How the QLess Waitlist Software Enables an Improved Out-of-Line Waiting Experience
Customers feel a sinking feeling when they arrive at a location and find themselves waiting in line. Everyone is familiar with this feeling because this is a universal experience. Lineups are a problem common to businesses in almost every industry. For years practical solutions have been hard to find. Enterprises should not be content with long customer waits in extended physical queues. Waitlist software is the solution to minimizing lines and improving the customer experience.
Customer satisfaction in the digital age depends on convenience, ease of access, and speed.
According to Freshlime, 70% of consumers say that speed, convenience, and friendly service are the most important aspects of the customer experience.
Regardless of the industry, enterprises must cut down on their average wait times. But lines happen for a reason. They are a product of demand overwhelming a business’ ability to provide immediate supply. So if waits are inevitable on some level, how can an enterprise hope to cut down on lines?
One of the biggest ways enterprises in industries ranging from healthcare and education to retail and government are changing consumer waiting experience is by implementing waitlist software. Waitlist software is a digital solution designed to give enterprises heightened control over how customers wait in line. It adds a digital component to the queueing experience for customers. This enables them to wait for their appointments outside of a physical lineup. Virtual waitlists are a modern digital solution, and QLess is the waitlist software many industry leaders depend on.
With QLess’ digital waitlist platform, enterprises around the world are moving their queues to smartphones, computers, and on-site kiosks. Let’s explore how this works and why the out-of-line waiting experience is one consumers prefer.
Why Your Customers Hate Waiting in Line
Before we dive into the details of waitlist software, virtual queues, and how they improve customer flow, let’s analyze the status quo. Physical queues have been the norm for as long as businesses have existed. Customers have probably been hating them for that long as well. But to what extent do customers dislike waiting in line? And what are the primary reasons customers are so against queues?
The answer to how much customers dislike queues is clear. They deeply dislike them. According to a comprehensive study by Time Trade, 75% of retailers report losing customers due to long waits, and 15% say the number one reason they lose customers is because of long waits. QLess’ findings back up this point.
According to a survey of 250 US adults, 64.4% of respondents said they would only be willing to wait five minutes or less for something non-essential. 68.9% stated that they would frequent a competitor’s business if it had notably shorter wait times.
It is clear that customers hate queues. We can all identify with the experience of frustration that comes from standing in a long lineup. But what is it exactly about waiting in lineups, whether at theme parks or healthcare providers, that drives us crazy? There has been significant psychological research into this question, and the answers are illuminating.
David Maister released one of the seminal works of queue psychology, and this paper laid out several rules based on studies that give us a sense of what customers like and don’t like about waiting in line. Some of these important rules include that uncertain waits feel longer to people than known, finite waits, unfair waits, where people feel others are moved in front of them, feel long than fair waits, and anxiety makes waits feel longer. With this in mind, it is easy to see why the standard waiting room is a source of significant frustration.
How Does QLess’ Waitlist Software Work?
Now that we have more of an understanding of why customers hate the typical waiting experience let’s look at how waitlist software works and why it is so effective. We’ll look at the QLess software and waitlist app and uncover how it works and the key features that make it so beneficial to enterprises around the world.
With QLess, the days of crowded waiting rooms and long physical lineups are in the past.
QLess includes queue management solutions embedded in their waitlist software, allowing customers to remotely check into a line.
There are several ways customers can enter these virtual queues. For an appointment-based business, customers can get sent a link when they schedule an appointment. Then, they can tap on it to check in when it is nearing the time for their appointment to begin. They can receive forecasted accurate wait times that indicate how long they will need to wait for their appointments, with updates sent to their mobile device. When it is time for their appointment to start, they can enter the line. For a retail store, restaurant, or theme park, customers can enter lines through an on-site kiosk or mobile app and have real-time updates on their position in the line sent to their mobile phone.
To ensure that waitlist software doesn’t complicate things for enterprises, they can manage the digital queue and better control their customer flow. If a customer is scheduled into a slot and sends staff a message that they aren’t ready, they can be moved back in the virtual line, and a present customer can be moved up. If a customer has set an appointment and is late without providing updates, they can be automatically removed from the queue. Staff can manage the lineup manually or automate it according to pre-configured policies. This keeps lineups moving efficiently and allows customers to wait for their appointments wherever they choose.
Why Customers Will Prefer Waitlist Software
Every move organizations make should be centered around consumers’ preferences. The happier customers are, the more likely they are to return to a business. So, customer retention is a huge driver of business success.
According to HubSpot, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s revenue by anywhere from 25-95%.
