Know-how of Queue Management System
About Queue Management and its role in Digital Transformation
As per a survey by Consumer Report, the maximum amount of time customers are willing to wait is ‘13 Minutes’ beyond which they really start to lose their patience and develop a negative experience with the brand.
Queue Management indeed sounds like rather complicated term for most people but is really very easy to understand when it comes to the overall functioning and implementation of it.
Therefore, one of the concurring questions popping out would be What is a queue management system? Why Queue Management System? Features or element of a Queue Management System? Working and implementation of a Queue Management System.
“The Queue Management system is an automated system designed to manage walk-in services, or customer flow. Queue management system is majorly used to manage interactions with the customers, whether it be in person or through information displayed over the screen.” To sum up Queue Management System is an intelligent system which helps in managing the Queues of people.
In layman terms- A queue management system is used to control queues. Queues of people form in various situations and locations in a queue area. The process of queue formation and propagation is defined as queuing theory
We tried to define Queue Management System in the previous segment, continuing the same ahead,
Queue Management System platform is a collection of different modules designed to efficiently handle and manage customer requests. The platform intelligently routes the customer to a skilled representative to respond to respective tokens.
Synonyms for Queue Management System are Footfall Management, Token System or Ticketing Solution even Queuing System and Electronic Branch Management.
The moment a customer steps inside your premises, queue management system platform enables customers to powerfully connect with the concerned representative of your organization to seek appropriate solution for the required services.
Before moving further, we need to understand how exactly the routing is done and for understanding that we need to understand Queuing Theory. Queuing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues. A queuing model is constructed so that queue lengths and waiting time can be predicted. Queuing theory is generally considered a branch of operations research because the results are often used when making business decisions about the resources needed to provide a service.
Types of Queues
Here people form a queue in a fixed, predictable position, such as at supermarket checkouts, and other retail locations such as banks or airport security. Very often, queue management systems are set up to manage ticket ranking for a service (with or without a numbered ticket) with identification and thus enable a serene and stress-free waiting. Extending the different possibilities, planned reception by appointment and remotely rank allocation on or through push notification can also be included.
Where people form a queue in unpredictable and varying locations and directions. This is often the case in some forms of retail, taxi queues, ATMs and at periods of high demand in many situations. In the busiest places, physical barriers and guides are used to funnel people into a line as they arrive.
Kiosk based queuing systems are often used for medical, banking, telecom and many government institutions. As people arrive, they select service for which they have come to the branch/outlet information into the kiosk and feed in the basic information about themselves. The information is organized and presented to service representative to allow for faster customer service response. Kiosk based systems also include an information tracking system for the business to report on statistics such as wait times, volume of traffic and staff performance.
Mobile based queuing system allow customers to use their mobile phone to view real-time queue data and select a reason that they want to visit your branch/service center. Customers are free to carry on their day and don’t have to wait in a waiting area. Customers receive notifications via SMS or through push notification and when ready to be seen, they are called forward for service.
Mobile queues require the customer to install apps to their phone before getting into the queue. The time to install may extend the person’s actual wait time for the first visit. Installing apps to a device includes unknown risks of tracking and marketing. Because not every business uses the same app, customers can end up with hundreds of apps on their device. Mobile queue management system apps are best for customers that visit the same place on a regular basis.
One Solution & Multiple Application
The value which queue management system gets on to the board totally depends on the stakeholder and different teams involved with it. For instance operations may see it as a process improvement tool, Customer Experience may consider it to be a Customer Journey Management channel, while IT sees it as a tool to input customer data into their systems, HR and branch managers can use this to analyse the overall performance of their staff and calculate there productivity.
What are the key elements of a Queue Management System (QMS)?
When it comes to a vanilla solution, the basic element of a queue management solution will be-
- A Ticketing Kiosk to identify and check-in the customer into the queue while issuing physical or virtual tickets with there waiting details printed.
- A Display Screen of varying sizes to keep the customer engaged, while they are being informed about their queue status.
- A Calling Station to invite the customer to be served when it’s their turn.
- A Queue Controller which is the software brain to control all the above touchpoints of the Queue Management Solution.
Then there are other important components including Players, Cables, Connections and Networks.
Working of Queue Management System
As mentioned earlier in the previous sections Queue Management System is an intelligent system which helps in managing the Queues of people. It allows managing flows and the purposes of visits from initial contact to the service given. These systems generates good amount of data about the customer wait time, how they wait and overall performance if the tellers. These information assists in improving organization processes and improves the overall customer journey.
Queuing Solution works upon 6 basic logic-
- Allocation & Direction
- Waiting & Communication
Appointment- The first stage of the logic is Appointment or Customer Arrival, so in this stage customer seeks there appointment either by coming down directly to the branch or by booking there tickets online via web or through mobile app.
- Customer’s are notified about the wait time via Push-in texts, SMS
- When they arrive in the premise a notification alert is sent to the service teller
Allocation & Direction- The advance stage after appointment is allocation and direction, in this stage customers enter the queue either by taking a token from ticketing kiosks or activate their virtual tickets.
- Dedicated Queuing Machines/ Token Machines are installed at the strategic points where customers walks-in and gets a token for the service they want to seek teller’s assistance.
- Virtual tokens are activated once they arrive(again depending upon the mechanism and logic)
- Customer’s then generates a hard ticket where in all the information pertaining to there wait is printed. (average wait time, number of customers ahead of there turn etc.)
