Figure 1: A virtual queue management system
- Entering a virtual queue – Customer can use multiple ways to gain access such as scanning QR code posted outside premises (on the front door/window) on their mobile, chat windows like WhatsApp, social media, Chatbot or webpage access enrolment at the entry through kiosk etc.
- Service selection – During sign-in, the customer chooses the service(s) required and receives a mobile ticket or token
- Remote waiting – Customer waits remotely (in the car/home/shopping/any point inside the airport, hospital, nearby restaurants), and monitors his/her place in the virtual queue on the phone. Real-time SMS, notifications/alerts or web notifications are sent to the customer for their place in line, the predicted waiting and transaction times, the number of open counters, services offered, etc. It’s easy to plan other activities in this predictive waiting period
- Arrival of turn – When it’s their turn, SMS/notification is sent through VQM system, display dashboards or screens or an operator member calls the customer using a mobile app or phone and the fast service is delivered and received at a safe distance with planned time.
Virtual queuing is the need of many industries
The right VQM system can not only help smoothen the waiting period but also enhance it with value-additions such as integrating the in-premises shopping and dining services through the VQM app to provide a superior end-to-end customer-friendly experience. Service providers can also unlock opportunities of increasing revenue by advertising on the displays/digital signage in waiting rooms, and on applications created for VQM. Virtual queuing is the best fit for many industries such as:
- Aviation: Airports can benefit from predicting passenger flow, baggage movement, facility management, availability of security processionals, revenue generations etc., while airlines can boost revenue by ensuring passenger safety and providing an end-to-end seamless integrated travel experience.
- Public sector: PSUs can leverage VQM to ensure uninterrupted delivery of essential services with complete safety and compliance. Along with timely and effective queue management inside offices such as driving licence, tax collections etc.
- Healthcare: Hospitals and clinics can provide a superior, safer patient experience leveraging VQM – right from OPD to in-patient wards and waiting rooms. All-in-one queue for single patient.
- Retail: Leveraging VQM, grocery stores, pharmacies, and shopping malls can ensure business continuity while providing a safer, compliant, and value-adding shopping experience.
In future, the travel industry is likely to embrace a global one touch ID for passengers where VQM plays an important role of integrating with biometrics and geo-fencing features for touchless, queue-less, seamless, fast “wings to fly” experience.
The big benefits of virtual queuing system
Virtual queuing aims to make the service experience great even before customer’s first step inside premises. Here are some of the key benefits of virtual queuing to both service providers and customers:
- Superior customer self-service: Virtual queuing allows customers the flexibility of opting for various ways to get into a queue. They can either make appointment booking online (pre-book a time slot for check-in or security) to schedule their arrival close to their appointment time, or walk-in and scan a QR code at the entry to get into a virtual queue.
- Automatic progression: The VQM system’s intuitive technology enables automatic progression of customers as they move from one point to another. For instance, once a customer has passed through the check-in point at an airport, they are automatically added to the next virtual queue for security check, and thereafter boarding.
- Reduced costs through automation: With industries across sectors looking to cut costs in the aftermath of COVID-19, using a VQM solution is a way to introduce greater automation in operations and reduce FTEs.
- User-friendly interface: Customers can use the VQM app on their mobile phone or WhatsApp, SMS, social media sites, their home phone, on-site kiosk or directly the airline’s website to get into a virtual queue and manage their journey thereafter. A good VQM system should have a multi-lingual interface for greater ease of use.
- Value-adds for a hassle-free waiting experience: The VQM app integrates with other services inside a premises to allow users easy access and directions to relevant points such as Wi-Fi and phone/laptop charging stations, kids’ entertainment zones, cafeterias, rest and prayer rooms, shops, chemists, and more. Further, digital signage inside waiting areas can help improve the waiting experience by displaying relevant promotions, or expected wait times, etc.
- Improved compliance: By reducing chances of congestion and enabling smarter crowd control at all points, virtual queuing drives improved compliance with post-COVID guidelines for service providers. VQM enables reduction in touch points inside premises where risk of getting infected is high due to potential crowds.
- Superior customer and employee experience: With a VQM, customers can pan and predict every minute they spend inside a premise. Greater attention to their health and safety, in addition to reduced wait time and a chance to explore other services while they wait is a boon. What’s more – customers can easily give their feedback on various services and the same can be captured in a touchless, digital manner. For the staff, a VQM solution not only offers protection from disease but also a way to streamline and accelerate service delivery without overburdening themselves.
For instance, Delta Airlines recently added a virtual queuing feature on the Fly Delta app that notifies passengers when their seat is boarding.i
Empowering customers and boosting efficiencies
Virtual queuing empowers customers to take control over their journey with a service provider – freeing them from being confined to a line or at any other point inside the premises. Greater control, visibility and peace of mind helps transform their time into an experience worth exploring.
For service providers, a VQM system offers a differentiated operational context. By integrating a VQM system with customer forecasting, density management, and resource management systems, service providers can boost operational efficiencies in real-time. For instance, analyzing VQM data can help airport authorities to optimize gate allocations to maximize separation, and separate incoming baggage across multiple belts, while accommodating the flight volume.
In the pre-COVID era, service providers typically relied on domain experience and historical data to forecast customer volumes at any given time. But today, they have to consider many new variables like social distancing, additional health screenings, sanitization of premises, etc. The only way for service providers to make truly accurate planning decisions will be by basing them on real-time information and a VQM system will be a key provider of the same.
The onus of getting customers back in business in the new reality will rest on service provider’s ability to deliver a futuristic customer experience that is not only smarter but safer and seamless too.
Delivering superior virtual queue experience
Wipro’s Digital Compact Virtual Queue Management (CO-Q) solution is part of our Health COV-ER Safe Workspace Suite powered by SMART i-connectTM IoT platform. This VQM solution provides a superior digital virtual queuing experience by integrating with all other services and IoT devices. Based on a SaaS based subscription pricing model, it offers service providers an opportunity to reimagine their customer experience delivery cost-effectively - not just in the immediate post-COVID context but also in the long run.
The CO-Q solution can also be leveraged to enable other functions such as global one-touch ID token-based entry at airports and other locations.
Learn how Wipro can help you deliver a futuristic customer experience that is not only smarter but safer and seamless, cost-effectively. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
i Future Travel Experience, Delta Airlines Launches Virtual Queueing for Boarding, https://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2020/01/delta-air-lines-launches-virtual-queueing-for-boarding/