We’ve all been there. Faced with a long, slow, seemingly mismanaged waiting line, we lament the amount of time we’ll inevitably spend waiting. We start to have second thoughts about waiting and even think about coming back another day. This regretful side effect of poor queue management has serious consequences for business.

One recent study shows customers become frustrated when no apparent progress has been made in a queue after just 2.5 minutes. And one-third of customers have reported abandoning the checkout line when the wait exceeded five minutes. Even more alarming, half of customers admit to actively avoiding a retailer in the future if their wait is longer than five minutes.

Clearly, a poorly managed, arduous queue does more than annoy customers and degrade service quality. It hurts business.

Improving Service Quality with Virtual Queuing

Across industries, businesses are choosing to address the issues around waiting lines by simply getting rid of them. Today’s technology makes it possible.

Virtual queuing technology lets customers wait without actually waiting in line. Virtual queue-related technology improves the customer experience in five major ways:

  • Decreases perceived wait times
  • Increases impulse sales
  • Disperses waiting crowds
  • Maximizes customer flow and service efficiency
  • Creates a pleasant environment

The sum is a better customer experience, which leads to improved business results.

The Reality of the Virtual Queue

When a virtual queue is implemented, customers can register for in-store services – from technical support to product returns to special orders – using the internet, mobile apps, or on-site kiosks. They can receive a print-out or text message notification of their call number and estimated wait time. From there, what customers choose to do with their time is completely up to them. The virtual queue creates the freedom to shop or relax while waiting for service.

The system can automatically update customers with estimated wait times and promotional information as they wait and these updates can be delivered via mobile phone text messages and/or in-store displays. Text messages and digital displays alert a customer of their turn in line.

More Business Benefits of a Virtual Queue

Businesses choosing the virtual queue can track all aspects of the customer journey, which means they’ll gain valuable insight for optimizing customer throughput, increasing service efficiency, and enhancing direct customer communication.

There are several important features to look for in a virtual queuing system:

  • A cloud-based application that is fully scalable and can be accessed from an internet browser.
  • Technology that is capable of rapid deployment, doesn’t require maintenance of expensive software, and is compatible with existing IT assets.
  • And, important to today’s customer, a virtual queuing system that is mobile ready.

Virtual queuing solves challenges and frustrations for both customers and businesses.  It makes queuing more efficient by upping agent productivity and improving customer flow. It drives up impulse sales by giving customers more time to shop while they wait. And it enhances the customer’s wait-time experience by reducing the perceived time spent waiting.

Is it time for your business to eliminate the waiting line?