Queuing is a fact of life. You probably find yourself waiting in line for things like groceries, movies, coffee, and even a haircut. But what about when you’re trying to get help from customer service by putting into use queue management software?
If you run an online store, you know that your customers will have questions or requests for assistance during the course of their shopping experience. The problem is that there may not be enough representatives available at any given time to help them.
This is where queue management software (QM Software) comes in handy!
These tools allow you to manage virtual waiting lines for customers who can’t wait in line physically but still need your attention ASAP.
For instance, if you have an online store and customers need help placing an order via phone, but there aren’t enough representatives available at any given time — virtual queuing allows customers to place themselves on a list while they wait for someone to become available.
What is Queue Management?
Queue management refers to the process of organizing customers waiting in line so that they move through the queue efficiently and quickly.
In addition to having a well-managed queue, it is important to ensure that your employees are working effectively while they wait on customers. These two aspects work together to ensure that every customer is served quickly and efficiently.
Types of Queues: Online vs. Offline Queues
There are two types of queues: online and offline. Both have their own pros and cons.
1. Online queues
In an online queue, the customer will see a real-time countdown clock showing how long they have to wait until their order is ready. The store owner can also see how many customers are waiting in line and what their names are. This helps them see if they need to hire more staff or ask a friend to help out.
2. Offline queues
Offline queues have no online component and require the customer to be physically present at the register when they want their order to be fulfilled. The store owner can still see how many people are in line, but they won’t know who’s there until they get up next to them at the register.
This Means That:
When choosing software, you must consider what kind of queues you expect–whether you’re going to manage online and offline queues?
If your business has both online and offline queues, then you’ll need a combination of these two types of software.
For example, if your company has an online sales portal where customers can select items for purchase but also offers telephone sales support for customers who prefer talking over the phone, then it would be best to use a combination of both types of QM solutions.
Queue Management Software: The Features that Matter Most
We’ve compiled a list of key features that every good queue management tool should have:
1. Virtual queuing
Virtual queuing is another key feature that every good queuing software should have. This allows you to add virtual waiting lines for customers who can’t wait in line physically but still need your attention ASAP.
For instance, if you have an online store and customers need help placing an order over the phone, but there aren’t enough representatives available at any given time — virtual queuing allows customers to leave a message, which will alert the next available representative when it’s their turn to take calls.
2. Workflow Automation / Workflow Management
Workflow automation is one of the most important aspects when it comes to effective queue management. With this feature enabled, agents will be able to perform tasks without having to wait for approval by supervisors or managers.
3. Centralized management
Another important feature of any good queue management software is centralized management. This means that you can view the status of all queues at once, no matter where they are located or how many different people are managing them.
You should also be able to easily manage multiple queues at once, even if they’re located in different locations around the world.
4. Mobile Usage
In today’s digital age, mobile devices are becoming increasingly important in our daily lives. This means that it’s essential for any good queue management tool to be compatible with mobile devices too. This way, your employees can access the information they need wherever they are.
5. Cross-platform organization
It shouldn’t matter whether you’re using Mac or PC; the software should work in both environments. This will also help you train your staff on how to use the system, even if they’re working from home or traveling abroad.
6. Multi-queue Management
Another important feature of queue management tools is their ability to handle multiple queues at once. This allows businesses with multiple locations or departments to manage customer service queues more efficiently by splitting them into different queues based on location, department, or other criteria.
For example, you can create separate queues for each of your stores — so if one store gets busy while another one is empty, you’ll know exactly where to send agents when they’re needed most.
7. Customer database
The customer database allows you to store information about each individual customer and his or her preferences. It’s also useful for looking up past orders and other details about each person who walks through your door.
8. Sales history
A sales history feature will allow you to see how much money each person has spent over time or how much money they’ve spent on certain items (e.g., coffee).
This will help you determine which customers should be prioritized over others if there’s only one barista working behind the counter during rush hour.
9. Analytics and insights
You’ll also want to look for queue management software that offers analytics and insights into your customer’s behavior.
This will allow you to make informed decisions about how best to improve your customer experience by understanding what works and doesn’t work when managing queues.
10. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
Good customer relationship management (CRM) software allows you to track customer information and interactions, which is crucial for your business. A CRM integration will allow you to transfer information between the two platforms so that you can use the data in both places.
For example, if a customer calls and asks for help with an order, you can use this information to update their account in your queue management system so that it’s easier for them to check out the next time they visit your website.
11. Real-Time Information Sharing
Having real-time information sharing between your website and queue management system means that any changes made on one side will be reflected on the other automatically without any additional effort from you or your employees.
This can save time and money because you won’t have to manually update each website every time an order is placed or changed by customers or employees alike.
In addition, having real-time updates makes it easier for customers to check out because they no longer have to wait patiently while someone completes their order manually—they get notified right away when their payment is successful.
12. Automatic Call Routing / Queue Groups
Automatic call routing is the first step to getting your call center’s queues organized. You can set up rules so that your calls are routed automatically based on certain criteria such as the caller’s location, language, or even their type of inquiry (complaints, compliments).
This way, you can keep track of all incoming calls and ensure that they’re addressed in an efficient manner.
13. Call Prioritization / Call Queues
Call prioritization allows you to prioritize certain calls over others based on their nature and urgency.
For example, if you’re receiving multiple calls about lost luggage at an airport during peak hours, you can set up a rule that gives priority to these types of calls so that they’re answered first by agents instead of waiting in line behind other customers who may not need immediate assistance or have urgent issues to resolve.
Crucial Considerations When Buying Queue Management Software
Queue management tech is a must-have for businesses with high volumes of customers. It allows you to manage your queues in a more efficient manner and maximize customer satisfaction.
Here are some factors to consider when buying QM software:
It’s important to choose a queue management solution that can grow with your business. If you’re just getting started and don’t have many customers yet, you may want to start off with a simple, inexpensive option. As your company grows and more customers flock to your business, you’ll need a solution that can scale with you.
2. Easy Setup & Use
You don’t have time to spend hours setting up and configuring your queue management solution— especially if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to spend as much time as possible growing your business instead of maintaining automated processes.
Look for software setup process that doesn’t require any technical knowledge or training on your part.
3. Customization Options
Queue management software should allow you to customize the interface and add features that meet your specific needs.
For example, if one of your priorities is customer engagement (for example, through live chat), then make sure the software supports this feature so that employees can communicate with customers directly through the queue process without needing to modify the settings.
4. The features that matter most to your business
When you’re looking for software, it’s important to consider the features that matter most to your business.
For example, if your goal is to reduce employee turnover and improve customer satisfaction, you might want to consider a solution that automates shift assignments and makes it easier for workers to switch shifts.
If you want to increase productivity and reduce costs, you might want queue management tech that lets employees see their own availability and pick up extra shifts with just a few clicks.
Or if you want seamless integration with other systems in your business, such as HR software or payroll systems, then look for a solution that integrates easily with other applications.
5. A user-friendly interface
It’s essential that any QM tool you choose is easy to use and navigate. If you’re going to be using it often, it needs to be intuitive — otherwise, employees may spend too much time trying to figure out how to do something rather than actually doing it.
6. Easy integration with other tools
Some businesses use multiple tools (such as CRM systems) in their daily operations, so it’s useful if a queue management system can integrate with them seamlessly. This saves time and makes sure all your data is up-to-date at all times.
7. Is it customizable?
The ability to customize your queue management software according to your needs is important as well: it allows you to tailor the software’s features and functionality according to your business requirements without having to pay extra fees for additional features that aren’t useful for you right now (or ever).
8. Messaging & Notification
Another key feature that every good queue management technology should have is the ability to send emails when your queue reaches certain thresholds (e.g., when it’s full). This way, users don’t need to stay glued to their screens all day just waiting for someone in the queue to reach out!
9. Check for hidden costs
Make sure there are no hidden costs associated with using this queue management solution (e.g., monthly fees). You don’t want to find yourself paying more than expected every month just because there.
Steps to Introduce Staff to Queue Management Software
If you’re looking to introduce your staff to new QM software, there are a few steps you need to follow.
1. Introduce the problem(s) you’re trying to solve
Describe the main issues that have led you to consider queue management solutions, and explain how this particular product will address those problems.
