Queue Management Systems: A Guide
The rationale behind queue management systems seems pretty simple. In fact, it is, because the primary purpose of queue management is to make the interaction between a service and a customer easier and quicker. It may not be quite obvious at first sight, but queue management systems enable companies to increase productivity, customer loyalty, and the overall viability of their service.
Queue management systems are now being used in numerous industries, from supermarket shopping to banking to government and public service providers. With cleverly designed algorithms, these systems generate sequences, which minimize customer waiting time as much as possible, and sort them based on urgency. In this guide, we will explain in detail how queue management systems work and how they contribute to customer satisfaction.
If you’ve ever been to a bank you might have seen one of those terminals which gives you a piece of paper with a code. As soon as you see your code pop up on the monitor that means that it’s already your turn. This is one of the simplest and the most common forms of queue management systems, which usually work on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis. In this case, customers are served in the order of arrival, and whoever waits for the longest is served first. There is the opposite of FIFO, which is called the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method and serves the most recently arrived customers first. Service in random order (SIRO) is another system, where your place in a line is assigned randomly. Another one is called priority selection, a system that arranges the inquiries based on urgency or other priority reasons. For example, don’t be surprised if a person with disabilities that comes after you is treated before you.
The Types of Queue Management Systems
We saw some of the most common queue management systems, now it’s time to see what types of systems are there, and which one is the best choice for each industry.
- Physical queue management – the simplest way of management, something that people usually follow intuitively (hopefully). Lots of complications can arise due to this system as most people get frustrated and may not actually keep their line. This is exactly what modern queue management systems are aiming to avoid.
- Ticket-based queue management – a very common type used widely in banks, government organizations, and post offices. A special server gives you a ticket with a code and all you have to do is to wait until you see that code on the screen.
- Digital queue management – this is the revolutionary type that companies use to make their own lives and the ones of the customers easier. With Earlyone you can reserve an appointment with an app from wherever you are and go to the desired location only when the time comes. This is a relatively new method that not a lot of people are familiar with. Some amount of time is still needed for customers to adapt to this technique, but we see huge potential for this.
As we already mentioned, an efficient management system has various short-term and long-term positive influences on the company’s wellbeing. First of all, it improves the relationship between your company and your customers. Customer complaints regarding artificial queues and waiting time become less, paving the way for the employees to establish a rapport with the customers instead. Second of all, it provides necessary information about waiting time and stuff like that, which companies can use to analyze and improve their service daily. And finally, in the long-term, it indirectly increases the productivity of the company. It all comes down to spending more time on actual improvement, rather than the hassle avoided by queue management systems.