Sunday, February 25th, 2018 .

Byline: Brittany Taylor

If you’re American, you may recognize the word “queue” from your Netflix app. If you’re British, you can’t think why anyone would use the word “line” when “queue” is the obvious choice. If you’re Canadian, you’re more likely to think in terms of waiting in line, but probably wouldn’t worry too much if told told to “queue up.” Whether you think in terms of a waitlist or queue management system, Waitlist Me can help.

What’s behind the way we wait? Let’s take a look…

Where the idea of “lining up” came from

Despite the eternity you waited in traffic this morning, the idea of forming an orderly line hasn’t been around forever. It didn’t become a popular convention until after the turn of the 19th century. That was when the industrial revolution began to concentrate large populations in towns.

As more and more people moved into cities, the way they bought things changed. Instead of markets, individuals frequented shops. What else changed? The way people worked. As factories, mines, and, later, offices became the norm, workers had to get through the door—literally—and lines became a daily occurrence.

What’s up, Britain?

Across the United Kingdom, the queue reigns supreme. Like its penchant for afternoon tea, though, queueing is an imported custom. The word itself is French for a braid or plait, and it’s derived from a Latin word that means “tail.” By the early 19th century, it had come to mean a line of people, but it wasn’t until World War II that the idea of the queue became part of the British identity.

As Great Britain entered the war, its government talked up the notion of citizens doing their duty and taking turns. Queueing became a symbol of that, “of decency, fair play, and democracy,” reports another British institution, the BBC. After the war, opposition politicians flipped that idea on its head. Queueing became a sign of societal problems and government inefficiencies. Public resentment grew and the occasional queue-related fisticuffs ensued.

Today, Brits are still ardent queuers, and while they’re proud of their reputation for polite queueing, they’re not very happy about the waiting itself. For many, it’s a stressful experience focused on doing one’s duty and ensuring everyone else does, too.

America’s love-hate relationship with waitlists

Lines, like most things before the Internet Age, came to America a little late. Once they arrived, though, they took hold. Many moments in U.S. history come with their own lines, from the bread lines of the Great Depression to gas lines during the oil crisis.

The American approach to lines is pretty similar to America’s approach to life. On one hand, there’s egalitarianism. This is the United States, after all, the land of plenty and equal opportunity! There’s enough for everyone, and if you wait for your turn, you’ll get what you want. On the other hand, there’s capitalism. In America, it’s a race to the top. We’re always working for more, and sometimes there isn’t enough to go around.

This dual approach is why Americans are both happy to wait their turn and anxious about the whole waiting-in-line experience. Americans want to be good citizens, but they also want what they want, and if getting it is in question, they start stressing out about what they can do better to make their goals a reality. Could I choose a shorter line? Can I cut? Can I bribe the hostess?

It’s a competitive experience that’s uniquely American, but it also creates a build-up of unnecessary stress. Folks in the U.S. wait in line an average of 37 billion hours each year. That’s a lot of anxiety!

Then, there’s Canada, the chillest line-waiter of them all

The Great White North is all about maple leaves, Mounties, and, yes, waitlists. While using the word “queue” won’t raise many eyebrows, Canada falls firmly on the “we wait in lines” side of the debate.

Canada takes its lines—or lineups, as they prefer to call them—seriously. Our favorite example: International students at Canadian universities are often required to take etiquette classes during orientation. Mastering the lineup is on the syllabus right after learning how to say “hello.”

True to form (and its reputation as the global nice guy), Canada’s relationship with lines is based in its dedication to upholding polite society. Along with apologies and punctuality, the omnipresent lineup is an unspoken agreement that every Canadian, can mind their manners, relax while they wait, and still get what they want.

Waitlist Me makes queues, waitlists, and lineups better across the globe

Our goal is to make your customers’ waiting experience better. Happier customers lead to better bottom lines—and that’s exactly what we want for your business. Our app is now available in more than 60 countries, so wherever you are and whatever you do, we’re here to help.

 

Sunday, February 11th, 2018 .

The hunt for must-have Valentine’s Day gifts is officially on. Whether you manage a big-name retailer or a small business storefront, a waitlist and reservation app is the 10-minute tech upgrade you need to keep your stress levels low and your customers’ shopping experience smooth and enjoyable this February 14th.  Here’s how busy retail outlets are using  some of our app’s top features as Valentine’s Day approaches.

