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COVID-19 Outbreak: Manage Queue at Retail Shop With Software

By Julia Ching|24th Apr 2020
Manage Queue at Retail Store With Software
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On 27 March, a big announcement was made!!


The government has directed everyone to stay at home. And, that is only because of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic!! 


This deadly virus has shaken the whole world and quarantine is the only solution left. Otherwise, the consequences are known to all!!


But, we all can pitch in and fight against COVID-19 to stop the spread. The safety measures recommended by WHO, social distancing, and personal hygiene, is all that we can collectively practice. 


Among all this, it becomes tough for many enterprises to cope-up; even though most of them have allowed for remote working. However, for grocery stores, healthcare facilities, government offices, pharmacies, staying open is not an option, it's their duty.


The retail stores all around the world are tightening their grip with every single precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Retailers of all sizes across the country are getting to grips with the latest emergency measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Also, to assure the regular delivery of basic goods to customers. Even though they are creating regular response capabilities and transparency, of course.


So, it has become more vital for them to be available for shoppers in a more effective way. Even it is about telling their regular customers regarding the products they regularly purchase. Also, it is important to practice the precautionary measures or updating the regular customers that you are open. And, most importantly, telling them that you are following all the precautions for their safety. These are essential to protect the well-being and health of them.


The main issues that the retail industry is experiencing are long queues. That, surely, can give rise to a lot of risks. It is important that the retailers should follow the practices to secure the safety of the employees and customers. So, there is a need to get the best Queue Management System.


What is COVID-19?


COVID-19 is also known as a novel coronavirus (CoV) and -nCoV, it is a new strain of coronavirus. It is first identified in Wuhan (China) and is then named after Coronavirus Disease 2019. Here, 'CO' implies for Corona, 'VI' for the virus, and 'D' for Disease.  COVID-19 is a new virus associated with the same family of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 


It is spread with the direct contact of respiratory droplets (sneezing and coughing) of the affected person. Also, by touching the contaminated virus surface.   This virus lasts on the surface from some hours to many days. Only, the disinfectant can kill it.    There are a number of studies that suggest that this virus cannot transmit from the air,  it can only be transmitted either from direct contact with the affected person or from respiratory droplets.


The symptoms of coronavirus are the same as common flu; they are cough, cold, fever, or more severely, breathlessness.    This inflection even induces pneumonia and can be fatal, rarely.

 

As we have mentioned earlier that the symptoms are similar to common flu, so, it requires testing to confirm.   It is significant that the key measures are similar- like, respiratory hygiene (covering your mouth while sneezing and coughing with the tissue or flexed elbow), and regular hand washing.


10 ways to manage queues in COVID-19

Regularly follow the personal hygiene guidelines


The current scenario has made it evident to follow all the guidelines given by the World health organization to be safe.  The guidelines say that- you have to maintain a distance of at least one meter, that is approximately three feet.  Our recommendation is here to stay away from anyone with a distance of six feet and two meters.


Though, it is tough to know how far the other person is standing and to know how to measure the distance. So, it is better to make the adhesive labels on the floor to make it more convenient.  Also, it is very much important to clean the surface that any person has come in contact with and disinfect the floors on a regular basis. 


What we mean here is that- the switches, kiosks, and plugs should be cleaned as these get regularly touched.  Keep only the alcohol-based wipes and sanitizers (the alcohol content has to be 60% at least).  Make it necessary for the visitors to use the sanitizer and hand rub before entering the premises.


Say hi to Virtual Queues


To eradicate the crowds and physical waitings- it is recommended to get the virtual queues to maintain the social distance. Consider the situation when there are no customers in the queues and then, the probability of spreading the virus is very very less. Several ways are there that do not require contact and can be followed by properly maintaining social distancing.


Your company must be having the agent that manages the phone and email inquiries manually. With the queue management system, you can manage all this seamlessly. You can easily integrate the visitors in the virtual queues and manage the workflow, respectively.


From the virtual queues in their mobiles, you are allowing the visitors to wait outdoors, home, or cars before their appointment. Hence, the queue management system is eradicating the long queues and assuring social distancing.


