During the pandemic, many service providers implemented measures to streamline the visitor journey. Now, as facilities open up, it's time to decide what implementations to retain in your reopening plan. This article aims to describe why appointment scheduling should be a top priority if you want to maintain efficient queue management.
Many organizations have either closed down facilities or found new ways to serve their customers during the pandemic. Some have identified new possibilities to provide services remotely. Services such as banking and finance were previously handled in physical meetings; now, many offer these services as video meetings
Other services which require physical meetings, such as hospital errands, car services, or hairdressers, have been forced to refine their queue management. Maintaining social distancing throughout the entire visitor journey, from check-in to post-serving, has been a top priority worldwide.
Now, as more and more citizens have been vaccinated and facilities are opening up again, what lessons can we learn from the past year from a queue management perspective?
Smaller crowds, less waiting time
Since the beginning of 2020, organizations have worked to reduce the number of people in the facility to prevent the spread of infection. Below are some measures that have been taken.
Enabling appointment scheduling
By enabling visitors to schedule appointments, you can control how many visitors will be at your facility. It hasn't been possible to rely on unscheduled walk-ins during the pandemic, as it risks becoming a chaotic environment during peak hours.
When you are aware of the number of daily appointments, you can ensure you have enough staff to serve the visitors. This leads to empty waiting rooms, as visitors get called as soon as they arrive at the appointed time.
Matching visitors with staff members
Having insights into how many appointments and visitors are expected in a given period can help you plan your resources in advance. Another improvement is to also get the information when a visitor needs a service that requires a staff member with a specific skill set or knowledge.
Consider a customer in a bank who wants to talk about getting a loan. If they are assigned a member of staff whose expertise is in investments and knows nothing about loans, it’s a waste of time for everybody. A smart appointment scheduling system allows you to set up rules that will automatically assign the loans expert to the customer for their appointment, making the whole process a lot smoother and more efficient.
Speed up the check-in experience
One of the common problems in visitor management is the check-in process, where there’s a lot of confusion and slow processes that can cause a queue to form. To speed up the check-in experience, many service providers are now sending a check-in link to the visitor's phone with clear instructions, which allows users to do self check-in.
Although many of these measures have been implemented recently to prevent the spread of infections, a consequence is that the entire visitor journey has been streamlined. The result of such measures are shorter waiting times and an improved visitor experience.
The lesson learned from a queue management perspective is that you can streamline the visitor's journey with the right solutions. Even though you are about to reopen your facility, make sure that you maintain the implementations which allow you to maintain efficient queue management.
Increase the number of appointments
One of the greatest ways to succeed with efficient queue management is to increase appointments and reduce unscheduled walk-ins. To succeed, many service providers are using an appointment scheduling system that simplifies the management of appointments.
Recently we introduced a new generation of appointment solutions, called Qmatic Cloud Appointments. Download the guide below to discover all the benefits of the system.