Thursday, October 18th, 2018 .

Don’t let Amazon’s billion-dollar bank account make you close up shop. Sure, ecommerce is gaining traction, but that doesn’t mean retail is dead. Far from it!

It’s time for a retail revolution. It’s time for boutiques, mom-and-pop shops, and big-box stores alike to delve deep into the one frontier ecommerce institutions can’t touch: one-one-one customer service. Make it your No.-1 selling point, and you’ll turn walk-ins into loyal customers, and loyal customers into raving fans.

Keep reading for our best tips on how to improve your retail store’s customer service today with a little help from Waitlist Me, a waitlist and appointment app.

Ax the long check-out line (and turn returns into exchanges)

As the holiday season comes into view, we can look forward to swelling lines and swelling tempers. Instead of forcing customers into wait in endless serpentines or a series of parallel lines, try using a waitlist. When customers leave fitting rooms or start heading toward the register, add them to the list. While they wait, let them wander…and maybe add another item or two to their basket.

Set customers free from dressing room lines

What’s worse than a long line? Easy: waiting in one with hangers digging into your forearm. For those shoppers who know they’re going to try on a closet’s worth of clothes, Waitlist Me’s kiosk mode makes it a cinch for them to hop on line for a dressing room as they rifle through your clothing racks. A fitting room attendant can call them over (or text them!) when they make it to the front of the line.

Offer appointments for special shopping trips

Whether they’re hunting for 52-inch HDTVs or formal dresses, there are all sorts of different occasions where shoppers walk into stores looking for assistance. Using a simple appointment system, like the one built in to Waitlist Me, allows these customers to arrive knowing that they’re going to get VIP treatment from a sales associate who can help them find whatever it is they want to open their wallets for.

Transform complaints into kudos

When there’s only one manager on the floor to handle everything from returns to complaints about that one employee who’s having a bad day, everyone feels frustrated. A waitlist is a simple solution to keep guests happy and staffers on their A-game, and thanks to Waitlist Me’s multi-device sync feature, every employee has access to it. It makes for a smooth customer service experience (and far fewer ruffled feathers).

Create a complementary personal shopper service

Personal shopping isn’t just for jet-setters! Any retailer, from luxe boutiques to thrift stores, can bring superior service to every single customer who wants it, simply by giving them the option. Waitlist Me offers a same-day reservations feature. Shoppers can book a time that works for them and leave a note with what they’re looking for, and you can staff up (and set aside a dressing room) accordingly.

Monday, October 15th, 2018 .

Did you know there’s a way to make the world better—to make your community better—just by giving your restaurant a tiny upgrade? We’re talking about making your business more accessible and welcoming for guests with a variety of needs and abilities.

The best part is you can started today, right here and right now, with a few minutes of your time. Here’s how a simple app called Waitlist Me can help you upgrade your restaurant’s accessibility, no contractors necessary.

Let customers wait where they’re most comfortable

Some guests need more space. Others need a comfortable place to sit or room to walk or air conditioning. When your restaurant is jammed with customers jockeying for waiting space, you don’t leave them with many options.

Waitlist Me changes that. The app sets customers free from whatever space you’ve set aside for your queue. They can relax in the car, they can explore the area, or they can kill time in a more comfortable environment—all without losing their place in line.

Notify waiting guests by text

We’ve all been there: standing in a too-loud vestibule wondering if there’s a better way to get guests’ attention without shouting, relying on vibrating devices, or requiring them to crowd around the hostess stand.

It turns out there is. Waitlist Me lets you send customers a text when their table is ready. That means they can get the word ASAP in a way that works best for them.

Allow guests to make reservations (or join the waitlist) online

Speaking on the phone doesn’t work well for everyone, which is why it is important to have simple options for guests to add themselves to the waitlist or send reservation requests online. That way, all your customers can jump on line from wherever they are, regardless of their abilities.

The add yourself web widget is one more feature that makes life easier for everyone. It’s simple to pop it on to your website and allow your customers to send requests from their computer or phone. Then you just approve them in the Waitlist Me app when they pop up.

Keep track of every customer request

Anyone with special needs, from wheelchair-accessible seating to dietary restrictions, gets to used to repeating themselves. However, just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s not a hassle. Impress these customers with your ability to asks once and remember always with Waitlist Me’s notes feature.

It’s simple for your host to access and add details to, and because the app can sync to multiple devices, employees who are preparing tables and running the kitchen can keep track of these requests, too.

Give more accurate wait time estimates

The most frustrating part of waiting in line is when the ETA keeps changing. You and your staff know this better than anyone! From stink eyes to toe tapping to the constant “how much longer?” refrain from hungry guests.

Our app helps you do away with all the fuss. Waitlist Me gives wait estimates and helps your team make more accurate wait times by seeing actual waits next to quoted times for each customer. Plus, the customer waitlist view feature lets guests check on their wait time from their smartphone. That gives them visibility into the waitlist so they don’t have to ask several times about the wait and can be sure to be nearby when it is close to their turn.

Friday, September 28th, 2018 .

Customer experience is one very important thing you can’t afford to skimp on. That five-star review you’re looking for starts as soon as guests walk through your front door.

The good news: Customer experience is the easiest thing for restaurants to fix. Still, scads of otherwise-awesome spots lose stars before diners take their seats!

Read on to find out where they’re going wrong—and one so-easy-we-can’t-believe-not-everyone-is-using-it way to wow guests, garner top-notch reviews, and keep customers coming back for more.

5 signs your waiting area is turning off your diners

Could your waitlist use an upgrade? If your restaurant is facing any of these five dining experience problems, it’s time to revamp the way your customers wait.

