Virtual queuing or virtual waiting room—aren’t they the same thing?
The main factor setting the systems apart is whether you’re queued in a physical location or online away from any retail or service environment.
Online systems for online products
Our product, Queue-Fair, provides an online queuing system to protect websites and servers from surges in traffic that overwhelm and overpower unprotected systems. A crashed site of this type can soon cost providers hundreds of thousands of pounds or dollars in losses from easily avoidable downtime. A virtual waiting room or queuing system protects its vendors from all of that.
The types of websites protected by this system include those selling tickets to premium events, popular eCommerce sites during seasonal peaks, and all kinds of branding, language, and international issues to boot.
Virtual systems in physical locations
creates and delivers systems so that shoppers, patients, and those waiting for appointments have options for the best use of their time. Provided with estimated waiting times and queue positions, they know precisely how long they’re likely to be held up, often avoiding the physical waiting room altogether.
How are these systems better than traditional methods?
- Customers add themselves to the queue
- Prioritised services selections
- Estimated waiting times and queue positions
- Digital signage provides real-time information and next-step instructions
- Portable SMS notifications for app and online hosted systems
- Multilingual options
Combining physical queuing with a digital system, users are better informed throughout the process, while offered various alternatives to standing in line.
Digital registration systems allow your staff to get on with more important and pressing matters, as will digital signage systems alerting visitors when it’s their turn and where to go next.
The benefits of virtual waiting rooms during the Coronavirus pandemic
We’re more than aware of the impacts of social distancing and the extreme measures society has taken to ensure the best possible safety practices. The rules and regulations apply to all kinds of businesses and services, each with their unique ranges of consumer types.
For hospitals, healthcare services and providers, physical waiting rooms have been stripped back to reduce proximity and number of patients. Many have chosen a replacement or support system using virtual waiting rooms to provide automated appointment reminders, digital registrations and check-ins. Where possible, systems utilising 2-way video or audio consultations has meant that many physical visits are now easily avoided.
Without a doubt, this technology has limited the spread of the virus, while protecting staff and patients from other illnesses and disease. It optimises patient flow, fends off unseen disruptions while providing further flexibility, safety, and security.
The lessons learnt from our current situation, and the speed that new technology was forced into action, will feed into how practices are managed in future.
Advantages of virtual waiting rooms and queuing systems for online services and products
In this instance, the waiting room is held and managed on a server, delivering customers into websites where demand and traffic are high enough to create problems.
These systems monitor for spikes in traffic, controlling the influx of visitors to safe levels. They prioritise visitors or customers fairly and systematically, providing information in each ‘virtual waiting room’ of how many people are in each queue and estimated waiting times.
- Less downtime – Saving businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds and dollars in revenue and costs (source: Statista).
- Preventing loss of sales – Mobile visitors, especially, will leave a page after only 3 seconds if they don’t receive an appropriate response (source: Google).
- Superior customer experience – A smooth experience provides the ultimate customer journey, delivering brand confidence and increased conversions.
- Advanced control systems – Every aspect of the waiting room and queuing experience is monitored and customised to suit the provider’s needs.
- Greater traffic analytics – Real-time data and analysis provides information you can use for future events, sales, and promotions.
- Safeguarding against seller issues – Online queuing services provide additional protection against bots and DoS attacks. They also protect genuine customers from being beaten by the touts looking to deliver a secondary market.
The advantages of virtual waiting rooms and queuing systems in physical locations
Apart from the contact issue of today’s social distancing practices, digital check-in and virtual waiting room software is used to reduce the number of people in waiting rooms, assist with time management, and create, again, an enhanced experience for guests, customers, and patients.
- Reduction in staff registration time – A digital administration system frees teams and individuals to work on more prevalent and essential tasks.
- Improved efficiency with fairer delivery and a faster flow of service.
- Reduced boredom and frustration for visitors or customers.
- Improved delivery of information – Informing patients or customers of estimated waiting times and queue lengths via screens, apps, or text messages.
- Paperless strategies reduce costs, contact points, and create a faster digital alternative over traditional methods.
- Text or email reminders and updates provide points of contact that streamline existing systems and deliver warnings and updates at any stage of the process.
So, which is which? Have we established an answer?
We’d love to deliver a definitive resolution to the terminology issue in our market, but sadly, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
We looked at how these phrases were used on product websites, review sites, and by information providers. As much as particular terms may lean more to one application than another, there’s still a level of ambiguity amongst the solutions that sit under those umbrella terms.
If you think you’ve got the answer to the debate, we’d love to hear from you—to end the confusion once and for all!
Until then, anyone looking into a ‘free virtual queue management system’ on Google will continue to find a wide range of software, services, systems, and solutions that might or might not be precisely what they’re looking for…