Friday, December 7th, 2018 .

Ah, the sounds of the season are upon us! Tinkling bells, rustling wrapping paper, and the voices of children and adults alike, eager to jump into winter with both snow-booted feet.

Here at Waitlist Me, we’re all about traditions—well, some traditions. The seasonal kind that come with snow, Santa hats, and sweet treats? Bring it on! The long lines of, well, last year? No thanks. Our app puts more ease into the winter season, which helps everyone get the most out of it. For businesses, it means more loyal customers walking in the door and opening their wallets. For consumers, it means a better time no matter what they’re up to.

Wondering how a waitlist app can make a difference when it comes to winter traditions? Here’s the proof in the figgy pudding:

Ice skating

Wobbling your way around a rink is a wintry rite of passage. A digital waitlist clears your lobby, allowing wannabe Olympians to grab a bite to eat or watch the crush while they wait to lace up a pair of skates. It’ll cut down the line intimidation factor, which can send fresh faces running back out into the parking lot for fear of a long wait. Plus, it’ll help your skate attendants focus on the customer at hand rather than the pile-up behind them.

Holiday shopping

Playing elf for your nearest and dearest isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds. That’s where your sales associates come in. Put their product knowledge and creativity to work—and get the most out of your personnel scheduling—by creating an in-store personal shopping service. Waitlist Me makes it easy to manage. With its notes feature, you can leverage your employees’ strong suits. To utilize it, ask customers what they’re looking for when you add them to the list. Then, assign sales associates accordingly depending on their specialties.

Pictures with Santa

Corralling kids is a headache on the best of days. With candy canes and chocolate bars adding to the frenzy? Well, you’re looking at a true Nightmare Before Christmas situation. If you’re running a mall Santa-style operation, a waitlist app can make an incredible difference for the parents trying to keep their littles ones in line. With Waitlist Me, parents can join a waitlist and take their tots off to toddle around (and work off some of that energy). When the big guy in the suit is ready, the app sends them a text. Easy.

Christmas tree hunting

Come Thanksgiving, there are scads of parking lots stacked with blue spruce and Frasier fir trees. For tree farmers and sellers looking to head home before Santa packs his sleigh, customer service is essential in order to stand out from the crowd. Get in the game by helping your customers one-on-one. Add each tree-peeper to your waitlist when they walk onto your lot and dispatch an assistant to help them pick the tree that’s perfect for their holiday celebrations.

Community events

Whether you’re managing a Church holiday party, arranging auditions for a winter play, or manning a gift-wrapping booth to fundraise for a local charity, there are tons of seasonal reasons a waitlist might come into play. Use it to maintain order, prevent petty squabbles, and let everyone enjoy their time with family and friends. A waitlist app disperses long lines, letting folks mingle instead of tethering them to a queue.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 .

When the weather outside is frightful, where do people go? Indoors, of course! And once cabin fever strikes, they’ll be rushing through sleet, snow, and beyond-freezing temperatures to find diversion at your business.

A waitlist and reservation app is the best way for any small business to manage this kind of forecast. Not only will an app like Waitlist Me improve your customer’s waiting experience, but it will also help you manage your resources, boost your efficiency, and increase your margins.

Keep reading to learn how a waitlist app can help you win over new customers and make more money this winter.

Bowling alleys

Thanks to theme nights, top-notch eats, and a brilliant bar scene, bowling alleys are making a comeback. A waitlist app helps you juggle all your draws. Waitlist Me keeps every guest enjoying their outing thanks to text notifications. When their lane, their table, or their game is ready, they’ll get a heads-up automatically—without needing to physically wait in line.

More businesses that can use this feature:

Skating rinks

Arcades

Casinos

Gyms

“New year, new you” is the mantra health and wellness centers across the world live by. Make it come true for your gym business and your clientele with a little help from a waitlist and reservation app. An app can help balance new clients with regular rise-and-grinders. The newbies can explore different stations (and make an appointment with a private trainer) while gym rats can reserve equipment (and jump right into their usual workout).

More businesses that can use this feature:

Spas

Salons

Rec centers

Shopping malls

Brr! Is there a better place to be on a chilly weekend afternoon than an indoor shopping wonderland? We think not. But to keep people coming in the door, retailers in mall environments need to offer one thing online sellers can’t: superior customer service. While some customers are independent browsers, many are thrilled to take advantage of personal shoppers, especially during the holidays. Stores can use waitlists to offer superior service to individuals who crave personalized attention—and with Waitlist Me, shoppers can wander while they wait.

More businesses that can use this feature:

Cosmetics stores

Bookstores

Thrift stores and consignment stores

Play places

A zillion rowdy tots tumbling into one ball pit? That’s an accident waiting to happen. Indoor play spaces can use a waitlist app to ensure that every wee visitor’s experience is as fun and safe as possible. Station an attendant with a waitlist by the door or by a popular piece of equipment with a maximum occupancy. Add newbies to the waitlist (and cycle players in and out regularly) to let everyone have a turn.