Text notifications

When you’re dealing with intimate purchases like lacy underthings or personal scents, sales associates and shoppers need privacy, not a looming line of other customers looking for assistance. That’s where a waitlist comes into play.

If individual service is a must, a waitlist is a boon no matter what products fill your shelves. Add text notification, and you’ve got a system that will bring calm to your store’s shopping and sales experience and create the one-on-one atmosphere you’re looking for. It’s an easy, unobtrusive way to let shoppers know when it’s their turn. And with Waitlist Me, they’re simple to set up and use, whether you need them once in a while for holiday rushes or sales, or 24/7 to keep up with your foot traffic.

Perfect for…lingerie stores, perfumeries, large retailers, big-ticket department stores, and other outlets where customers want to browse but also appreciate one-on-one assistance

Customer service

No matter the price tag, you want your customers to feel like friends, not another credit card number.

Say hello to two Waitlist Me features that’ll make your customers feel welcome and remembered: notes and wait time tracking. When you add shoppers to your waitlist, you can add notes, like what they’re wearing, what they look like, and what they’re shopping for. These details let sales associates greet them personally.

Tracking the times that you estimated you’d be ready to help a customer next to their actual waits helps you give accurate quotes.  It can be more frustrating for customers to not know how long the wait will be or have to wait longer than they were told.  Waitlist Me helps you overdeliver on their expectations.

Perfect for…boutiques, designer stores, luxury retailers, and other shops that rely on personalized service and a good rapport between sales associates and shoppers

People management

When you’ve got a mixed crowd of traditional rose-buyers and “I want something a little different” custom arrangements, balance is essential. Waitlist Me can help you achieve it.

The app allows you to add each shopper to a waitlist and note what sort of product the shopper is looking for. As a staff member specializing in each area becomes free, they can take on customers according to the type of bouquet they’re looking to give. Splitting the workload will maximize your resources—and prevent a bottleneck thanks to that one indecisive customer who just isn’t sure what he wants.

Perfect for…candy stores, flower shops, wine stores, and business whose customer base is often split between people who know exactly what they want and those who need more personal attention

Integrated appointments

Got the heart-shaped boxes stacked and ready to go? Filled your refrigerators with flowers by the dozen? Great! Now it’s time to focus on creating a stand-out shopping experience.

To nix a long line and take advantage of lulls, try taking phone orders in addition to walk-ins. Waitlist Me lets you manage advance orders (think of them as reservations with pick-up times) alongside walk-ins, which you can add to a waitlist when business picks up. The app keeps both neatly organized and accessible. That means you can focus on the people you’re serving, not on finding random bits of paper you scribbled an order on three days ago.

Perfect for…chocolatiers, flower shops, and businesses who offer call-in orders for quick pick-up in addition to walk-ins

Thursday, February 8th, 2018 .

We are happy to announce that our iOS and Android apps are now fully localized in Spanish for customers with plans in over 20 countries where Spanish is the local language.  Now it is even easier for businesses and their employees in Spanish-speaking countries to manage their waitlist and reservations with Waitlist Me.

This added localization follows our international launch in December where we started with the translation of all the customer facing parts of the Waitlist Me service in 30 languages, and we will be translating more parts of our websites into Spanish in the upcoming weeks.

We started with Spanish for a number of reasons, and while doing this initial localization of our service into a foreign language we have put into place a framework for flexibly managing updates to the translations and for plugging in additional languages in the future.

Monday, January 29th, 2018 .

You don’t have to act like a drill sergeant to bring a touch more productivity to your 9-to-5 life. Whether you’re a manager, a department director, an executive, or a small business owner, you get more done when you aren’t waiting on things holding you up.

Waitlists aren’t just for restaurants. People waste a lot of time waiting around in business environments, even if they aren’t standing in lines. Here are four ways you can put a waitlist app to work in an office setting:

Run a help desk more efficiently

Forget about dragging equipment to a different floor or wondering if the IT guy has read your email yet. A waitlist keeps everyone in the loop and no one standing in line, laptop in hand. Your tech support can send text alerts to employees when it’s their turn, cutting down on dead time spent twiddling their thumbs.

Bonus! Waitlist Me Pro offers analytics that let you check up on different data points, like which employee is spending how much time taking care of which problem. You’ll be able to track your service times—and see if you need to adjust the schedule or size of your team, based on the hours your crew is currently clocking.