This is a big reason enterprises are so committed to spending money on the customer experience. For organizations looking for a way to directly increase the satisfaction of the people who frequent their business, waitlist software perfectly aligns with consumer preferences.
As we’ve touched on, the modern consumer craves convenience. In an age where you can grocery shop from your bed, consumers’ expectations are not what they used to be. According to Nasdaq, 83% of consumers said that convenience when shopping is more important to them now than it was five years ago. 52% of consumers said half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience. Do you know what is very inconvenient? Standing around in a long line.
With QLess’ waitlist software, consumers can remotely enter lineups while going on with their day. Modern customers value their time greatly. With QLess, they can work in their favorite cafe, attend to house chores, or grab a bite from a local eatery, all while waiting in line. The only time they need to enter the physical lineup is when they are at the front.
Customers also prefer waitlist software because it allows transparency in the waiting process. The queue management software will show them accurate forecasts of how long the lineup will take, so there is complete clarity about how long they must wait. Digital waiting removes the veil of confusion and anxiety that long lineups are typically engulfed in. It also offers a more customer-friendly experience.
Not only does QLess make waiting more pleasant, but it also reduces the time customers wait.
QLess has been said to reduce on-site wait times by up to 97%.
This is because it gives enterprises a tool for managing their customer flow. They can automate lineups or have staff manually control them. But the system allows for heightened organization over what often is a disjointed, disorganized business bottleneck. This will lead to a more efficient end-to-end experience for your customers.
The Positive Impacts of a Seamless Customer Journey
QLess’s waitlist software aims to help enterprises create a seamless experience for customers. This system is designed to help enterprises create a more organized, fast, and customer-friendly waiting system where customers are able to receive the product or service without the hassle of standing in a long line or sitting in a congested waiting room. Let’s dive into the details of what the value of this software is to enterprises’ bottom line.
Providing a positive customer experience is a proven driver of business success.
According to Forbes, businesses that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by 80%.
Investing in the happiness of your customers is investing in the success of your business. After all, keeping customers happy allows businesses to grow. Virtual waiting is a clear boon to the customer experience because it eliminates a massively common customer complaint. According to Total Retail, the single biggest consumer frustration with shopping is long wait times, with 43% of consumers stating this is their biggest complaint with the shopping experience.
QLess helps create an efficient, bottleneck-free customer experience where the consumer is empowered. This will change how your customers view your business and how they review it. Reviews are a crucial component to success in the modern marketplace, where nine out of ten consumers say online reviews play a role in them discovering local businesses. Removing extended lineups from your business will lead to positive customer feedback, helping boost your enterprise’s reputation.
The more convenient and fast your customer journey is, the happier consumers will be. This will have a definite impact on the bottom line, as customers provide positive reviews and loyalty in return.
Harness the Power of Business Intelligence
When seeking ways to improve customer service, one solution that is often overlooked is the power of data. Concise, accurate data provides enterprises with the pivotal information they need. Sometimes, all it takes to improve is a better understanding of where you are failing. Data helps show businesses where they are succeeding and where they are coming up short. However, collecting data on the customer experience is difficult when every aspect of the customer journey is physical. With QLess’s online waitlist software, organizations can add a digital touchpoint that allows them to collect business intelligence on the customer journey.
QLess’s business intelligence features collect and store data based on the experience of the customers using the waitlist software.
This system tracks information about the customer waiting and appointment processes and presents it to the business. Some of the information QLess provides includes:
- Median wait time
- Number of customers served in a day
- Appointment no-show percentage
- Employee utilization
- And much more
This information is presented on a dashboard that allows businesses to spot micro-trends and aberrations with graphs and charts. This data can be segmented according to date, time, employee, appointment type, and more.
These charts enable organizations to identify what might be holding them back from achieving the best possible results. If there are certain appointment types or times where the wait times are higher than others, it is clear that there is a problem. A better understanding of the critical bottlenecks in your customer journey will allow enterprises to fix these bottlenecks and create more efficient waiting experiences.
Businesses that make data-backed decisions are at an advantage, as they are operating based on objective information. Data is a huge determinant of business success.
A McKinsey study indicated that companies that empower employees to use data in their decision-making are nearly 1.5 times likelier to report a revenue growth of 10% or more in the past three years.
The QLess data tools allow enterprises to quantify customer journey results and changes. If you spot a problem and try and address it by changing an element of your offerings, the QLess waitlist software can provide objective numerical data that will indicate whether the strategic changes have paid off.
