how to choose queue management system

How to Choose a Queue Management System?

Long waiting lines are costing businesses tens of billions of dollars every year. Left uninformed, customers will walk away and turn to a competitor.

That’s why queue management is becoming mainstream. In this age of instant gratification and rapid delivery companies, customers are only willing to waste their time standing in a queue if they are informed about the waiting time or their position.

Still, happier customers and fewer walkaways are just one side of the coin - the right queue management system provides you with business-critical data about your customer service - waiting times, employee performance, or reasons for visits.

But in that case, how can you decide which is the best queuing software for your business? Here are the 11 things you should consider when looking for a queuing solution.

1. Customer service flow

Every business is different. What happens when a customer walks in your door? Are they greeted by a receptionist, or do they need to find their way to the closest counter to say they’ve arrived? For example, using an Ipad-based check-in kiosk is an excellent way for customers to check in without needing to talk to an employee. In addition, a waitlist screen in your waiting areas offers customers much-needed transparency about their position in the queue.

Keep in mind that your customer flow doesn’t start at the door - innovative businesses are now offering remote check-in options allowing their customers to claim their spot in the queue before arriving at the location.

2. Ease of use

Many of the older queue management systems require a custom hardware such as ticket machines, check-in kiosks, or special waiting list displays. The downside with legacy solutions is that custom hardware requires trained specialists to keep the system running.

Modern solutions are web-based online queuing software that any device can access with an internet connection — no need to install special software or use local servers.

Providers like Qminder use widely available hardware like Ipads for check-in kiosks or Apple TV devices for waitlist screens. It’s as simple as downloading one app to the Ipad or TV. Unlike other complicated hardware, if something happens to your Ipad, a simple restart of the device will solve 99% of the problems.

3. Scalability

For small businesses, a simple queue management system ticks all your boxes. But what happens if your business and operations capacity grow? You hire more people, start serving in more locations.

Make sure your solution can handle the increase of visitors or new locations as your business grows. Several solutions can work for smaller companies, and many only work with big organizations. Qminder is one of the rare systems that is easily scalable from 1 location to thousands of locations in a matter of weeks. It works the other way as well - in an economic downturn, you might need to decrease the number of locations rapidly - Qminder offers you the flexibility to do both.

4. Customer support

Queue management systems are at the forefront of your customer service. For example, if the solution you’re using crashes or malfunctions, you need to fix the system asap, or your customer satisfaction will suffer.

This is why your queue management software should come with a great customer support package. In a nutshell - choose a solution with live chat support and hardware that’s easy to manage (like Ipads).

5. Onboarding and training

While queue management systems are relatively easy to use and set up, additional help with onboarding and training is essential. Especially important when this is the first time your organization is using a queueing solution. Yes, the managers can quickly learn about the specifics of the product and go on to teach the employees. Still, our experience shows that the best results come from having the whole team go through the training sessions led by a product expert.

A great onboarding experience ensures that your employees will provide the best service for your visitors.

6. Automated Notifications

How would you like to notify your customers? This question connects to the points we made in the customer flow section.

For example, suppose you have a waiting area with a waitlist screen. In that case, the notifications can be as simple as a sound notification followed by the customer’s name and instructions on the waitlist screen. Alternatively, you could have visitors enter their phone numbers at check-in and notify them via text message. Or use both - a waitlist screen and text messages.

Some solutions (including Qminder) offer 2-way messaging, which allows your visitors to message back, like saying they’re a couple of minutes away, and your clerks can quickly reply to the message via the dashboard.

7. Reporting and analytics

A queue management system’s primary goal is to improve visitors’ waiting experience. The bigger benefit often comes from being able to track important metrics about your customer service. You will be able to measure your waiting times, service times, reasons for visits, and employee performance, to name a few.

Data like this allows managers to understand whether they need to hire more people or they can manage with fewer employees. Starting as a solution for long queues can quickly become a tool for optimizing your entire business.