More businesses that can use this feature:

Climbing wall centers

Trampoline parks

Escape rooms

Museums

Savvy visitors want to get the most out of their trip, and that means checking out all the tours and interactive experiences your museum has to offer. Whether you offer living history or natural, performance art or visual, a waitlist app lets your museum’s guests queue digitally. This means they won’t waste a single minute of their visit tapping their toes in line. They can wander through exhibits and, when your docent is ready for them, arrive in time for the grand tour.

More businesses that can use this feature:

Aquariums

Wineries

Breweries

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 .

It’s a retailer’s dream to boast a line long enough to wrap around a city block. A lot of the promos and products you dream up might even be designed to attract these 6-o’clock-news-worthy waits. Think: Black Friday doorbusters, innovative croissant-donut hybrids, and once-in-a-lifetime bear-stuffing deals.

But the reality? Well, it’s not as dreamy as it seems. In fact, it’s kind of nightmare. The history of long lines is plagued with stampedes, riots, and heat stroke victims. Yikes!

And that’s just for the people who join those long lines. For every customer that’s willing to wait, there are tens to hundreds that won’t be. Think about it this way: What would you wait hours for? What would make you want to camp out on a sidewalk?

If you did it at all, it would have to be for something truly incredible. A dinner at a new-to-the-neighborhood restaurant? Not likely. A shopping spree at a boutique? No way. An after-work drink? Forget it. A pilates class? Never.

How a long line hurts your business

A long line might get you a few dozen customers who are willing to wait in exchange for a first look or a door prize. But at what expense? That line might stretch wayyy down the street, but when hundreds of other passersby see it, they’re going to think that your business is the last place they want to be.

Sure, they might stop and ask what the line is for. Sure, they might talk about your establishment. Most of that conversation may be negative, though. Many of those on-lookers are going to be saying, “Some people waited 3 hours for a burger. How dumb is that?!” rather than: “The line for the best burger in town was 3 hours long yesterday. I’m going to go get one tonight!”

The truth is that long lines alienate customers. They dissuade people from giving you a chance. Potential customers have long memories. They will remember one or two long wait times, and forever associate you with inconvenience. Those customers are going to go somewhere else.

Why? Because…

* They don’t want to hop on the next-cool-thing bandwagon. Some customers instinctually rebel against hype. They’ll opt for a just-as-good competitor, instead. And because they didn’t have to wait, they’ll perceive your rival as being better than you are simply due to that lack of a long line.

* They’re worried the customer service stinks. Long lines can indicate efficiency problems. Guests encounter them and assume that someone at the front is lollygagging or that you’re understaffed. That’s ding No.-1 against your reputation for a top-notch guest experience.

* They aren’t interested in hanging out in a crowd. Some folks love feeling like sardines packed in a tin, but most don’t. A crowded business creates unnecessary pressure on the customer to hurry through their experience, regardless of whether they’re shopping, eating, or doing something else.

* They’re concerned something is wrong. Have you run out of the product you’re running a promo for? Are the cash registers down? Are you understaffed? Is this whole waiting-in-a-crazy-long-line thing all going to be for naught? Cue customer anxiety.

A better alternative

It is great when you have something everyone wants, but you don’t have to make them suffer in a long crazy line to get it. Waitlist Me makes it easy to manage a line virtually rather than physically. Add people to your waitlist so they know they have a spot in line and have visibility into the wait process, while allowing them the flexibility to walk around or do something else while they wait. Then simply press a button to notify them with a text message when it is their term. It is simple, and effective.

 

 

Thursday, November 1st, 2018 .

Want to improve your queue? Whether you’re looking to shorten lines or lose fewer customers, you need the science behind waiting to be on your side.

Luckily, there’s an expert for that.

His name is Richard Larson, although he also goes by “Dr. Queue.” Larson is recognized world-wide for his research on queuing theory—and before you ask, yes, that’s a real thing. He’s one of the handful of scientists who look forward to the hour-long lines as amusement parks rather than the rides themselves.

Dr. Queue wiles away wait times by puzzling over what makes waiters content to queue. Larson explores what kinds of waiting environments keep customers happiest, what systems best manage traffic flow, and what causes queuers to bail rather than wait out a long line.

We designed Waitlist Me with queue theory in mind. Take a look at how you can use our app alongside the psychology of waiting to make your customers happier.

Distractions make waits appear shorter

You know the old saying, “a watched pot never boils”? It’s not quite true. The pot always boils; it just seems like it takes longer when you’re staring at it. The same can be said for any sort of wait. It’s why doctor’s offices invest in magazines and restaurants let you hang out at the bar.

