business, it is prudent to conduct regular assessments to ensure that the system is working as it should.
There are a few critical areas you can look at periodically to check if you are getting the most value out of your queue management system.
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Reducing Real Vs Perceived Waiting Times
There is a very thin line between perception and reality where wait times are concerned. Studies show that customers estimate waiting two times as long as the actual time after standing in line for more than 5 minutes. It is therefore important that your lines are not only short, but also feel short.
Giving your customers an idea of how long they can expect to wait and keeping them occupied while in the queue can help make the wait feel shorter. Your queueing system should also optimize getting your clients through the line. The idea is to balance both parts of the equation.
Feedback on Queue Status
As previously alluded to, giving customers feedback on their waiting status helps to reduce stress and ensures clients don’t overestimate how long they have been standing in line. The reports should be accurate and frequent to be effective. If your queue management system isn’t informing customers on the status of their wait, it may be time to rethink your implementation.
Directing People Effectively
There are two very frustrating possibilities when waiting in line; watching the next queue move faster than yours and waiting in the wrong line. An effective management system should solve both problems. A sure sign that your queueing system is defective is seeing customers looking for the shorter or faster moving line, jockeying and reneging.
Customers are waiting to Get Served
If there is a large disparity between the numbers of people walking into your business and how many are ringed up at the register, the first culprit is your crowd control. People generally don’t like to wait in line especially in this age of instant gratification. Customers may be looking at your lines, figuring it’s not worth the wait and going to the competition. Efficient queue management makes sure that your foot traffic is reflected in the bottom line or total sales.
A QMS may be picking up and recording all the data in the world but this information is only useful if you can actually use it to take action. Ensure that the data and metrics you are collecting help to make informed decisions to improve crowd control and the overall customer satisfaction. Useful data in this case includes average time customers spend in queues, number of people walking out of the store without making a purchase and how long service staff spends with each client on average.
Empowering Staff to Serve Efficiently
Lastly, staff manually directing people in line, attempting to get the attention of the next person in the queue or managing crowds are all signs of a bad queue management system. The idea of the system is to relieve the staff of the burden of queue management so they can focus on serving the customer.
Implementing a queue management system is only a small part of the process. You also need to monitor its effectiveness and make the necessary changes as they come up.