Customers Love SMS Queue Systems

SMS Queue Systems - people queuing beside Louis Vuitton store

Introduction

In today’s consumer-friendly world, the importance of customer satisfaction reigns supreme. Very few markets are not saturated, and your customers will have options in just about every industry. From retail to healthcare and education, your customers may just look elsewhere if the customer experience isn’t good. This is great for consumers but challenging for businesses.

While the product and service you provide for your customers is a pivotal driver of success, customer service and the purchasing experience also define customer loyalty. If consumers enter your business and are greeted with hectic wait times and disorganized staff, their chances of sticking around are greatly reduced. But managing customer flow has proven difficult for businesses for years.

Luckily, we’ve now reached a point where technology has advanced enough to help in this department. SMS queue systems are virtual waiting line management systems that can be accessed through customers’ phones. These systems drastically re-shape how consumers wait to access businesses, making it easier, faster, and friction-free.

Long queues are an arduous, annoying experience for customers, and many businesses lose out on customers because of them. According to SimpleTexting, 25% of people report they would only wait in line for a maximum of two minutes, while 59% wouldn’t wait longer than four minutes. 73% of people would abandon their purchase if they had to wait longer than five minutes. People anticipate rapid service, and they often walk away if a business doesn’t provide it.

Let’s dive into how SMS queue systems can help, why customers love them so much, and the importance of providing an optimal customer experience.

 

Benefits of Putting the Customer Preferences First

Most businesses operate under budgetary constraints and must be cognizant of how they spend every dollar. Some businesses decide not to invest in CX initiatives for this reason. Investing in infrastructure that puts customers’ needs first can be expensive, but the value businesses find from developing a top-notch customer experience strategy is significant. The better the customer experience is, the better your business will perform. It is that simple.

Countless statistics illustrate just how vital investing in accommodating customer preferences is. According to Gartner, 64% of people find the customer experience more important than the price when making a purchase. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t customer-centric, according to HubSpot. By investing in a strong customer experience, you are really investing in the growth and success of your business.

Customer experience may seem like a vague term, but there are clear factors that define the experience. According to Statista, lack of effectiveness (27%) and lack of speed (12%) are the two biggest causes of a poor experience. Businesses with high average wait times and poor crowd control are falling very short in these regards. If a strong customer experience is a key to creating loyal customers, then a virtual queue, like an SMS queue management system, can be a massive asset for a business.

These are customer management platforms that can help improve the customer experience by streamlining the speed and efficiency with which a business operates. A digital queuing system is an easy-to-use system that benefits businesses and customers. It provides the customer with a better experience, helps the business retain the people that frequent their store or offices, and reduces exasperation on both ends. Investing in the happiness of your customers is tantamount to investing in your company’s success, and an SMS waiting line management platform is a worthwhile investment.

 

How Do SMS Queue Systems Work?

If you’re going to implement an SMS queue system into your business, understanding how it works and what they do will help clarify why a queue management system is valuable. Essentially, how an SMS queue system works is that customers will join a queue from their phone. They will receive accurate reports on the wait time before their turn at the front of the line comes. They will then be notified by SMS message updates on their position in line, so they can monitor their spot in line and time their presence in-store accordingly.

A customer journey management platform like this has other key features as well. Because it runs through SMS, many platforms, including QLess, offer bi-directional communication. Businesses can send messages to customers updating them on changes in the wait or appointments, and customers can update businesses on things like pertinent information for their appointments.

The platform also provides Business Intelligence features that are impactful for businesses. Unlike a typical physical queue, where there is no way to track timing and individual experiences, virtual queuing solutions equip businesses with high-quality data on their line process. They can report general average wait times, waits for certain services or departments, and more. Businesses can also send out customer feedback surveys to learn more about how they found the experience.

Essentially, SMS message queues are digitalizing the line process. Rather than stand around in physical lines, customers can enter the line virtually, receive a simple text message updating them on timing, and plan accordingly. Businesses can choose to fully integrate their line in this format or blend walk-in physical lineups with a virtual queue with the flexible key features of these products.

SMS queue systems are valuable digital services that transform the waiting experience.

 

Increased Freedom and Accessibility

The annoying aspect of the line is the feeling of being stuck in place. Everyone hates standing in line because they are confined to a wait in a place they don’t want to stay for a long period. Whether that is a DMV office, a retail store, an advisement appointment, or a doctor’s waiting room, long waits often frustrate us because they reduce our freedom. If you remove the physical barriers of a lineup, you are increasing your customers’ freedom and making your business more accessible.

