May 04, 2020
What would you do with the ability to tell your customers how many people were in your store, warehouse or clinic at any given moment? How about providing the precise waiting times to get into your supermarket, bank, pharmacy or restaurant in real-time? What if you could protect employees, prevent overcrowding and still deliver an amazing customer experience in a time of uncertainty?
With a mobile app and an indoor positioning system, which many facilities already have installed through their telecom provider, this is doable. And we have built a prototype that proves that it works.
A couple of years ago, we started looking into the possibilities of a digital queueing system. The idea was to improve the customer experience by giving shoppers the opportunity to continue browsing whilst they waited for an attendant to become available. A simple app allowed the customer to take a digital ticket which would be picked up by the assistant who would then, using geolocation, find the customer and sort out their query.
Back then, we saw the great potential that this technology would have for the physical retail world. We saw it as changing the in-store experience, better enabling store associates and potentially driving additional sales through the increased browse time.
Never could we have imagined how important this idea would become in 2020. The Covid crisis has totally transformed the way we shop, yes, but it’s also introduced a form of social distancing that impacts almost every aspect of our lives. This has become less about how to improve an experience, and more about keeping people safe and ultimately, protecting lives.
In an age where queueing has become a source of great concern for so many, suddenly this digital tool has found a new meaning and a new level of importance. Not only can we solve the issue of queuing for groceries or retail items when the lock down lifts, this technology also has the potential to transform the prescription collection service, hospital triaging, or even in the months to come, airline boarding.
In the original context, the benefit of Valtech Attend was that customers didn’t have to stand in line for 15 minutes, waiting for help, getting increasingly frustrated, and in many cases, leaving the store altogether. With their newly acquired freedom, they were free to roam within the store and purchase other items and services. With the new queue system, more assistants would be working on the floor—where the customers were.
However, there will be people who, for various reasons, choose not to download the app. We recognised that most store owners are keen on the business intelligence that could be collected from an IPS but that customers were unlikely to download apps that felt intrusive. We needed to make sure they could identify the value in a tool that could provide a premium service through that positioning data. It was expected that the old system of physical queue management would remain in a transitional period. We would help to organize the store floor so everything flowed as it should, based on the data insights we would get from the indoor positioning system.
In the new context of Covid, we have started considering the application of in-car queueing; waiting for your slot to enter the supermarket without waiting in a physical line. We’ve also considered how it could improve the physical collection of prescriptions from clinics or pharmacies, or how patients could be called into doctors surgeries without waiting in a busy waiting room.
There are immediate use cases for Valtech Attend that meet the needs of the Covid crisis, but we should also be realistic: While this is the state of play for now, we don’t know how long social distancing will be a part of our daily lives. We need to think beyond the next 12 months and continue to innovate around the concept of the store of the future. How will retailers, or indeed other industries, be able to build this technology into their daily operations?
Tailored User Interface and Analytics Capabilities
It’s a really simple set up; you’ll need to install a positioning system in the building you want to utilise (this could be a store, doctor’s surgery, airport) and you also need to use an app that can read the customer's position; we design a customized user interface. If you already have an on-site IPS system and an app, you only need to add the Queue functionality and user interface of Valtech Attend.
From an analytics standpoint there are so many insights that you can capture from Attend. You can easily measure how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting, and the drop out rate—when people simply give up. This information is rarely found in the old queuing system. The analysis of the customer behavior and how they move while they are waiting for their turn can lead to valuable insights and opportunities to further optimize the customer journey, increase conversions and boost sales.
Talk to Us Today
Valtech Attend is just one of the many innovations that we are working on day in and day out at Valtech. We care passionately about solving our clients’ challenges. From CX strategy to full-scale business transformation, get in touch with us today to talk about how we can guide you through the complexities of the coming months. As Valtech Attend suggests, why wait?