8. Third-party integrations

As powerful as queue management software can be - you’ll still be using other tools for managing your customers. You may use CRMs, customer support software, inventory software, or your point of sale (POS) systems. Ideally, these solutions automatically share information with others resulting in fewer manual inputs and a more optimized workflow.

Ask your queue management provider about existing third-party integration or alternative options that can help automate your operations.

9. Real-time monitoring

Real-time monitoring provides managers with a quick overview of the situation at the service level. How many people are waiting? How many clerks are busy? Do I need to open another counter?

Even more, a cloud-based solution allows managers to monitor their operations remotely - all they need is a device with an internet connection. This will provide you peace of mind even when not at the location.

10. Flexibility and customization

Every business is unique with different needs and requirements. A queue management system that is flexible and customizable will allow you to adapt it to your specific needs and processes, improving your customer service and overall efficiency.

Some systems offer a range of customization options, such as custom branding, custom notification messages, and custom reporting, among others. This customization can help your business stand out and provide a unique customer experience.

11. Data privacy and security

Security is of utmost importance when it comes to sensitive customer data, such as personal and waitlist information. Review the security policies and certifications of a provider before making a decision.

Make sure to choose a queue management system that takes data privacy and security seriously, using encrypted communication and secure data storage. Look for SOC 2 Type II, GDPR, and HIPAA-compliant solutions (for the Healthcare Industry).

How much does a queue management solution cost?

Queue management system pricing options vary greatly depending on the provider or the features offered.

Some providers offer a monthly subscription with different pricing tiers based on the number of locations, employees, and features needed. For example, a basic plan might offer only basic queue management features, while a premium plan might include advanced reporting and analytics.

Another option is a pay-per-use model, where you pay based on the number of visitors you serve. This can be an excellent option for businesses with varying customer traffic, as you are not paying for unused services. Still, a subscription-based model is better for knowing exactly how much you’ll be paying for your software for the next twelve months.

Some providers might include hardware and installation as part of the subscription, while others might require additional payment. Another factor to consider is the cost of custom hardware, such as check-in kiosks and waitlist display screens, as well as the cost of installation and setup. Remember that custom hardware requires servicing by trained professionals, which adds to your existing software costs.

It is essential to factor in these costs when considering a queue management system to ensure you get the best value for your investment.

Some providers offer a free trial period, allowing you to test the software before committing to a subscription. This is a great way to determine if a queue management system is right for your business and if it meets your specific needs and requirements.

It is crucial to consider the various pricing options and choose the queue management solution that best fits your budget and business needs. The cost of a queue management system is a small investment compared to the benefits it can bring, such as increased customer satisfaction, improved efficiency, and valuable data insights.

Why choose Qminder?

Qminder is a cloud-based queue management software that offers a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes.

Here are a few reasons why Qminder stands out from the crowd:

  • Easy to use and accessible from anywhere: With Qminder, there is no need for custom hardware or software installations. The software can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it easy to use and manage from anywhere. Turn your Ipad into a check-in kiosk or use an Apple TV to turn any display into a waitlist screen.
  • Data and analytics: Qminder provides data to help you make informed decisions about your business. With Qminder, you can accurately measure your waiting times, service times, reasons for visits, and employee performance, to name a few. This data can be used to optimize your business and improve your customer service
  • Scalable and flexible: As your business grows, so does the number of visitors and locations. Whether you need to increase or decrease the number of locations, Qminder offers the flexibility to do so.
  • Integrations with popular tools: Qminder integrates with popular tools such as Slack, Zapier, and Google Calendar, so you can easily connect the data you collect with your existing systems. This saves you time and effort and makes it easy to use the data you collect to make informed decisions about your business.
  • Excellent customer support: Qminder offers a comprehensive customer support package, including live chat support and hardware that is easy to manage. If something goes wrong, you can be sure that Qminder will be there to help you get back up and running as soon as possible.

Whether a small business or a large enterprise, Qminder is the ideal solution for your queue management needs. So why not try it today and see the difference for yourself?

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