Rather than stand around in a store or office, customers now can wait where they please. They can check into the lineup from their favorite nearby coffee shop or apartment, read a book or do work while they wait, and receive SMS updates throughout the process. Essentially, they have the freedom to wait how they want.

Your business becomes more accessible because an SMS queue system like QLess often includes comprehensive appointment scheduling software. Appointment scheduling software allows customers to schedule appointments at any time, browsing by available appointment times and types. They can input critical information, receive updates and reminders for their appointments, and schedule according to their unique needs.

The more accessible your services are to customers, the more likely they will use them. The appointment scheduling process doesn’t need to be a difficult experience, and neither does waiting in line. With an SMS queue system, businesses can provide a software solution that reduces the difficulty for customers, providing them with more freedom, mobility, and easier access to appointments.

 

Reduced Wait Times for Friction-Free Interactions

Customers who spend hours standing in line often don’t emerge from the experience in the highest spirits. Often, when staff is dealing with angry or rude customers, it is because they are frustrated and feel like they haven’t been treated properly. There is no excuse for being rude to front-line staff, but by reducing wait times, businesses will likely find that their average customer’s disposition will improve.

QLess and other smart queue platforms have the ability to drastically reduce the wait times for your business. Data from QLess shows that some customers have managed to shorten wait times by 97% and increased staff productivity by 90%. These are drastic transformations that not only improve the customer experience but also help businesses increase their efficiency and profitability.

An SMS queue management system has advanced features that dramatically improve speed. Not only do they reduce queue lengths within the store, but they make it easier for staff to manage the queue and adjust to changes in real-time. The smart queue can be automated to ensure that people find the right appointments at the right time.

The queue is broken down according to appointment type and other differentiating factors, and customers are seamlessly organized and moved based on their appointment time or spot in line. This means that in-store congestion is down and efficiency is up. As staff has their workflows arranged for them, their day-to-day work is more organized. This allows for more rapid progression through the line and less time spent dealing with dissatisfied customers.

The business intelligence features also go a long way toward reducing wait times. According to Tech Jury, data analytics makes decision-making 5x faster for business. Business intelligence from SMS queue systems allows enterprises to understand more about operational bottlenecks. They can see departments or times of day where waits tend to be the longest and adjust their strategy accordingly.

The less your customers have to wait, the happier they will be. Dissatisfied customers are a significant problem for a business, but by cutting back on wait times, a more frictionless experience for all parties can be achieved.

man in grey crew-neck t-shirt smiling to woman on counter

 

A Stress-Free Queue Experience

Everyone is familiar with that feeling while standing in line. The line is moving at a fraction of the speed you want it to, time feels like it is moving at a snail’s pace, and the anxiety and frustration begin to mount. Waiting in a queue can be a truly agitating experience for something we find ourselves doing so often. While waits to some extent, are an inevitable part of providing a product or service to a large number of people, that stressful feeling doesn’t need to be a part of the wait.

One of the advantages of queuing system software is that it completely transforms the queue experience. It is no longer an anxiety-inducing, uncertain wait that feels deeply impersonal. SMS queue systems provide accurate insights into what the actual waiting time will be, help maintain consistent communication between staff and customers, and ensure that all customers need for their wait is a cell phone.

The psychology of waiting in line has been studied significantly. One of the key findings from David H. Maister’s The Psychology of Waiting Lines is that unknown wait times feel longer than known wait times. If customers stand in line without understanding when that line will end, that wait will feel drastically longer. Another takeaway from this study was that unexplained waits feel longer than explained waits. If customers don’t hear communication from staff about why their waits are taking so long, it will make the duration feel longer and add to feelings of irritation.

SMS queue systems make for a stress-free queue experience by giving your customers a clear idea of how long their wait will be. There are SMS updates throughout indicating wait times, making it a vastly more transparent experience. If there are changes in the lineup or with staff, businesses can send custom messages to customers, so their waits are explained. This creates a painless queue experience devoid of the usual stressors that lead to a bad time in line.

 

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Customer loyalty is how businesses stay alive. Attracting new customers is essential to establishing and growing your business, but if you can’t keep the customers you’ve already attracted, your churn rate will be too high, and you’ll find your business losing money. Regardless of the industry, finding ways to retain your customers is the only way to ensure a bright future for your enterprise.

The data supports a customer retention mindset for businesses. According to Outbound Engine, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining a current one, and by increasing retention by just 5%, companies can increase profits from 25-95%. Investing in strategies that will help retain customers is the decision many businesses worldwide are making.

QLess helps removes one of the biggest obstacles to increasing satisfaction and loyalty: a negative customer service situation. Customers quickly disengage with a company due to a negative customer service experience. According to Microsoft, 58% of American consumers will switch companies because of poor customer service. A report from Glad showed that 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase because of poor customer service.

