2013 is virtually here

2013 is virtually here

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With a New Year fast approaching, the team at Tensator has been looking ahead to those queue management and customer journey solutions that we will be seeing much more of in 2013.

Over the next few weeks, we will be counting down Tensator’s top three product predictions for 2013 and highlighting those solutions that will be increasing revenues, improving efficiencies and enhancing the customer experience.

3. Virtual Queuing

We begin our countdown at number three, by taking a look at Virtual Queuing.

There is no doubting that the concept of virtual, or dispersed, queuing has become more commonplace in 2012, and we believe this is set to increase significantly in 2013.

Virtual queue management solutions allow the correct member of staff to be matched to the requirements of the customer. The consumer takes a ticket for their required service on arrival and is free to browse, relax or watch on-screen media whilst they wait.

Tickets tell the consumer their position in the queue and the anticipated waiting time. When the next operator is free, the customer is called forward for service. There is also the option for customers to pre-book appointments via reception or a self-service kiosk. Fundamentally, the customer is in a queue without actually feeling like they are in one.

Recent research from mobile operator Three revealed that the British public is prepared to wait in a physical line for no longer than four minutes. So, with the risk of walk-aways high, it seems that virtual queuing presents a viable alternative.

At the moment, virtual queuing solutions are more widely used in the public sector, and can be found in places where a variety of people require a wide range of services. Notable users include some of the biggest councils and hospitals across the country.

Whereas virtual queuing will continue to be prevalent in the public sector, the team at Tensator believes that its benefits will start to be picked up by a variety of other sectors in 2013.

We believe that retail is the one to watch here. Solutions can be implemented in mainstream areas, such as customer help desks, but you also have to consider some of the growing retail trends. The use of self-service is continuing to rise, as is the ability for the consumer to order online and collect in-store. Virtual queuing has a part to play in both of these areas.

Here are just some of the benefits offered by virtual queuing and the reasons why we will be shouting about it next year:

Cost savings: Virtual queuing helps to optimise available resources and improve operational efficiencies. Statistical data can also be used to analyse service usage and redistribute resources or processes. All of this can ultimately lead to a reduction in costs.

Improving the customer experience: Swifter service times and a dispersed queuing environment inevitably result in increased levels of customer satisfaction. The queue can also be monitored in real-time, allowing staff to be re-allocated before queues grow too long, again enhancing the customer journey. Consumer convenience can also be increased by allowing customers to book appointments themselves, either online or on-premise.

Increased sales / brand promotion: Freeing the customer up to browse rather than stand in-line can stem add-on sales or additional service usage. Virtual queuing also offers the option of displaying media alongside on-screen ticket number and service updates, helping to further promote products and services to the customer.

With these kinds of benefits, it is clear to see why we believe Virtual queuing is set to make waves in other sectors in 2013 and why it has taken third place in our predictions countdown.