Whether you realize it or not, you’ve likely experienced being part of a virtual queue at some stage.
Virtual queues are used by businesses to free up a customer or guest’s precious time by allowing them to save their spot in a service line.
Utilizing virtual queuing helps you better deliver on guest expectations – particularly regarding safety and social distancing as well as the speed of service.
We know happy guests come back and tell their friends and family to come too. So it’s worthwhile investing in the areas of your business where you can support their experience.
In this article, we’ll review virtual queuing, how it works, and why it could benefit your business.
What is virtual queuing?
Virtual queuing, sometimes called virtual queue management or line management, is a digital way for guests to wait for their selected on-site attractions to become available rather than waiting in person.
The immediate advantage of this newfound freedom for guests means there are suddenly more minutes in the day to be physically somewhere else and experience something else while remaining on-site at the same venue.
And it makes sense. After all, more free time leads to greater guest experiences and overall satisfaction with your venue and their visit.
How does virtual queuing work?
Supported by technology
Virtual queuing technology constantly evolves and develops new and powerful attributes. Typically, the information is accessed via an app downloaded to guests’ smartphones or a wearable device such as a wristband.
Some VQ dynamic solutions currently available will inform guests about changes in the weather, automatically update certain attractions’ waiting times, and communicate major venue friction points to guests, all in the pursuit of delivering a seamless guest experience.
Manages the busiest areas of your venue
Not all leisure and entertainment attraction venues require a Virtual Queuing solution. The busiest attractions with the longest lead times are usually the ones that will experience a decline in guest satisfaction due to excessive wait times.
Our tip: Maintaining a physical standby line at a second-tier attraction can also help to nurture a robust and manageable guest flow across your venue sites.
Balancing guest engagement and potential friction points is vital to nurturing customer happiness.
Reduces confusion and friction for guests
Once the tech is ready to be accessed, guests are invited to join the virtual queue, notified when they’ve reached the front of the line, and then directed to where they should go.
All that’s left to do is…just add FUN.
Offers clarity for venue operators
Operators can obtain access to vital data, including insightful guest flows. Every aspect of information can ultimately assist with optimal management of your venue, reduce customer frustrations and drive the greatest guest experience.
The benefits of virtual queuing
Guests have better things to do than spend their allocated fun time waiting patiently – or impatiently – in a line.
Spending sum-total hours queued up alongside strangers can understandably increase guest frustration. And a frustrated guest can quickly escalate to an unhappy guest.
The business benefits can become clear and compelling when the modern guest experience liberates customers from the time-consuming constraints of physically queuing.
Increase onsite spending
Once a guest is on-site, enjoyment is generally front-of-mind. And when freed from the confines of a physical queue, the options presented to the customer on how to constructively fill that spare time must be informative and actionable.
Whether it be by directing guests to the nearest retail option, your best food and beverage outlet, or another exciting round of rides, the resulting destination can increase secondary spending, leading to an increased revenue stream.
Our tip: After a guest has efficiently moved through a queue, try and get them to upgrade their admission or become a member.
Increase effective communication
Increasing important information communicated via virtual queueing technology to guests can increase overall satisfaction, which helps promote an enhanced guest experience.
Likewise, when your management/marketing team has increased access to relevant data on guest flows and consumer needs, it gains handy tools to manage your venue’s operations smoothly.
So, effective communication can contribute to the happiness of both the guests and the management and help maintain healthy and sustainable service levels.
Increase guest satisfaction, reduce frustration
This is a key point. A satisfied guest is usually a happy guest. And happy customers tend to like sharing their great guest experiences with their close contacts, friends, and family members.
Word-of-mouth endorsements can be important to present a venue’s offerings in the most flattering light.
So, when you ‘virtually’ tackle a major bug-bear such as long wait times in a queue, you’re going some way to actively enhance the positive guest experience.
Must-have features in a virtual queuing system
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that all virtual queuing technology systems are not created equal. While most providers intend to promote a greater guest experience, the levels to which a specific platform can be designed with your unique guests’ journey vary.
Is the virtual queuing platform mobile-friendly?
Does it work efficiently across all mobile devices? More people are utilizing their mobile devices for improved communication, personal connection, payment systems, conducting business, and accessing an array of goods and services. These days it’s important to offer a mobile-friendly experience.
Is there a capability for direct messaging?
Does it have the ability to effectively send targeted marketing messages while on-site? Can it deliver push notifications?
We know that personalization helps improve conversion rates by sending marketing messages that your guests want to receive, are in tune with their overall preferences, and with relevant immediacy.
Is there a variety of packages available?
Does it provide the ability to scale the level of access, from entry through to Luxe offerings? One of the greatest opportunities to increase guest LTV is to encourage them to spend more on site when they're already having a great experience - upgrading their packages or membership. Are various price points, offer suites, and service provisions available?
How smooth is check-in?
Is the check-in process quick and efficient? This is the perfect opportunity to make the first impression count and create a positive guest experience.
Is virtual queuing the right fit for your business?
Now that you’ve had an overview of the how, what, and why of virtual queuing, it’s over to you to assess its potential impact on furthering the guest experience at your venue.
As we mentioned, not every attraction is crying out for implementing virtual queuing. It’s best considered and applied on a case-by-case basis.
Ultimately, when the technology is selectively implemented with the primary focus being the guests’ enjoyment, engagement, and satisfaction, it can lead to positive flow-on benefits for your guests and your venue.