Most of the time, bad customer service isn’t because the staff is disinterested or poorly trained. It is often not the front-line staff’s fault. Slow business processes and long wait times are out of the staff’s control, but they bear the brunt of customers’ anger.

By streamlining business processes and eliminating the need for in-person waits, an SMS queue system will have a marked impact on customer retention. This customer-friendly solution is designed to minimize one of the most difficult aspects of purchasing a product or service. It empowers customers with additional freedom and mobility while reducing wait times and providing invaluable data to businesses.

 

Enhanced Customer Engagement

Your customers want to feel heard. They want to feel like businesses value them, like their patronage matters. Most enterprises struggle to accommodate that feeling. It can be difficult to be responsive to the unique needs of a constant flow of customers throughout the day. But ensuring that businesses provide their customers a personalized service is essential. According to Startup Bonsai, 80% of consumers are likelier to buy from a business that provides a tailored experience.

One of the best ways to engage your customers is through an SMS queue system that opens communication between staff and shoppers. If you’ve ever been late for an appointment, tried to call the office, and been unable to contact staff, you know how important a clear line of communication is. QLess has bi-directional communication features that help staff and customers in several ways.

For customers, it opens the door to a more communicative, engaging experience. The ability to ask staff questions from your phone, understand why there’s additional waiting time, and update with additional information regarding your appointments leads to a more engaged customer. The feeling of just passing through a business or office is reduced, as customers can send or receive custom messages that feel like authentic human interactions.

For businesses, a more communicative customer has a lot of value. If it is hard for your customers to communicate with you, it can be difficult for your business to receive updates on delays and cancellations. This can limit the speed with which a business adapts. But if you have an SMS queue system with appointment software, you can quickly have appointments move around, so the customer flow isn’t disrupted. This leads to a higher capacity for customer intake.

Engaged customers are happy customers, and empowering the people that frequent your business with more open communication channels goes a long way. It helps create a personalized experience and gives your business a more flexible response to changes.

 

A Mobile Solution for the Mobile Consumer

If you want to connect with the people that frequent your business and make a strong impression, utilizing the methods of communication they prefer is an impactful decision. Not every customer communicates the same way, but some tendencies make sense for a business to try and accommodate. One of the biggest ones is the average consumer’s preference for smartphone technology.

Some businesses prefer emails, others phone calls, but the typical consumer will want to interact with your business using their smartphone. According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans own a smartphone of some kind. The ability to chat and message on smartphones is more rapid and informal than email but less intrusive than phone calls.

These kinds of convenient smartphone communications have grown in popularity since the onset of the pandemic, particularly with younger demographics, according to a report from Google. That same report shows that 68% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business if they offer convenient communications.

With such a significant share of the population utilizing smartphones, businesses should align their communication strategy accordingly. The simplified communication of smartphone technology goes a long way, particularly for rapid communication like late notices, appointment reminders, and questions for upcoming appointments.

If you want to match the preferences of your customers, an SMS queue system is a mobile solution perfect for the smartphone-driven world. While QLess has a virtual queue app for Android and iOS users, the SMS queuing system can be used by anyone with a phone. It is easy to grasp, can be taken with customers wherever they go and allows for more rapid and efficient communications between staff and shoppers.

 

Conclusion

There is a reason that customer-driven businesses tend to succeed more than businesses that don’t prioritize their customers. The happier your customer is, the likelier they are to return, and the more growth you will have. Investing in strategies that align with your customers’ preferences, make their experience within your business easier, and remove some of the primary obstacles that lead to dissatisfaction is a must. That is why more and more businesses across industries are investing in SMS queue technology.

SMS queue technology is a queue management solution that allows customers to join lines from their mobile phones, spot the estimated wait time, and receive SMS updates regarding their appointments. They can message back and forth with staff for a more communicative experience. These features drastically reduce wait time and make for a more pleasant waiting experience, as they have the option to wait for their appointments from wherever they are.

For businesses, SMS queue systems are similarly beneficial. They improve customer loyalty and reduce the number of dissatisfied customers a business will have to interact with. They also provide essential business intelligence and data into operation performance, so businesses can understand and confront key bottlenecks. The flexible appointment software makes it easier to overcome missed or late appointments.

Overall, SMS queue systems are a powerful solution that customers love. They help businesses offer a more personal, stress-free interaction and cut down on one of the biggest roadblocks to an enjoyable experience: long wait times and physical lines. With an SMS queue system, wait times are reduced, physical lines are a thing of the past, and the customer experience is brought to the forefront.