Meet the Needs of COVID-Cautious Customers
After two years of sheltering in place, lockdowns, and the threat of a dangerous virus hanging over people’s heads, there is a sense that things have returned to normalcy. Businesses are open, crowds are back, and life seems to have reverted to how things were. However, there are still many people that are on edge about COVID. It is hard to shake the feeling that two years of pandemic chaos can bring. It’s only natural that some customers will not feel comfortable sitting in big crowded waiting rooms. QLess helps enterprises accommodate these customers, ensuring consumers are more at-ease and organizations don’t miss out on COVID-cautious customers’ business.
Consumers are still a little edgy about being around others, and this is most heavily pronounced in the healthcare industry.
In a QLess survey of 250 US adults, 59.4% of respondents indicated that they would associate a crowded waiting room with potentially unsafe conditions.
There is still a feeling of discomfort many people have, and businesses need to be aware of that fact.
According to Morning Consult, 55% of US adults say they are somewhat or very concerned about the omicron variant of the pandemic as of December 2022. Even if much has returned to normalcy, many people are still on edge. With QLess, waitlist software, organizations can remove congestion from their offices. This ensures maximum comfort for weary customers.
Customers can check into the lines from their homes. Then, they receive SMS notifications about their status in line, and arrive only when their appointment is set to begin. This minimizes face-to-face contact and will alleviate much of the discomfort they feel. QLess is also optional, so for customers who don’t need to wait from outside the waiting room, the choice is theirs. It simply enables customers to make that decision for themselves, an option they wouldn’t have had before.
After years of tumultuous times and disruption, the world has returned to full speed. For some, this is intimidating. QLess offers those still not at ease in crowds the ability to wait away from other customers and helps enterprises ensure they are meeting the needs of all their customers.
Easy to Implement Across Industries
One of the biggest roadblocks to enterprises implementing waitlist management software is preconceived notions that it might be difficult or that potential customers will struggle to use it. While these are valid concerns, with QLess, they haven’t been borne out by reality. QLess is easy to integrate for enterprises and easy to use for customers and has been utilized by major companies in education, retail, government, healthcare, and much more.
With government offices, QLess has .gov integration, meaning government enterprises can implement it on their government websites without any additional hassle. QLess for education has Microsoft Teams and Zoom integration, so higher education institutions reliant on virtual meetings with students can run their digital appointment calendars through the software. In the healthcare industry,
QLess’ waitlist software has helped doctors’ offices and healthcare organizations reduce the number of patients waiting in line by 35% and improve operational efficiencies by up to 90% with major partners like UCLA health.
No hardware is required when purchasing QLess, and there isn’t even a need to install software. QLess is a hosted service that business owners can run on a company’s website. While additional features, like an on-site kiosk, can be added to augment QLess’s web-hosted offerings, this is up to enterprises. The implementation is straightforward, and with API integration, QLess ensures that businesses don’t have to condense their tech stack. It works in complement with the other solutions they use.
If enterprises are worried about alienating potential customers with the addition of virtual queuing and waitlist software, they might not be aware of the habits of the typical consumer in North America. According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans own a smartphone, so the average consumer will have mobile technology on-hand to access waitlist solutions. Consumers also value the addition of technology to their shopping experience. According to Clerk.io, nearly 80% of consumers prefer omnichannel strategies because it improves communication in the shopping experience. Your customers like technology integrated with their shopping, and chances are they possess the technology to utilize waitlist solutions.
QLess offers software changing the customer journey from the restaurant industry to healthcare. It is easy to implement, doesn’t require significant digital or physical infrastructure changes from enterprises, and aligns with consumers’ tech preferences.
Waitlist Software Key Takeaways
Standing in line is an experience that is universally disliked. Standing with a group of agitated strangers, waiting for your name or number to be called can feel alienating and impersonal. While most companies chalk this up to a symptom of supply and demand, in today’s age of customer experience-oriented enterprise, it doesn’t pay to tolerate long queues. Your customers demand and expect speed and convenience; if they aren’t receiving this from you, they’ll look elsewhere. With waitlist software, businesses across industries are changing the waiting experience.
Waitlist software allows customers to wait out of line. Instead of the long physical queues or congested waiting rooms, customers can wait from their couches, at a nearby local cafe, or any other location of their choosing. They check into virtual queues, monitor their wait time, receive real-time data on their position in line, and arrive only when their appointment is ready to begin. For customers, this is the seamless, convenient experience that they crave.
For enterprises, waitlist software helps organize and streamline the customer journey while offering data insights into the experience. It is a tool for improving the time customers have in a business, ensuring enterprises retain customers, and improving their bottom line.