Administer Customer Flow and Staff Allocation

The best part of the queue management system is that it allows the retail industry to administer the customer flow adequately. It shows you the available time slots; and accordingly, you can secure your customer appointments and assure 100% customer satisfaction rate.


Consequently, you can assign the staff members the tasks according to staff availability and customer demand. In addition, it is also important to know how many customers are waiting in queues for the turn. However, you can execute everything with the management solution. The software shows you the related information, like, number of counters, open counters, and staff availability, etc. 


Appointment Management


The queue management solution includes the appointment management solution to enable the easy handling of visitors. It reduces the queue waiting time and also, ensures the appropriate distance.


Ask your regular visitors to schedule their appointments with you in advance from the appointment booking software. With this, the users will get to know about their visiting hours and do not make the place crowded by standing in the queue waiting for their turn.


The queue management system has the token system- that prints a token or a receipt with the essential information related to the appointment. The token gives a notification to the customer in the form of SMS showing the exact timing of their turn. And, they can consequently visit accordingly. This, of course, is eliminating all means of the crowd and is securing social distancing.


Reduce Touchpoints/Interaction


Keep the physical interactions and touchpoints to less and replace it with the digital queue management solution. We have curated a few of the touchpoints that came up with the queue management solution:


  • Waiting

 

With virtual queues, you are allowing the customers to hold the communication to less and allow them to wait. The notification system can also be beneficial for retailers to show their visitors or customers about the waiting scenario.


  • Check-in 


Queue solution has the QR codes that can be used in place of virtual check-ins. From here, the customers can scan to perceive the virtual queues either being online or on-premises. Hence, the maximum percentage of interactions can be reduced.


Adjust in real-time


In this outbreak, customer behavior has changed. They are not likely to trust the security of the products that you are delivering.   So, it is imperative to adjust your retailing store in the right tone to assure whatever you are selling is safe.  


In addition, from the queue management system, you can update the campaigns to show the changes in whatever you are offering. Precisely, the pick up in-store, buy online and delivery available has to be updated on a regular basis.

Peak-hours Management

As a retailer, you cannot ignore the peak hours. Hence, for managing the peak hours, you can use the queue management system to get everything done with real-time data. It means the rules that can reduce the number of customers who are waiting in the queues for their turn. 

 


The management solution has a listing of all the important elements that are linked to every staff profile. And hence, it is eradicating the chances of manual changes.

Be informative

It is recommended to control and check the current category and landscape of the market and act accordingly.  The solution, such as the queue management solution, is here to help. It aids you to stay updated with the local conditions to get the customers' state of mind.


The review metrics keep a check on the customers to know what they are searching for on search engines or on the shopping websites.  So, if you are selling the requested and demanded products on this time period then inform them now.


Be current and transparent 

You can only get the customers if you assure their trust in your brand.  So, you have to interact with them proactively about the product and business and update them regularly- make everything transparent.


Like, you have changed your operational hours, then inform them by updating by sending SMS or email.  Or, you can leverage the business profile and post a message or about precautionary measures you are taking. Such as offering extra services, discounts or offers, etc. 


If there is any delay in the shipping timelines, then, you can update that on the website to show the changes. Also,  inform them how much your store is taking to deliver the items.


Use Notification System for the contact-free queuing


The major aim of your industry is to empty the halls as much as possible. The Queue Management system is here to help. It allows you to inform the visitor about the location and the current scenario you retail industry in.


The emails and the SMS are perfect for notifying the customers regarding their turn and also; about the potential changes in the services you are providing. The other changes, delays, working hours, and breaks (lunchtime) should be informed to the customer. 


Concluding Remarks


This tough time has restricted everyone from moving out of their home. It is important,  though !! But, it is hampering a lot of industries, and retailing is one of them.   Shutting down is not an option, so, it is better to get the solution that assures regular workflow without risking any life.  The queue management system is worth a try. 


In this article, we have mentioned how it can be used and is prevalent for your retail business.   Get it now and do not hinder your work.


We hope that this write-up is helpful to you. If you have queries and suggestions then, let us know in the comment section below.


Fight with this situation and be safe!!

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