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Queue management - the process of efficiently


Queue management - the process of efficiently moving customers in, through, and out of waiting lines - is quickly becoming an essential element of best practices in many industries because of its proven ability to reduce customer walk-aways, increase revenues per square foot, stimulate impulse sales, and enhance the overall customer experience.

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There are 2 basic queuing principles that are commonly used throughout business:

1,Linear queuing consists of customers physically standing in lines formed with stanchions, usually retractable belt posts. Utilizing the "first come, first served" service rule, linear queues can feature multiple lines such as is typically found in grocery stores or single-lines such as is found in most banks and financial institutions. Linear queuing strategies ensure the fastest possible service by reducing the time wasted between each customer being served, thus are traditionally used where service processes are fairly short.

2,The second queuing principle, virtual queuing, allows customers to wait for a service without actually standing in a physical line. Typically, customers register for service through a device such as a kiosk or ticket printer. They are then free to engage in "active waiting" such as browsing or shopping in the environment, watching media, or just relaxing as they wait for their name or ticket number to be called. Virtual queuing is well suited to environments with longer service times such as Healthcare, but is also used in hospitality and food service.

One of a store's greatest incremental revenue potential exists right at checkout in the queue. Utilizing an in-line merchandising solution can create a profit center within the existing floor space of the queue. Some stanchion manufacturers also make merchandising panels that can be easily attached to the queuing stanchions. Businesses can see an immediate increase in impulse buying after installing an in-line merchandising system.

Large banner signs attached to stanchions at the start of a queue can clearly mark entrances and make it easy to identify service types. Belt imprinting can be used within an overall color-coded design theme to reinforce the way-finding strategy. And post-top or post-front signage can help control queue access, reinforce a color strategy, and complement way-finding.

These 3 principles of queue management-queue layout, signage, and in-line merchandising-will help improve customer flow and ultimately your bottom line. Small changes can make a big impact and help influence how your customer perceives your business. When done properly, queue management will create efficiencies, increase revenue, and improve the customer experience.