It’s cramped. If it’s tough to squeeze in a party of four between your entry way and your hostess stand, you’re setting your guests up for discomfort right off the bat. The longer they stand there—and make way for new arrivals and passing busboys—the less they’ll enjoy their dining experience.

It’s crowded. Packing guests in like sardines sounds great in theory, but it’s really a disaster waiting to happen. When hungry guests walk in and see a crowd ahead of them, they’re liable to walk right back out—and go to the restaurant across the street.

It’s noisy. A little chatter and some mood music? Totally fine. Guests straining to hear their names being called? Absolutely not. No one should have to miss out on conversation with their tablemates because they’re afraid of losing their spot in line.

It’s dull or dingy. Thanks to smartphones and Instagram feeds, diners arrive at your door with spotty attention spans and high expectations. There’s lots of leeway between busting your budget and giving them a chance to be unimpressed from the get-go.

It’s nonexistent. We’re all for small spots maximizing their floor space. A hole-in-the-wall hideaway is a fantastic find…until we have to park ourselves behind another diner’s chair because there isn’t room to wait anywhere else. Awkward.

The easy fix for your waiting area

You don’t have to invest in fancy chairs or a swanky patio or even a fresh coat of paint. All you need is a  waitlist app called Waitlist Me.

Waitlist Me allows you to set your diners free. Thanks to optional text message alerts and a waiting list with estimated wait times that they can check on their smartphones, they don’t have to worry about missing out. These simple features mean…

– Guests can wander around the area, eliminating the need to accommodate and entertain them inside your restaurant

– Your visible queue will be shorter and more attractive to newcomers

– Diners can enjoy quality time with friends and family without worrying that they’ll miss their name being called

– Your host will be free to provide excellent service because they won’t need to keep answering “how much longer?” questions (or avoid frustrated glares)

 

The app is simple to learn and flexible to use. Making it work for your dining space is easy, and training your front of house staff to use it takes mere minutes. It works on most tablets, mobile devices, or a desktop computer, and you can sync it to multiple devices at once so that multiple staff can use it at the same time. The more you use Waitlist Me, the better you’ll be at giving accurate wait times, which reduces walkaways and improves the customer experience as well as the bottom line.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 .

Peanuts and Crackerjacks are just scratching the savory surface of food and beverage offerings available at ballparks this summer.

With everything from craft beer and swanky cocktail bars to gourmet hot dogs and full-service restaurants, baseball stadiums are redefining what it means to take in a ballgame with family and friends. Fans don’t have to splurge on box seats for a VIP experience—and with Waitlist Me on tap at your hostess stand, you can treat every guest to a top-notch experience, guaranteed.

Here’s how a waitlist and reservation app can help you hit this summer out of the park.

Let customers shop, wander, and snap selfies while they wait

Your diners have better things to do than to tap their toes outside your restaurant or give your host the ol’ stink-eye. With our signature Text Notification feature, Waitlist Me sets them free. They can stroll through the concourse, take pictures with players, try on new snap-backs—it’s all fair game. When they hit the top of your list, you can let them know with the push of a button. How’s that for easy?

Attract new diners despite long lines

Because our app lets you alert guests by text when it’s their turn to take a seat, there’s no reason for them to cool their heels in the 10 feet waiting area surrounding your restaurant’s entrance. While your waitlist grows, the line outside your door doesn’t have to. That means new customers can hop on your list without being deterred by other diners.

Allow guests to hop in line from their seats

Whether their stomachs are growling before the first pitch or they get the munchies at the bottom of the fifth, Waitlist Me’s Add Yourself feature lets diners join your waitlist from wherever they are, whenever they want. Thanks to our app, there’s no need to for customers to beat the crowd. They can eat on their own time, without missing a single play.

Ditch constant ETA questions

When’s the table going to be ready? Is it our turn yet? Where are we on the list? We don’t have to ask if you’re tired of these questions. We know you were done with ‘em a couple seasons ago! That’s why we built a Public Waitlist feature—so that guests can check their spot in line straight from their smartphones or from a handy monitor or TV display you can set up in a snap. Phew!

Eliminate clutter and confusion at your hostess stand

Trash your mess of sticky notes and dog-eared memo books and say buh-bye to the grease pen. Waitlist Me is an intuitive, easy-to-use solution to losing reservations and keeping track of your waitlisted parties. Our app is designed to give your front-of-house staff the information and tools they need to manage your guests’ dining experience with just one glance.

 

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 .

The Public Waitlist page, which allows customers to see where they are in line while they wait, is also a great branding touchpoint.  When you add a customer to the list a link to the public waitlist is included in the confirmation text they receive and allows them to easily see where they are in line from their phone browser.  Waiting is less painful when customers have visibility into the wait process and the flexibility to leave the waiting area without worrying about losing their place in line. For your business, it helps cut down on walkaways

as well as repeated questions regarding how long until it’s their turn.

An important set of benefits that is often overlooked, however, includes the opportunities to provide more customized messaging on the public waitlist page at different stages in the wait: while they are waiting, when it is their turn, and after they are served.  Pro users can further customize these touchpoints.

Waiting – While customers are waiting and checking their place in line from the public waitlist, customizing the bottom part of the page is a great way to give them something to do while they wait. You can highlight specials, encourage people to join a loyalty program, and more.

Ready – When you notify customers that you are ready for them, the screen changes to highlight it is their turn with a new message and image along with options for them to communicate whether they are on their way or need to cancel. If you have any special instructions for when they arrive, this is a good place to include those as a reminder to customers.

Served – After a customer has been served, they don’t need to check their wait any longer, but the public page provides a final opportunity to say thank you.

There is a simple message and image by default, and with a Pro subscription, you can make it more personal and customized to your brand.  You can add a picture of your team, show a thank you message from your owner, invite people to join your loyalty program, suggest leaving a review, or other things you might want to add as part of your thank you.