Improving Customer Flow Through Queue Management

Improving Customer Flow Through Queue Management

A well-managed and efficient queue is one of the most cost-effective and fastest ways for businesses to increase operational efficiency and extract additional revenue from their existing real estate. Queue management, which is the process of moving customers through and through waiting for lines efficiently, has become an integral part of many industries’ best practices. It has been proven to reduce customer walk-aways and increase revenue per square foot. Impulse sales are also encouraged, and it enhances the customer experience.

Linear Vs. Virtual Queuing

Two basic queuing principles are used in business. Linear queueing is when customers are physically seated in lines made with stanchions or retractable belt posts. Linear queues are based on the principle of “first come, last served.” They can have multiple lines, such as those found in grocery stores, or a single line, such as those found at most banks and financial institutions. Linear queuing strategies are used to ensure the fastest service. They reduce the time between each customer being served and are therefore most commonly used in areas where service times are short.

An electronic queuing system can further enhance the efficiency of linear queuing systems. Electronic queuing systems can be used to improve service efficiency and decrease wait times by up to 35%. Some systems also have powerful media capabilities that keep customers informed and entertained. This reduces wait times and enhances the customer experience.

Virtual queuing is the second type of queuing. Customers can wait in virtual lines to get service but not actually stand in line. Customers typically register for assistance using a device like a kiosk or a ticket printing machine. Customers can then browse or shop in the environment, watch media or relax while they wait for their ticket number or name to be called. Virtual queueing works well in environments that have longer service times, such as Healthcare. It can also be used in hospitality or food service.

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If they see it, they will come.

When planning a queueing strategy, signage and way-finding are often overlooked. However, they can have a significant impact on overall customer flow. It is essential to clearly mark queue entrances in order to establish a consistent flow of customers.

Stanchions can be used to attach large banner signs to the beginning of a queue to clearly identify entrances and service types. To reinforce the way-finding strategy, belt imprinting can also be used in conjunction with a color-coded design theme. Post-top and post-front signage are useful for controlling queue access, strengthening a color strategy, as well as complementing way-finding.

Your Queues will pay for themselves.

The queue is where a store can make the most of its incremental revenue. A queue can be used as a profit center by using an in-line merchandising system. Some stanchion makers also offer merchandising panels that can be attached to queuing stanchions. Installing an in-line merchandising solution can immediately increase impulse buying for businesses.

Furthermore, customers are kept busy while waiting by merchandising. This reduces wait times and improves customer satisfaction.

These three principles of queue management, which include signage, queue layout, and in-line merchandise, will help to improve customer flow and ultimately increase your bottom line. Even small changes can have a significant impact on how customers perceive your business. Queue management can improve customer experience, revenue, and efficiency if done correctly.