Safer queueing with virtual solutions
This currently situation leads us to new challenges!
The current situation regarding COVID-19 poses challenges for service providers. Governments around the world have encouraged citizens to practice social distancing and imposed restrictions with varying degrees of stringency to tackle the situation.
Some service providers remain open to provide essential services for citizens (hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores for example). At the same time, many countries have put in place restrictions on the maximum number of people allowed in a space at any one time.
We’ve seen pictures with long queues outside pharmacies and retail stores as soon as these restrictions started. The question is, how can service providers provide safer environment for customers and staff, while also striving to deliver excellent services and comfort for all?
Virtual queueing is the solution for service providers to keep customers and staff safe while striving to deliver excellent services.
What is virtual queueing?
Virtual queueing is a practice where customers don’t have to physically wait in line to get a service. In virtual queueing, a system is used to place customers in a virtual queue.
The virtual queue is invisible in the sense that customers are not confined to any waiting spot, so they do not know what position they have in the queue relative to others.
The customer’s place in the virtual queue is secured by an identifier like a printed ticket or managed through their mobile phone as an SMS, mobile ticket or queueing app. The identifier is often given upon arrival but can be provided in advance when booking an appointment. Because the place in the queue is secured, there is no need for a physical waiting line.
How can virtual queueing solutions aid social distancing?
Virtual queueing is about managing customer journeys in the digital space, so they have minimal close interactions with either staff or fellow customers.
A few ways virtual queueing solutions can help with social distancing:
- Regulating the number of people visiting your premises
- Keeping close interactions to a minimum
- Reducing the time customers must spend on-site
- Managing customer flow
Customers can wait remotely!
With a mobile ticket on their phone, customers don’t need to wait on your premise. As they can monitor their place in the queue, they can wait in the car, at home, or anywhere outside your waiting area. You can also keep them notified through SMS, so they know when to make their way to the premise. If possible, provide notifications on details such as the number of open counters, services offered, current waiting and transaction times.
Managing virtual queueing
Behind the scenes, there are essential parts to making sure a virtual queueing experience for customers is seamless: performance monitoring and data analysis.
Finally, analyse the performance reports to see if the whole operation runs smoothly. Are waiting times acceptable and does the staff allocation works well? Make sure you monitor regularly so you can identify problems or bottlenecks, and improve your customers’ experience.
Which service providers can benefit from a virtual queueing system?
In the current situation, some service providers must remain open. These are some examples of where a virtual queueing system can be of a huge help in reducing infection risk and create a safer environment for customers and staff.
- Public sector: Government offices and services that need to stay open.
- Healthcare: Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.
- Retail: Grocery stores, pharmacies, other essential business stores.
- Catering: Restaurants and Takeaways.
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