Answer “Do you have a minute?” questions

Administrators, HR, designers, unofficial office gurus—there are all sorts of people who field questions from colleagues 24/7. A waitlist gives them an easy way to help out with information requests without derailing projects and meetings.

Bonus! Our public waitlist feature lets staffers check in to see where they are in line, which means no more passive aggressive follow-up emails, check-in calls asking if you’re free in five, or awkward hovering outside your office door. Phew!

Manage office hours with managers, teams, or departments

An open-door policy is great for your office culture but not so hot for productivity. A better choice: consistent office hours. Employees will know when it’s their turn to poke their heads in for advice or project input. Got a line growing outside your office? Waitlist Me can help you wrangle it. Let employees add themselves and then chill at their desks ‘til it’s their turn, without worrying about missing their chance to meet.

Bonus! Waitlist Me works on the web as well as iOS and Android devices. That means it can go wherever you do. Use it in your office on a desktop computer, from a coffeeshop, or wherever else your job takes you.

Oversee on-site employee services and benefits

Everyone loves a perk, whether it’s on on-site yoga studio or food trucks in the parking lot every Wednesday. But sometimes, those perks come with wait times that keep employees at bay. Keep your employees happy—and enjoying the benefits that are part of their compensation package—by employing a waitlist that lets everyone have a go at the good stuff. Waitlist Me lets staffers add themselves to a list from wherever they are, whether they’re at home, on the train, or walking in from the parking deck, making it even easier for them to use the services you offer.

Bonus! With Waitlist Me, a 5-minute wait really is a 5-minute wait. Our app offers wait time estimates based on historical averages, and seeing estimated times next to actuals helps people improve their quote estimates. It’s just one more way we’re helping you and your employees use time wisely.

 

Thursday, January 4th, 2018 .

January 1 has got your clientele taking their self-improvement goals to a whole other level. With the ball drop comes a fresh “new year? New me!” mindset, and a slew of resolutions to go with it. But as we all know from experience, it’s far easier to make a resolution than it to stick with it.

Waitlist Me can help you help your customers do exactly that. No matter what their goals are for this new year, your business can be an integral part in accomplishing them. Here’s how:

Fitness businesses helping people muscle up, lose weight, and train for events

January is prime sign-up season at gyms and fitness studios across the country. While new memberships are essential to keep you in the green, we know you’re invested in helping your customers cross off their workout goals.

Bringing Waitlist Me on board can help you do that. The app can help you create waitlists and reservations for different services, from tanning beds to personal trainers. You can even use it for popular equipment! It’s a no-muss, no-fuss way to manage busier-than-usual gym floors and long lines, which will keep your long-time customers happy and your newbies impressed.

Learn more here

Activity-oriented businesses helping people try new hobbies

The pre-Christmas gift-buying bonanza isn’t the only bright spot on your winter calendar. The moment people unwrap their bounty—whether they’re the proud owners of a new rifle, a monogrammed bowling shirt, or a top-of-the-line sewing machine—they have the potential to become a boon for your business.

After all, they’re going to need more supplies, from bullets to balls to bobbins, to fuel their hobby—and a little assistance getting started (or getting better). Waitlist Me can help you wrangle your staff and your resources to deal with the influx of new customers.

Salons giving customers head-to-toe makeovers

Some resolution-makers plan out their transformations weeks in advance. They come loaded with inspiration pictures and “do this, not that” feedback. Other style-changers are more spontaneous. They walk in with a vague idea of what they want and let you do your thing.

Whether you run a hair salon, a nail studio, a cosmetics store, or another business entirely, Waitlist Me helps you manage both types of clients. You can use the app on the web, on iOS, or on Android to facilitate both reservations and walk-ins with ease.

Learn more here

Banks, accountants, and financial advisors showing clients how to manage their money better

Politics, religion, and money—the three topics to avoid over the holiday dinner table—were not created equal. People go out and vote. They walk through church doors on Sunday mornings. But scheduling an appointment to hash out finances? For those customers who need your help most, getting them in your office can be a bigger challenge than actually achieving their goals.

Waitlist Me can help you make this year the year you guide your clients to achieving their budgeting, saving, and investing goals—starting with getting their bums in your seats. The app makes waitlists and reservations a breeze for everyone, whether you’re a business owner or a customer. Clients can make appointments (or jump on your waitlist) from wherever they are and see exactly how long they need to wait, thanks to our smart ETA feature.