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How queue management is evolving in 2022

Discover how the world of queue management is going to change in 2022 – and how to leverage the latest tools to optimize your customers' journey.

Queue management systems and queuing solutions aren’t new. They’ve been around since your grandmother took a ticket at the deli.

However, things have certainly evolved since then.

In the last few years, the global pandemic and technological advancements have radically transformed the queue management landscape.

There has never been a bigger shift in how customers behave and how businesses operate. While we saw significant advancements in 2020 and 2021, this year is set to be the year of fundamental transformation and unprecedented advances in the industry.

Here’s a close look at how the world of queue management is going to change this year.

Fully-integrated virtual queuing

The virtual queue isn’t new. Virtual queuing allows customers to take their place in line without crossing the threshold of your business. Instead, they can join the line from a virtual queue app on their smartphone and receive real-time updates through push notifications and SMS messages. This is more convenient and time-efficient for customers – and makes sitting in a crowded waiting room a relic of the past, a welcomed change considering the pandemic.

It also empowers you to reimagine how you approach capacity management on your premises. Because customers and visitors can sign in without physically being present at your branch, your lobby is a lot less likely to become overcrowded. That means your branches will require less front desk staff to run initial greeting or introductory times, cutting down on overheads as well.

As virtual queuing systems become the norm, this is the kind of convenience that consumers have come to expect. You risk falling behind the competition if you don’t adopt it soon – but will be one of the frontrunners in your industry if you do.

Mobile tickets

Send a customer a virtual ticket that’s stored in their smartphone’s wallet and that’s one less thing they need to worry about remembering. And once a customer has experienced this before– perhaps at the airport, as the airline industry was an early adopter of this tech – they’ll expect it from every business they interact with.

Mobile tickets allow your customers to sign in with a swipe of their smartphone and receive real-time updates and wait times through SMS messages and push notifications.

And the faster and more easily your customers can sign in when they arrive, the more time and attention your frontline staff can spend on customer care rather than processing paperwork.

This year, more and more businesses are set to adopt virtual queue software and mobile tickets. Embracing this trend could be an effective way of getting ahead of the competition.

Video consultations

Solutions like Assistant Anywhere allow you to provide your customers with the option of a video appointment.

During the pandemic, consumers got accustomed to having consultations and appointments remotely through video, wherever and whenever it suited them. While some customers are always going to prefer in-person appointments, many aren’t going to want to go back to the days of having to travel to your business’s premises and wait in line to be seen.

Video appointment software empowers your employees to deliver a more streamlined service at your customer and patients’ convenience – all while lowering costs and improving efficiency. It also allows your organization to connect customers with your staff from anywhere in the world rather than just their local branch.

Today, customers have come to expect to have the option to attend appointments wherever and whenever it suits them – in-person or from the comfort of their own home. If you only embrace one trend this year, make sure it’s this one – or risk losing customers to competitors that are offering more flexible appointment options.

Real-time insights into the customer journey

Implementing a queuing system across your organization will provide an instant productivity boost and improve the customer experience across the board.

2022 is set to be the year organizations begin unlocking another level of productivity and customer satisfaction by connecting their queue management systems to other data sources. This allows your system to automatically fetch the data and information a customer service agent needs to serve the customer and deliver services as effectively as possible.

Integrating your virtual queue management software with your existing data sources not only helps remove friction from your operations, it also empowers you with real-time insights you can use to improve every stage of the customer journey – broken down into intuitive visualizations and reports by Q-Flow®.

Collect and input the right data and your queue management system can manage customer journeys with minimal input from your staff. The tech exists today to realize this nirvana, and the organizations that embrace it are going to be a step ahead of the competition in the years to come.

AI queue management and IoT integration

If Elon Musk is to be believed, we’re staring down the barrel of a menacing Artificial Intelligence Q-Bot. But, in truth, AI has the potential to transform queue management, appointment scheduling, and the entire customer experience – and the tech exists to do all that today.

AI empowers organizations to create self-improving customer experiences by automatically analyzing data across the entire customer journey and finding opportunities for improvement. In the future, queue management systems will leverage machine learning to constantly optimize the customer journey based on real-time customer data. This will not only help businesses manage customer flow as effectively as possible, but also make meeting KPIs as simple as setting new parameters for the algorithm to optimize for.

AI-based queue management systems will provide leadership teams with real-time business intelligence that will empower them with all the data and insights they need to quickly make decisions that will have a significant and instant impact on their business’s bottom line.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – which allows electronic devices to communicate with each other – is another piece of next-gen tech you can leverage to improve the customer experience right now. IoT devices can be seamlessly installed, monitored, and managed. Each node on the system feeds data back into a central hub, where AI-driven software can analyze everything that’s happening within your organization and make real-time decisions to improve customer flow, manage staff schedules, and much more.

This next-gen technology exists today, and organizations are already using it to improve customer flows and optimize internal processes.

Intelligent queue management systems

In 2022 we expect to see a trend toward intelligent queuing which actively and automatically matches services to customers’ needs.

In response to growing customer expectations, organizations are demanding more subjective solutions instead of general-purpose queue management solutions. As a result, 2022 is becoming the year of bespoke queue management systems.

Rather than customizing an existing queue management system, organizations are calling on services like Dynamika Consulting for a system that’s been built from the ground up to meet their exact requirements.

As AI becomes more ubiquitous in the years to come, queue management systems will use industry-specific templates. They then rapidly and automatically adapt to your business’s exact needs, learning algorithms as data and insights are gathered in that environment.

This is going to be a far cry from the systems most businesses have in place today, and a trend that’s set to start taking root this year.

Rapid queue management deployment

Queue management systems are faster than ever to deploy in 2022.

Here at ACF Technologies, we’ve had to quickly innovate our processes in order to implement queue management systems within organizations as quickly as possible over the last few years.

When the pandemic hit, several customers came to us with an urgent need for a virtual queuing solution to meet the sudden demands brought on by social distancing regulations. Overnight, citizens were having to wait in lines that stretched around the block in all kinds of weather due to the distancing rules.

Organizations in this position needed a solution – fast. So, we learned new ways of implementing a queue management system as quickly as possible to meet their needs. This means we’ve never been faster at deploying our solutions.

Part of this transformation is a simplification of our service offering. Speak to our team about the packages we can quickly deploy within your business based on a preconfigured template that can be quickly implemented within your business and then tailored to your needs.

And as AI and machine learning become more universal, these systems are going to be optimized faster than ever as well.

Conclusion

The pandemic has changed queue management – and customer expectations – forever. If using your organization comes with long waits in never ending lines and crowded waiting rooms, having no idea when you’re going to be called to reception, and having no flexibility in when and where you have your appointment, then customers are likely to start looking elsewhere.

Make sure you’re staying on top of the queue management trends of 2022 to ensure your organization is ahead of the curve and offering as smooth of a customer experience as possible.

Looking to implement a cutting-edge queue management system across your organization this year? Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how we can help.