Virtual queue technology enables customers in a call centre or retail environment to retain their place in a queue whilst they are free to complete other activities.
Benefits of a Virtual Queue
You won’t find many people who say they enjoy waiting in a queue.
By implementing a virtual queue:
- In a retail setting, customers can continue to browse through your shop, go and grab a drink or just sit down and relax until it is time to be served.
- For call centres, a virtual queue enables a customer to go on with their day and without physically having to wait on the line.
- Waiting in a digital queue, instead of a physical one, means that customers have the freedom to shop, sit down, read a magazine or check their phones until they are summoned to approach a desk.
- Regardless of the channel, it can reduce the stress of waiting in a line and empowers the customer with choices on how they manage their time.
- You will have an improved Customer Effort Score!
Call Centre Virtual Queue/Virtual Hold
A call centre virtual queue can be delivered through two different methods.
Regardless of the method, a virtual queue is a feature of your ACD and you will have control over when to activate the virtual queue technology.
You can also access virtual hold technology ‘in the cloud’ meaning it can easily work and integrate with the majority of the leading contact centre platforms.
Typically, the virtual queue technology is activated when thresholds exceed certain levels like if call wait times start to exceed 5 minutes.
When the threshold has been activated, customers are provided with a choice to either continue holding or enter their phone number and receive a call when they reach the top of the queue.
The system simply keeps a placeholder of where the call was in the queue and when the customer’s call reaches the next available agent an outbound call is made to the customer.
Learn more about Automatic Callback.
Intelligent callback offers a slightly different solution that instead of just automatically calling customers when they reach the top position, the customer is instead offered a ‘window’ of a period they would like to be called back in.
Retail Virtual Queue
There are a few different iterations but the outcome is the same – when you arrive at a store you are provided with a ticket which assigns you a position in a virtual queue.
You’ve probably experienced this if you have ever visited a Government agency or an environment with lots of service counters.
When you arrive there is a ticketing machine there to greet you.
You are normally presented with a few options (e.g. Claims, Sales, General Enquiry etc) and after making your selection a ticket prints out with a number on it.
You then are free to roam about the store and when it’s time for you to be served, your ticket number will appear on a screen directing you to the appropriate counter number.
Very common now in restaurants or even the Chemist, you are provided with an electronic device (normally a buzzer which is like a pager for anyone old enough to remember) and when it’s time for you to be served/seated or your prescription is ready the buzzer will start beeping/flashing.
Queue Management App
A new arrival on the scene is a queue management app.
Rather than hold onto a piece of paper or a buzzer, a queue management app can provide numerous benefits including:
- You can check in without even physically being in the store
- You can remain updated about your position in the queue at all times
- You don’t need to remain in store. In a shopping centre, for example, you can go and visit other stores and not have to worry about missing your spot.
- If you need to reschedule it is easy to do so.
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