Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Understanding customer behavior and co-relating it with the offered experience is an essential part of running a successful business. Many businesses do not realize the importance of this aspect until it’s very late in the game. Being cognizant of customer behavior due to the changing environments and implementing reactive measures is vital to sustaining and growing a healthy revenue stream.
Last week, I was talking to a store owner, Sam Burns, who owns a local barbershop. He told me a bit about his experiences of the current day challenges. “I noticed that my customers didn’t have a smile when they came into my shop — or when they left either,” said Sam. “My hairstylists were getting little to no tips at all during the week and I noticed even my regular customers started leaving. My son told me that the reason most people came to my barbershop was that it was the only barbershop in town”.
When I inquired about the cause for the customer's changing behavior, he shared that even prior to the pandemic, his customer’s waiting time was 45 minutes on average to get a haircut. Over the past many months, sitting this long in a congested waiting room has become a potential exposure risk and as many as 40% of customers choose not to visit Sam’s anymore.
Today, it's a no-brainer to realize that customers want to avoid waiting and prefer to be in open, exciting, and safer places while waiting if they have to. Not only physical queues increase the risk of exposure, but also take away valuable time from one's life. The question that naturally arises is how can businesses address this situation? The answer is simple: consider using a virtual
What is a virtual queue management system?
A virtual queue management system is a system that lets customers check-in online and is part of a virtual queue instead of standing in a physical line. Customers can be notified via text message of their upcoming turn in line. Using a Virtual queue management system can not only make customers feel more safe and comfortable but also enables useful stats such as arrival times and service times. The operational analytics help managers align resources to where they are needed the most and identify key gaps in customer satisfaction.
As shown in the above depiction, upon arrival, customers scan a QR code on the storefront to join the queue. Now, they have the option to wait in their vehicle or do whatever they like. They are reminded when it is their turn through an SMS message to come inside for service. The customers can join the same line from their home using a business’ website. This capability frees a customer to do any work and stay safe while still “waiting” in the line. Hence, effectively increasing customer satisfaction leading to higher visits.
Over the recent past, few innovative companies have emerged that are focused on virtualizing the physical queue. One such company is Standspot that is focused on providing state-of-the-art virtual queue management systems to the retail, salon, education, banking, and healthcare industry. Along with strong analytics, their product is designed to provide an OMNI channel access point to customers for joining the line through mobile Apps, websites, QR Codes, walk-in kiosks, or by simply calling in. Businesses can take advantage of their free 3-month trial that is a great way to evaluate the system and prove the value-case prior to any commitment.