Customer Queuing Systems: Enhance the queue experience and minimize customer wait times!
Suppose you’re not familiar with the concept of customer queuing. In that case, it’s one of the central ideas in retailing, and it’s what allows a customer to walk away with a satisfied feeling rather than one of frustration or disappointment. The design and management of queueing systems directly impact how a retail organization serves its customers, and it has everything to do with customer flow. In truth, customer queuing brings numerous benefits to customers, employees, and the overall outcomes of business transactions.
Whenever customers contact your support team via any channels you’ve made available, their requests must be fed into a support queue. So, the queue can be considered a sophisticated inbox of requests made by your support team. From there, your support team will address the issues in the order received, and the customer’s request can be handled. Some requests are managed via live chat, some by email, and still others by phone call response.
Why is Customer Assistance Queue Management Important?
The main reason that queue management is so important is that it heavily affects a customer’s perception of your business. For instance, if a customer calls with a problem and it isn’t handled promptly, it could easily sour that customer’s overall opinion of a company and even prompt them to stop doing business with it. On the other hand, if a customer request were to be handled quickly and efficiently, the customer would probably come away with a very positive attitude toward the company. Having a good customer queueing system in place can accomplish the following objectives:
- Provide more efficient customer service
- Establish consistency concerning customer relations
- Improve overall support efficiency and quality
- Minimize the time a customer must wait for a response to their request.
Types of Queue Management Systems
There are three basic types of queue management systems:
- Live chat queues are becoming much more popular nowadays, primarily because they provide rapid service and put you in contact with a real person. Most of these systems use advanced chat routing, capable of assigning agents to customers they’ve previously handled. Other developments also contribute to more efficient management of individual customers and the queue.
- Ticket queue – most support management teams are obliged to handle at least some ticket requests because email is still the most widely used queue management system in effect today. Unfortunately, this is not the fastest or most efficient way to address customer requests. However, some proficient support teams can become quite effective with experience and satisfy customers.
- Phone queues – the danger associated with them is that they frequently call for customers to be placed on hold at length. This can quickly lead to customer frustration, which can degrade their general opinion of the entire company from a frustrating phone call. Some support teams can manage phone call requests well, avoiding these negative outcomes.
Management of the Queueing System and Operational Effectiveness
A company with an efficient, highly organized queueing system can be far less frustrating for the support agents and customers. Without this kind of organization, a customer queue can quickly become chaotic, inevitably leading to serious customer service problems. A good queueing system will provide all the following information at a glance, so support agents can immediately identify the status of requests:
- Which customer is next
- When the next customer expects to be waited on
- What that customer requires in the way of service
When agents see all this, it helps them become more effective at satisfying requests and keeping customers happy. It also allows agents to be better prepared to handle specific requests and reduces any setup or discovery time needed to handle requests. Other benefits accrue to a company when this kind of organization and efficiency can be built into a support queue system:
- Improved Employee Productivity – when the right system is in place and the right tools are used to allow for faster handling of customer requests, employees and agents become much more productive, which shows up in terms of overall customer satisfaction.
- Manage the Lobby More Efficiently – having an excellent dashboard allows agents to see exactly what’s happening with customer requests at a glance. It prevents long waits for any individual customer and allows for faster response times to all customer requests.
- Learn about Your Customers – some of the more advanced queueing systems can route customer requests directly to agents that customers have worked with before. Some systems can also prioritize recommendations according to specific criteria. This promotes much better customer familiarity, and when better customer relations are established, that always bodes well for the customer and the agent.
- Fewer walk-throughs – when customers are left waiting for a response on a phone call, it won’t be long before they become so frustrated that they just hang up or walk through the request. That’s the last thing that should happen because it will always result in a negative perception of the company, and it could even mean the end of that customer’s patronage. When requests are handled efficiently, far fewer walk-throughs occur, and overall satisfaction is increased.
Important Key Features of Queuing Systems
While most customer queuing systems are different in some respects, they all tend to include certain features that are common and which serve to help improve the customer experience:
- Allows Multiple Types of Queues – it’s important to provide multiple channels to customers by which they can report their issues. If you have only a single channel, it can quickly become bogged down and cause long waits for customers.
- Robust Weighted Queue Systems – weighted queue systems are one way of prioritizing customer requests, so the most urgent problems can be handled first, and the relatively minor requests can be addressed later. This is another way to help ensure that customers are satisfied with service and will continue to be loyal customers.
- Proactive Alerting – a good customer queueing system will offer push notifications, so customers don’t have to check their position in the waiting line constantly. That’s another thing that can quickly lead to frustration and disappointment, so it’s best to avoid that pitfall altogether.
- Managing Customer Positions – this is an important feature that serves as a prioritizing method, for instance, to move a customer near the top of the queue if they have been waiting for a while. Customers would also have the option of moving themselves down in the queue if they realize their request is less important or that it will take more time to satisfy than others.
- Intelligent Customer Assignment – this algorithm automatically puts a customer in the most opportune customer queue, and it uses several criteria to make this determination. For instance, agent availability, appointment type, upcoming appointments, and the queue length might be factored into this selection.
- On-location Display Boards – these are displays visible to the customer that clearly show a customer’s position in the queue, as well as the availability of support agents. This confirms to the customer that they are in the shortest queue and have the least wait time before being served.
- Offers Several Reports – these reports will be used to make operational and marketing decisions that can be critical to a business. Typically, such reports would provide information such as purchasing behaviors, peak business times, the number of requests resolved in a given period, and the number of bookings in a given time frame.
Better Customer Experience with Virtual Queuing System
Virtual queueing is a more modern approach to customer queueing, and it can eliminate the time a customer has to wait in line. Customers can be placed into a virtual queue from multiple channels and receive updates on their phones or other devices about their position in line. It’s also very helpful for support team members because it provides a very easy way to manage queues and to add, remove, or adjust customer positioning.
Make Customer Service Outstanding with Queue Management Systems!
There’s no question that customer service is heavily impacted by the efficiency of your customer queueing system. It can make or break customer relationships, cementing life-long customer relations or ending a connection on the spot. Therefore, a company must invest in a good customer queuing system, whether traditional or virtual. Suppose you’re looking to upgrade or install a new customer queueing system that will improve customer relations. In that case, contact us today at Nemo-Q, where setting up such queues is something we’ve become experts at. We can help your company join the 21st century and deliver customer service that will make you stand out from your competitors.