Whether you manage an eatery, a store, an office, or a gym, Waitlist Me lets you notify customers when they reach the front of the line. Our text notification feature sets your queuers free, allowing them to find their own distractions until you’re ready for them.

Anticipation improves customer satisfaction

Is the food at a four-star restaurant better than the food at a neighborhood pub? Maybe. But built in to that four-star restaurant’s rating is the anticipation. Whether they’ve been awaiting their reservation or reading review after review, customers are already primed to enjoy their dining experience.

With our public waitlist feature, Waitlist Me lets you keep your diners salivating even if the bread basket is 20 minutes out of reach. You can sync the public waitlist to a TV in your waiting area and include enticing photos and videos along with daily specials.

Managing wait-time expectations leads to happier guests

Calling the cable company has gotten less painful over the last few years, yet we dread doing it. Why? Because we still remember the interminable minutes of hold music with no end in sight. The waits might still be long, but they’re much less tedious now because the companies let you know how many people are in line ahead of you.

Guests want to see a finish line no matter where or when they’re waiting. Waitlist Me’s wait time estimates and comparisons of actual and quote times help hosts and receptionists quote accurate wait times based on real-world data. And, after customers are added to the waitlist, they can check their place in line right from their smartphone.

Social fairness limits anxiety and stress among queuers

The first to arrive in line should be the first served—that’s social fairness. While it’s nice in principle, it doesn’t always make sense for businesses. Sometimes, a two-top that just walked in the door of a restaurant can be seated before a party of four that’s been waiting for 30 minutes.

Waitlist Me offer the appearance of social fairness that guests are looking for. Because our features free your customers from your waiting area, no one’s the wiser about which guest has been queuing the longest.

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 .

If you listen to the internet’s many critics, millennials are self-obsessed complainers with a penchant for arrogance, an aversion to risk, and some serious Peter Pan Syndrome.

They also eat out five times a week, are looking to make big purchases, and prioritize investments in their mental health and physical fitness. Their spending power is estimated at $3.39 trillion. By 2020, they’ll be the ones paying for one-third of the world’s goods and services.

Millennials are increasingly becoming the customers you need to know inside and out. Who are they? How do they spend their money? What do they want?

Let’s take a closer look.

Who is the millennial customer?

Most people who consider themselves to be “young adults” fit into the millennial category. They were born between the early 1980s and the turn of the century (the generation’s end date waffles between the mid-nineties and the early 2000s, depending on who you ask). Today, millennials range in age from about 16 to 36. They are just now coming into their own as college graduates, young professionals, married homeowners, and parents.

Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the United States. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce world-wide will be made up of this one generation. The world is their oyster, and their wallets are open.

How do millennials spend their money?

Millennials pay more for brands and experiences—if the business in question offers them some sort of added benefit. That could mean more convenience, an alignment of their personal values, a better user experience, or greater perceived value.

They’re also incredibly loyal. Once they find a brand they love, whether it’s a store, a restaurant, a hotel, a gym, a salon, literally anything, they’ll stick with it. And, thanks to their penchant for social media, they’ll spread the word. With millennials on your side, referral business can become your new best friend.

What do millennials want?

This generation grew up as the internet was finding its legs. The oldest millennials were computer-savvy before Google was a thing, while the youngest can’t remember a world without YouTube. They’re gamers, emailers, texters, and content-consumers—and they expect the rest of the world to keep up with them.

What does that mean for you?

Eliminate the wait

For millennials, on-demand everything is the norm. A long waiting list is a major drawback. A long line? For those not enticed by hype or the cool-factor, long lines mean finding the next best thing: your nearest competitor.

Waitlist Me shortens lines and makes them invisible to new customers. The app lets you accurately estimate wait times and track your business’ resources, which can help you become more efficient over time. It also frees customers from your waiting area. This gives the illusion of shorter wait times, which makes more people want to stick around.

Be available on your customers’ terms

With the internet comes 24/7/365 availability. Does your small business need to be open all the time, every day of the year? Absolutely not! But to win over a millennial crowd, you need to create a digital presence that is open to customers around the clock.

We make it easy to do just that. Waitlist Me offers an add-yourself widget, which you can easily include on your business’ website. The widget lets customers add themselves to your waitlist, reservations, or appointment schedule from wherever they are. You can also display black-out days, specials, and more.

Go mobile

Just because a millennial doesn’t leave home without a smartphone doesn’t mean they want to dial your number and speak to you one-on-one. This generation infinitely prefers texting over phone calls.

That’s why Waitlist Me built text message notifications directly into the platform. Forget about hollering out names in a crowded vestibule or passing out buzzing pagers. With a single gesture, you can send a message directly to the party next in line. Your guest will get the message on their phone instantly, wherever they are, just the way they like it.