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digital queue token dispensers

Digitizing Queue Token Dispensers

Queue token dispensers are among the most useful tools when it comes to managing customers. They allow employees to stop worrying about crowds and leave the check-in process entirely in their customers’ hands.

Token dispensers have evolved over the years, but this change is not enough. In this article, we’re going to argue why businesses should digitize their queue token kiosks and how they can do it.

What are token dispensers?

First of all, let’s agree on what a token dispenser even is.

Token dispensers have many other names: token issuers or token kiosks, to name a few.

Whatever name tickles your fancy, a token management system is a machine that helps manage crowds and queues by issuing customers special tokens or tickets.

Upon entering a business venue, a customer comes to the kiosk and selects a service they need. A token dispenser then generates and prints out a paper token which contains date, branch, list of selected service and more.

The manufacturers and providers of token dispensers maintain that the main benefits of token issuers are:

  1. Reduced wait times.

  2. Streamlined customer flow.

  3. Automates the process, giving employees more time to focus on their core responsibilities.

In some cases, these tokens can even support a multilingual approach, accommodating customers from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Token dispensers are also usually integrated with token display systems and digital signage. Each ticket’s number is unique, and it’s displayed on the screen when the turn is up.

Sounds quite convenient, right? Then why did we start this article by antagonizing queue tokens?

Our gripe with token dispensers is not what they are, but rather, what they could have been.

Why token management systems need to go digital

A paperless paper token

One of the bigger problems with paper tokens is exactly that: they’re tickets made out of paper.

Paper accounts for approximately 26% of total waste at landfills. This year alone, the world has produced around 160 million tons of paper — and we’re barely at the end of May.

Hundreds of millions of hectares of forest are decimated each decade, resulting in a drastic decrease in tree cover.

You may not think that printing out a single ticket is that big of a deal. But multiply that by a number of daily visitors, then by a number of locations that use token issuers — and the total volume increases dramatically.

At first glance, recycling paper is a favorable option. It causes 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than making new paper.

But even when you use recycled paper, there are still some environmentally hazardous factors you’re not taking into account:

  1. Shipping costs. Transportation of recycled paper still produces greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Recycling plants run on inefficient energy sources, aka fossil fuels.

But even disregarding the woes of manufacturing paper, it’s simply an inconvenient solution.

Having to frantically search for a paper token in your pocket or holding it in your hand for so long, the text is smudged — these are all minor everyday troubles we all come across.

A digital token produces no waste and is easy to find on your phone.

So, paper tokens: 0, digital tokens: 1.

A more personalized approach

Another big benefit of using web tokens is the more personal approach they enable in serving customers.

Upon check-in, visitors enter their information at an iPad-powered sign-in kiosk:

  1. Phone number.

  2. Service they require.

  3. Additional digital paperwork.

  4. Their name.

The last one is fed to the customer management system, at which point businesses can start addressing each customer by their actual name.

Instead of looking for a six-digit number on a screen, you’re now scanning a waitlist monitor for your name. And when your turn comes and you go to the designated service point, the clerk greets you and uses your name.

The power of using customer names is something we’ve written a lot about before. The thing is, hearing our own name prompts unique brain activation — similar to other self-representational activities.

This is why it is advised to use a person’s name when they are in a persistent vegetative state. Even when unable to move, speak, identify our surroundings or even open our eyes, we still exhibit strong reactions when hearing our name.

Personalization powered by e-tokens doesn’t stop there, of course. Other information that we fill in during check-in is also used to speed up the servicing process.

Knowing specifically what customers need helps prepare for each service interaction beforehand and cut down on unnecessary idle time.

Flexibility and adaptability of web queue tokens

Lastly, a feature that makes digital token management systems ideal for banks, hospitals, clinics and other customer-facing facilities — their flexibility.

A paper token is fixed in time. The information that has been printed out stays on it forever. So if a customer joins the wrong line, they will not be able to change it or even be aware of this.

With digital tokens, clerks can notice and quickly fix these mistakes while notifying the customer and updating their e-token.

This removes the frustration entirely and makes the waiting experience that much more pleasant.

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Any business that deals with customers face-to-face on a regular and consistent basis needs a token management system in some way, shape or form.

Managing lines in an efficient, expedient manner is what builds confidence in your business. Customers get to feel that you’re not wasting their time, and you get to offer them more personalized service.

Digitized token kiosks also integrate well with reporting systems, and their data can be used to generate daily or monthly reports on visitors, customers, team performance, and much more.

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