Customer queue vs. virtual queuing room

6 mins read

Every client who comes to us wants a solution to their problem of overcrowding and a long line of customers waiting. So we have to explain how VirtuaQ helps resolve the challenge of keeping the doors open for customers, letting them flow smoothly in and out without causing crowds and queues to build up.


The simplest way to put it is that we create a virtual queuing room just for your customers, where they can get into the digital queue by scanning a QR code or clicking on a web link, or on Whatsapp or even from within your own mobile app. Customers can queue from anywhere, on any device.

They can scan the QR code outside your shop. After that, they’re in the virtual queuing room, and only have to come to the store entrance when their queue token number is updated by the system.

This is where we explain the disadvantages of having a customer queue vs the benefits of a virtual queuing room.

1. Higher real estate costs for waiting space.


Large spaces are allocated as waiting space in banks, government agencies, hospitals and other organizations that get a large number of customers visiting.

This is prime real-estate in a branch where employees and managers sit in small cubicles and cramped spaces.

Remove this waiting space, and you can reduce the costs of branch operations by anywhere between 50-80%. It could also be repurposed to provide additional space for employees, so that customers can be served faster. It’s also a necessary re-design issue now for offices where cramped cubicles must now be separated by at least 6 feet to comply with safe distancing regulations.

2. Cost of customer queues.


Every minute spent by each customer in your queue carries a cost to your business. The total cost is simply the cost of providing the service plus the cost of customer queues. See the formula for calculating this cost.

3. Impact of real and perceived wait times.


Apart from the actual cost of wait times, there is also the impact of perceived wait times. A customer waiting for service may not know how long the wait will be.

Not knowing how long the wait is affects the overall customer satisfaction. In fact, as per studies (Davis, M.M. and Heineke, J., 1998), the perception of having spent time waiting for a service is a better predictor of customer satisfaction as compared to the actual time spent. Also, you lose an opportunity to impress customers about how much you value their time, which you can do by service delivered on-time, without any waiting time.

4. Marketing and brand name impact of long queues.

Customers hesitate to go back to a place where they know there will be long queues outside the business, or in the waiting space. This negative perception impacts that particular branch, as well as the brand name when there are stories in the media about long queues. It may make the customer walk out, resulting in more no-shows. You may not even realize how many customers are being lost because of the negative perceptions

5. Danger of violating safe distancing compliance requirements.

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Where there’s a crowd or long physical queue, it is almost impossible to avoid violation of safe distancing regulations. Impatient customers will push into each other and get close to others in the queue. This creates multiple risks of a lot of your customers (and staff) being exposed / come into close contact with asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, getting into fights, not being able to get into the store, etc.

The simple solution to all these challenges created by customers queues is a virtual queuing room or a digital queue management system.

By Neel Padmanabhan

September 11th, 2020 ·

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