Wait time & Communication- After generating a ticket, customers heads to waiting area, where the brand tries to make there wait both active and interactive with interactive communication medias playing on the display screens. Once there turn comes up the message is displayed over the screen.
- Digital signage systems are placed in the waiting area, where all the promotional videos are played along with the information about the current serving tokens.
- Customer’s wait is made active and interactive at this point in time, they are informed and educated about to new products and services.
- Customer’s are informed about critical changes in the queues via SMS and push in messages or on queue management system app.
Call/ Reception- In this stage the customers/visitors are called for their service by the service tellers. The calling is done via a software installed at the teller system’s.
- Customer’s can be called out of turn or re-direction is made.
- There are multiple call forward windows (cash, desks), a LED or video screen installed at the head of the queue displays and the number is called with a directional arrow.
Data Management- The branch managers or the cluster heads have access to the data generated by the queue management system. The data generated are in the form of statistical reports equipped with tables-graphs, a complete information about time periods, waiting times, service times, reason for customer visit, teller performance is presented in the reports. These reports are generated on a real time basis and helps branch managers to understand overall functioning of the there branch.
Benefits of Queue Management Systems
When you’re doing something you love time seems to fly by, but if you’re bored to tears, minutes can seem like hours and as it was mentioned earlier customer start to loose there patience after 13 mins . And what’s more boring than waiting in a queue? Despite this era of fast-paced and instant service, one cannot escape lining up at the doctors, at the bank, to pay bills or to buy groceries. In a commercial world that revolves around customers, effective queue management is very crucial and technology plays a vital role in this regard. It equips businesses to manage customers effectively even during rush hour and peak season. Therefore these are some of the benefits of the queue management system-
Queue Management system takes care of customers’ needs, right from their arrival at the branch to the time their service requirement is fulfilled at the respective counter. It also helps customers select the service required through their phone or any electronic device. The customer then has the convenience of movement while maintaining their position in the queue as he receives a ticket that displays a number. The customers can also gauge their waiting time.
Improved Productivity & Operational Efficiencies
An effective queue control system can lead to a significant improvement in an organization’s service efficiency. When queuing, customers are dealt with at a fast and efficient pace and fewer staff members are required which frees up staff time to deal with other essential matters.
Enhanced Customer Experience
‘The customer is king’ and keeping customers happy is the ultimate business goal. Queue Management Kiosk provide the functionalities of allotting and printing tickets for customers to help them enjoy the benefits of a virtual queuing system. Customers are connected to the interactive visual media while they wait to be assisted. With Customer Feedback Devices attached to QMS, organizations can get instant customer feedback. This data is further utilized to enhance customer experience and services.
It helps provides a systematic method to monitor staff performance in a streamlined, hands-free process. The goal is to enhance the service quality and save your organization’s time and money by completing tedious tasks automatically. In turn, this increases the productivity of your employees by allowing them to focus on their core areas of talent.
Reduced Wait Time
With queuing system, customers wait time can be decreased by a great extent. Managers can do a better job of monitoring lines and reallocating resources when they’re notified. The average wait time is decreased with real-time queue management which then helps organizations prevent service breakdowns and assist businesses to run more efficiently.
Real-time Performance Monitoring
Queue management systems help monitor real-time performance and offer reports for strategic management purposes. It helps top management access the data of all registered branches in real-time to monitor performance across the entire company. This helps organizations to integrate reporting into the business process. It also helps compare statistics on staff and performs statistical analysis of data for future needs.
Application of Queue Management System
Queue Management Systems can be used at any location experiencing a significant footfall. This includes Airports, Hospitals, Banks, Retail stores, Government, Utilities, Service Centers as well as Universities.
In Banking branches are considered to be one of the most powerful channel to provide there end customers with high-touch, person-to-person experiences. The branch experience influences customer satisfaction more than any other channels. Therefore to keep this satisfaction level up to the point, Banking and Insurance need to think about ways to reduce there customer’s wait time and improve there overall satisfaction which can be done by installing a Queue Management System.
Airports are working towards becoming more passenger centric. They are carrying out technologies and solutions to drive digital transformation process in the airport environment while also improving operational performance and passenger journeys. This can be achieved by installing a powerful Queue Management System which not only take care of operational cost and provides seamless passenger experience but also helps airports to keep an eye on key performance indicators in all areas of its operations.
Government agencies are not only increasingly looking to improve customer service levels but they are making active efforts to enhance Citizen’s Experience. Electronic Queuing System is a step towards making citizen experience more favorable for government office visitors/customers. The system smartly manages queues at any customer interaction point making your service more customer centric.
Waiting is one of the biggest pain points in the healthcare care industry. Therefore for hospitals and clinics the most critical areas that needs to be exceptionally well designed and well managed is Patient Flow. An efficient Patient Flow Management can directly impact the bottom line, thus it is necessary to provide a streamlined customer service along with high quality healthcare service.
The Customer Care Centers for most of the utility sectors is always flooded with the customers waiting in queue for either paying bills or to solve queries. Queue Management System in such setup would not help the brands to manage customer queue but will also provide an insight to the brands about their teller’s productivity.
Queue Management in retail is just not limited to in-store management but it starts from the point the customer decides to shop-visit. Appointment booking modules like mobile app, website booking etc. plays an important role in this.
Telecom experience a heavy customer flow generally in there customer care centers or internal helpdesks, therefore to manage that customer queue as well as providing customers with seamless experience queue management system for customer care centers or retail outlets are necessary.