“If you’re currently using pen and paper to maintain your queues, then you probably know that it’s time-consuming and inefficient.
Every time a customer calls in or walks in with an issue, you have to stop what you’re doing and write down their name and number on the sheet.
Once they hang up or leave, you’ll have to look them up by their name and then call them back with further instructions.
That process can take up valuable time that could be spent helping other customers who are waiting in line right now.”
When you introduce your staff to QM software, they’ll quickly see how much easier it is to check their queues online and make updates when necessary instead of relying on pen and paper.
2. lay down expectations
You’ll want to make sure that everyone understands how it works. It’s important that everyone knows how the queue management software works and what they can expect from it. If there are any changes in the way your customers are served, make sure that your team is informed of those changes as well.
3. Highlight the role of teamwork in ensuring successful implementation
Make sure your team is working together rather than going off on their own with separate projects, as this will make it easier for everyone to get used to the new system.
4. Develop a schedule
Another thing to consider is the time it takes your employees to learn how to use the system. If there are many different features or functions within the queue management solutions, then this will take time for everyone to get used to.
5. Gather resources
You’ll also want to ensure that all employees have access to computers or tablets to check their queues and make updates if necessary.
In addition, if you do decide on a cloud-based solution, then make sure that all devices have access to Wi-Fi or cellular networks so they can connect with your queue management tech whenever they need it.
Also, make sure that everyone has access to documentation and videos about how to use the queue management software efficiently and effectively before you rely on them too heavily for help with issues like customer service tickets or inventory tracking requests from vendors or suppliers.
6. Decide on training methods
You can opt for online or in-person training, but make sure you choose a method that will work best with your team’s needs.
For example, if you have remote workers who need access to information about their shifts, then an online training tool makes sense because it’s easily accessible from any device.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of employees in one location who need hands-on training, then an in-person session may be more effective.
7. Offer hands-on training
Once your team has been introduced to QM software, offer hands-on learning opportunities so they can practice using it on their own time. This will help them feel more comfortable using the software and ensure that they’re getting the most out of it.
You can also encourage them to ask questions after they’ve had some time using the system on their own — this gives them an opportunity to share feedback while helping improve future iterations of the software.
8. Focus on the different departments and how they collaborate
Whenever possible, introduce new tools by focusing on specific departments or teams.
For example, if you have one department responsible for marketing campaigns and another department responsible for customer service inquiries, you can introduce queue management software by highlighting how it will help each of these teams collaborate more effectively with one another.
9. Be patient with your team
When introducing new tools, it’s important to be patient with your team as they learn how best to use them. Be sure to set aside time during training sessions so people can ask questions about how the tool works and what their responsibilities are once they’ve been trained on how to use it.
10. Offer personalized training to slow-learning staff
Employees who are slower to pick up new skills or are more senior in the organization may need a more personal approach to training.
For example, if you’re introducing your team to a new tool and one employee finds it difficult to use, you can create a custom training plan for them that focuses on their specific needs.
11. Organize practicals to assess team after training sessions
It’s important to understand how well your team is performing after they’ve gone through a training session. You can ask them to complete a task using the software, then evaluate their work. This will give you valuable insight into your team’s productivity levels and allow you to identify any areas where they need further training or support.
How Much for Queue Management Software?
Queue management tools make use of a range of different techniques to improve the customer experience and achieve business objectives. Some simple queue management tools are free, while some are complex and expensive.
The cost of Queue management software depends on the type of system you choose to use. The most basic systems are free, but they may not offer all of the features you need.
Basic QM software costs about $50 to $150 per month for a single location. If you have multiple locations, it will cost more money.
QM software that offers advanced features can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month, depending on how many agents you need to support and how many locations you want to manage.
The best way to determine how much queue management software costs is by contacting a few different vendors directly or getting quotes from independent contractors who work with them regularly.
There are a number of options out there, but they vary widely in terms of features and cost.
It’s important to consider how much you’ll use the software, how many people will be using it, and whether it will integrate with other systems you may already have in place — like your CRM or POS system.
If you’re unsure about which solution is right for you, do extensive research before implementing software to manage online and offline queues.