Research indicates that people spend between two to five years of their lifetime waiting in queues to obtain services. That is between 17 to 43 thousand hours of an average human lifespan. The dominant cost of this is both physical and emotional stress. Prior to the inception of virtual queuing, we had no choice other than to be in the dubious position of finding the correct queue and physically stand in-line until it’s our turn to be served.
What is Virtual Queuing?
Virtual queuing empowers customers to access services without the need to physically wait in-line. It enables customers to wait anywhere, monitor their queue position in real-time, and receive notifications when it’s their turn to be served. Upon arrival, a customer can be identified by name, phone number, social security number etc. and placed in a virtual queue. The virtual queue is invisible in the sense that customers are not confined to a specific queue position, so they don’t know their position in the queue relative to others. A customer’s position in the queue is secured by a physical ticket printed by a ticket printer or a mobile ticket sent to the customer’s phone as a text message.
How does it work?
With a virtual queue management technology, customers can remotely get in-line through a mobile ticket - an online ticket that can be viewed on a mobile phone. The process starts with the customer checking-in by scanning a QR code or being assisted by a mobile concierge who is a staff member of the service organisation.
There are several ways a customer could “virtually” get in-line. Below are the most common:
If a customer has confirmed an appointment in advance:
What is a Mobile Ticket?
A mobile ticket is a virtual ticket which is an alternative to a physical or paper ticket. Customers can obtain mobile tickets using their mobile phones. It provides customers the flexibility to choose a service of their preference and get in-line, sans the need to get a paper ticket or the help of a staff member. Further, it provides the convenience and safety of waiting anywhere and the ability to monitor the queue position and receive notifications. Thus, avoiding the need to be physically present in a crowded waiting area.
Does Virtual Queuing help Social Distancing?
Virtual queuing is all about managing the customer journey in a virtual space from the start to end. Thus, customers will be able to maintain a safe distance with the staff members and other customers. Since customers check-in and wait in-line remotely, they avoid interacting with touchscreens or any other device that require physical interaction. There are several important aspects in the virtual queuing concept which helps maintain social distancing.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Queuing during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Virtual queue management solutions offer great benefits in an environment where COVID-19 related health regulations need to be adhered by service providers (such as social distancing, limiting service floor crowding etc.), yet it is essential for the service provider that the business operations remain efficient and productive.
Some sectors that will benefit from implementing virtual queue management solutions include:
As an increase in customer footfall can be expected in establishments operating in the above sectors, a virtual queuing solution will help streamline service efficiency, maintain social distancing, limit the number of visitors, and enable optimising customer experience at face-to-face customer touch points while avoiding unscheduled visits to minimise crowd gathering at the service floor. This in turn leads to the safety of customers and the service staff during the pandemic.