How can retailers best manage queues inside and outside of their stores to ensure social distancing? Should they invest in queue management software, or simply ask store associates to create manual queues using clipboard and pen? We investigate the pros and cons of both.
As stores prepare to reopen, many retailers are busy planning how they can modify their in-store processes and services to support social distancing measures.
But the fact is that social distancing is leading to queues, and customers are avoiding stores as a result. While retailers are aware that ensuring in-store social distancing is an absolute must and are looking at ways to manage their customers to ensure their safety and ease to build confidence to visit, some retailers may be weighing up the benefits of using a digital queueing app vs a clipboard and pen.
We wanted to explain some of the benefits and disadvantages of the two methods as we see them:
Digital Queuing software: the disadvantages
- Costs more than pen and paper.
- Requires tablet or mobile devices.
- Requires an internet connection.
- Can take half a day to learn to use.
Digital Queuing software: the advantages
- Creates a better customer experience: customers feel more at ease knowing their safety is a priority.
- Intelligently and accurately calculates wait times for customers and allows them to watch their place in the queue while they wait.
- Reduces staff stress levels from having to handle upset customers whose expectations have not been met.
- Increases staff efficiency by enabling visibility, transparency and communication of floor activities.
- Looks professional: creates a strong digital and customer focussed brand image.
- Multiple users can see the queue at once from different devices.
- Colleagues can hold onto individual tablet devices instead of sharing, or wipe tablets down with disinfectant wipes to ensure hygiene standards.
- Reduces need for other tools such as walkie-talkies to communicate across stores.
- Reduces customer waiting time due to a more efficient customer experience.
- Increases customer retention and spend.
- Has additional features to report outcomes, record customer descriptions and manage walk-ins alongside bookings, store staff tasks and breaks.
- Data is captured and stored in a secure, GDPR-compliant manner.
- Provides a wealth of data to HQ and stores on who is visiting, why and how stores are performing.
Clipboard and pen: the advantages
- Can be extremely simple to implement across store portfolio.
Clipboard and pen: the disadvantages
- Can appear outdated when more digital methods are now available.
- Only one staff member can use it at a time.
- If staff switch roles, they must pass it between colleagues (which is a health risk).
- Handwriting can become hard to read and messy.
- If personal customer data is taken, it is harder to manage GDPR compliant storage of the data than a digital system would allow.
- No data is captured on why customers are visiting, wait times and service performance.
- Does not calculate wait times, so store associates have to guess if customers ask.
- Doesn’t keep customers updated while they wait remotely, meaning they have to wait nearby for their names to be called out, which is a health risk in the Covid-19 world.
Checkout the extremely rich features of our digital queuing software:
Don’t just take our word, see what our customers are saying about virtual queuing software: