What You Wish You'd Learned in Business School

Managing Irregular Flows Of Customers

A substantial number of customers switch service providers because they are not happy with the level of customer service that they are receiving. Part of the problem is that they will often have to wait far too long to be able to speak to someone on the phone or meet with a customer service representative in person. However, those who are responsible for serving a large number of customers might feel overwhelmed with the number of customers that arrive regularly without the help of a queuing system

Analyzing the Flow

The goal of a queue management system is to analyze the flow of customers and manage them more effectively. One of the first things you will want to determine is the type of customers who will be visiting your business. In some cases, the number of customers you can expect to service is unlimited. For example, if you have a business where customers can always walk in, you may find it difficult to predict how many customers will be in a location at a given time. In other cases, such as with businesses that rely on appointments, the number of customers may be limited. 

Understanding Your Customers

For the majority of businesses, you can potentially face an unlimited number of customers. You'll also want to consider the frequency in which customers arrive. There are some customers who will arrive in groups. You might have customers that are more likely to arrive at certain times during the day. You'll also want to consider how long a particular customer can be expected to interact with your service. 

Allocating Service

You'll also want to consider how many service professionals can be available to serve customers. One challenge might be space. Your business might have limited space to allow it to serve all of your potential customers. Another problem might be the regular fluctuation of customers. You will not want to have too many service professionals available when there won't be enough customers for them to serve. 

Deciding Whom to Serve First

Ideally, you'll want all of your customers to be serviced at once. But often, this is not practical and some customers will have to wait. The most common approach is to serve whichever customers have arrived first. However, some businesses are forced to select customers randomly and other businesses may have a method of prioritizing customers, such as if a customer has scheduled an appointment. But with the right system in place, you'll be more able to retain customers.