How to choose the best queue management software

Imogen Wethered
by Imogen Wethered

Queue management software or a queue management system is a digital software that allows organizations such as retailers and banks to let customers join virtual queues instead of physical queues. Customers join the virtual queue, are given an estimated wait time and position number, and are notified of their place in the queue as their turn draws near.

A queuing system enables retail brands and other organizations to provide customers with a faster and more enjoyable waiting experience, as it allows customers to carry out other tasks while they wait to be served, such as shopping for other products in-store or returning to the store later.  

Investing in a queue system is vital for retailers. According to a recent study by A.T. Kearney, 81% of Gen Z prefers to shop in stores and 73% likes to discover new products in stores – however, younger generations of consumers are also fickle, impatient and expect the latest technology when visiting a store. 

We have pulled together a comprehensive guide retailers and other organizations can use to select the best queue management software for their business needs.

How queue management software can help during Covid-19

Virtual queuing systems are increasing in popularity due to the coronavirus outbreak. Instead of asking customers to line up in queues, retailers and other organizations can use a queue app to allow customers to join a virtual queue.

This means customers can join a queue using a contactless channel, such as through your website or in-app interface, QR code, SMS, or IoT device. Customers can then return to the store when their turn is near.

Many retailers are currently using queue management systems alongside appointment scheduling software because some customers want to book fixed time-slots to reduce time in store, while it’s also critical to manage an inevitable stream of walk-in customers for shorter and longer services.

Many retailers are also using queue management software to create contactless BOPIS or click and collect experiences using click and collect check-in software. This allows customers to join virtual queues to pick-up their online orders, which they can do in-store, at the store entrance, or from their cars. Customers can let store associates know when they’re close, or even book a time-slot to pick up their order using appointment scheduling software. This way customers don’t have to wait in physical queues and can come back to the store when their order is ready to pick up.

Find out how Currys PC World created a contactless curbside collection service.

Electronics provider Currys PC World has a contactless collection service outside many of its stores.

Key benefits of queue management software 

There are a number of benefits to incorporating a queuing system into your store or business, including:

And, during Covid-19, additional benefits include:

Find out more about Qudini’s Queue Management Software

6 things to consider before choosing a queue management software provider

1) Determine your customer journey

A quality SaaS provider will take a consultative approach before implementing their solutions, and will be able to help you determine the best customer experience for your business needs, but it’s worth putting in time to establish what you are trying to achieve and what you want the customer journey to look like first.

Here are some of the most common use cases for a queue management system:

Click here for more queuing system use cases.

2) Identify what functionalities are important to your brand

Modern queue management systems come with a range of innovative functionalities. Here are some of the basic requirements:

3) Flexibility and adaptability

When searching for a SaaS provider, it’s important to find a partner that not only understands your needs, but is willing to work with you to find an approach that suits your business rather than trying to force a one-size-fits-all approach.

During the pitching process, make sure they’re willing to get into the technical specifics and that your questions are answered by both technical and commercial experts to ensure all bases are covered.

It’s also important to find a provider with a range of solutions aside from queue management software. For instance, Qudini offer queue management software, appointment scheduling software, event management software and task management software to a range of retail and retail banking enterprises, and thanks to our dynamic mix of solutions, we have been able to quickly step in and help our clients in a multitude of ways during Covid-19, such as creating virtual queues outside of stores, allowing customers to book time-slot appointments to visit stores, and eliminating in-store queues by enabling customers to virtually queue or book appointments for in-person or online services.

4) Ensure suitability and security with proven experience

In today’s digitally-driven age, where digital innovation and transformation is constantly redefining life as we know it, experience isn’t everything.

But that being said, there are a number of new queuing solutions appearing in the market since Covid-19 that have been built within a matter months. These solutions lack the algorithmic complexities of a true virtual queuing system. Instead of providing customers and store associates with intelligent wait-time calculations and automatically and intelligently updating them as their turn progresses, we’re seeing a number of queuing apps that simply build lists or to-do lists of waiting customers.

Not only does this create a poor customer experience, it also comes with a number of security risks, as they lack the network design, vulnerability scanning penetration testing, ISO27001 and GDPR compliance processes and accreditation necessary to manage customer’s personal data.

You can read more on how Qudini ensure maximum security, high availability and prioritization of privacy at our security page here.

5) Intelligent wait time calculations

Qudini’s virtual queuing system is being used by many high-profile brands during Covid-19.

Carefully and intelligently calculated wait times estimates will make the difference between a positive and a negative customer experience – and with the wrong software provider, you could soon see customer engagement and loyalty start to slip.

An effective queue management system such as Qudini’s has built-in, highly intelligent algorithms that calculate wait-times for each individual customer using a combination of real-time, configured and historic data. When customers are added to the queue, an initial wait time is calculated and quoted to the customer. This should account for current staff availability including their upcoming breaks, bookings and tasks. Each customer’s estimated wait time then continually updates through accounting for real-time activities, such as changes to staff member availability and speed of service. Store associates should be given an estimated wait time for each customer, which can be provided to the customer when they first check-in and when they ask, helping to manage their expectations.

6) Manage walk-in customers alongside those with fixed appointments

A decent queue management software provider will also be able to intelligently manage your walk-in customers alongside your fixed appointments and help prioritize customers with appointments scheduled in. On any given day your store associates should be able to see all scheduled appointments in order of their booked time within a single intuitive list. As customers walk in to your venue requesting the next available appointment, you can then seamlessly add the walk-in customers into the queue.

Qudini’s appointment scheduling software integrates with its queue management system, creating a seamless customer experience.

Qudini will intelligently calculate customer wait times based on your advisors’ availability and upcoming bookings. Upon calculating a walk-in customer’s wait time, Qudini will display customers in the queue before and after your upcoming appointments in the order that they are likely to be seen based on their requirements.

Why use Qudini’s queue management software?

Qudini is the market leading queue management system provider with appointment scheduling capabilities in enterprise retail and banking, offering a highly centralized, flexible, customizable, robust and secure solution that works on any device.

Having operated in the queue management and appointment booking space for eight years, Qudini has developed highly intelligent and complex algorithms presented in perfectly refined interfaces that are simple for your teams to use and manage.

During Covid-19, this also means you can:

  • Provide a safe and engaging service by allowing customers to join queues on mobile interfaces and appointment booking interfaces with customizable weblinks with queue positions and wait times.
  • Better manage staff and your shop floor thanks to our intelligently calculated wait times.
  • See how many customers are in-store at any one given time with our new occupancy tracking feature that supports brands during Covid-19.

To view more of our features and get in touch, click here.

See what our clients say about us:

Qudini is also frequently mentioned in queue management software market size reports, most recently MarketWatch and Benzinga.

 

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