It’s time for a Queue Management System. What to consider when selecting a QMS

Exploring Queue Management Systems to address long lines, waiting space issues, and improve customer communication. Which one suits your needs best?

Cassidy • May 11, 2023 • Read time: 10 min

Student lineup with phone in hands against an orange wall

Maybe your customers have been complaining about long lineups. Perhaps your waiting area just isn’t large enough to accommodate all the people who are waiting their turn for service. It may be that you need a process for communicating with customers while they wait so you can ensure they arrive to the right place, at just the right time (and fully prepared for service). In any case, your team has begun the process of looking for a Queue Management System (QMS) and it turns out there are a number of options. How do you know which one is right for your organization? 

What about Data Residency and Security?

Depending on your industry and jurisdiction, data residency may be a concern for you. Some organizations need to ensure that customer data is stored within either the US or Canada. Your organization’s data policies may also require either on-prem data storage or cloud-based data storage. Before getting too far into the purchasing process, it’s a good idea to ensure the QMS provider you are dealing with will be able to accommodate your data residency requirements. WaitWell has the capability to fulfill your data residency requirements, no matter what they may be.

A large component of data security is access to personal data. As a rule, the best way to ensure data security is to make sure that users of the system have access only to the data they need to perform their duties. So, when looking for a QMS, it’s important to determine that your administrators will have access to settings with multiple permission levels. It’s also necessary that these permission levels are customizable so that your administrators can specify which data elements and permissions are available to different types of users, depending on the data privacy policies of the organization. 

What customization is really needed?

Every service environment is unique. Often when people start looking for a solution to improve the waiting experience for customers, they underestimate the need to tailor the process to their unique needs. 

For example, is it important that customers get a “heads up” when their turn is approaching so that they can make their way to your waiting area? This will keep your throughput moving and reassure customers that they can wander away from your location and use the wait time to shop, relax or work. However, in order to achieve this, you will need a Two Stage wait feature with automated communication by SMS or in-app notifications to let customers know when their turn is approaching. 

Do you want to triage customers based on urgency or availability of a staff member with the credentials or experience to help them effectively? In this case you may need both Queues and Service Types. 

Is it important to collect information from customers while they wait or to deliver service-specific messaging? Allowing customers to complete intake forms on their phone while they wait can speed up service once they reach the counter. Delivering service-specific messaging to customers also helps them to prepare for service and can even mean that they don’t waste time waiting for service when they don’t have the required documents or eligibility for the service. 

After the customer leaves your office, are their “back counter” tasks that need to be done in order to complete the service? For example, if a student is submitting a fee waiver application, are there associated off-counter tasks that need to be completed after the student has left the office for the fee waiver to be processed? If so, a workflow module will help to streamline the process and keep staff and students informed of the progress of their application. 

At WaitWell, we have worked with thousands of service delivery organizations, so we know that every service environment is unique. Switching from a physical lineup to a virtual queue provides an opportunity to streamline and enhance existing processes, but in order to do this effectively, the QMS has to be customizable. 

What kind of service can we expect?

We’ve all been there. We are shopping for a new product or service. We do the research and get some quotes. They all promise “great service”.  The after-purchase experience doesn’t always live up to the promise. 

With a queue management, so much depends on the service. By taking the time to really understand your unique service environment, your account manager will be able to set up your QMS to optimize operations and provide the best possible waiting experience for your customers. It’s also likely that after the initial implementation, some issues will come up that create a need for some changes or refinements to your settings. That’s why it’s important to ask if you will have a dedicated account manager. There is nothing more frustrating when you are managing a significant technical project than to have to call a general support line, create a ticket and wait days (or longer) for someone who isn’t even familiar with your specific service environment to call you back.

Does it work with all our favourite tools?

In today’s modern service environment, most organizations are already using a variety of digital tools to manage workflow. For example, there is likely a CRM or SIS, virtual meeting tools, calendar tools, chatbots, phone systems, email, etc. The advantage of new technology is that the integration with other tools and platforms is simpler than with older, outdated technology. However, having the right API’s and hooks for the tools you want to integrate with your QMS will only go so far. In order to create a useful integration, your QMS provider needs to take the time to understand exactly what you need the integration to do. It’s also essential to know how seamless the integration actually is. WaitWell integrates with an extensive list of popular SaaS products. If you are curious how the integration would look like for your organization, reach out for a customized demonstration. 

What about business insights?

One of the main reasons that service-oriented organizations choose to implement a QMS is that they want to better understand their service environment. In order to make service better for customers and staff, it’s important to be able to easily and accurately answer questions like, How long does service take? and What is the customer wait experience like?  
At WaitWell, we think of service analytics in terms of What is happening right now? and also What are the trends over time? The Dashboard provides real time, at-a-glance insight into the state of service at this moment. This enables managers to make real-time decisions to support front-counter service staff and to meet the service standards of the organization. We also offer a comprehensive selection of reports which are all sortable by date/date range, service provider, location, service type etc. At WaitWell, we believe that every service organization needs these insights in order to make better business decisions that support service excellence. For that reason, the Dashboard and Reports and Analytics are included with all subscriptions.

Do you want to see WaitWell in action and find out what it can do for you? Click here to book a free custom demo!

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