At Waitlist Me, we focus on helping businesses transition away from pen and paper or overly complex services. Making waiting less painful is a win for both the guests and the staff. Of course, waitlist management is only one way to streamline operations and work smarter, not harder. In this article from Dumpsters.com, check out a few more resources that show how to use technology to improve the guest experience.
We are happy to announce the winners of our special giveaway for Charleston area businesses that we did as part of the opening of our Charleston headquarters. Charlestonians were invited to submit names of local businesses that they’d be happier visiting if the wait wasn’t so bad. In turn, Waitlist Me would select the top 10 submissions to provide a free year of the Waitlist Me service to help improve their wait experience.
Here are a couple of our favorite submissions:
“This is the best brunch/breakfast/lunch on Folly Beach. The wait is consistently 30-45 minutes, no matter when you visit, and there isn’t really a great waiting area, so most people have to stand in the parking lot.” – Lost Dog Café customer
“I love Hyman’s, but it is so crowded in the summer and tourist seasons. I think locals like me would go there more often if the lines weren’t so bad or there was a better way to know when its your turn” – Hyman’s Seafood customer
“They’re the BEST brunch spot in the area…and they do an awesome dinner service as well. They take reservations, but it’s really tough to walk in and get a spot.” – High Thyme customer
And here is the full list of winners:
- 167 Raw
- High Thyme
- Hymann’s Seafood
- Laura Albert’s
- Lost Dog Café
- Old South Carriage Co.
- Page’s Okra Grill
- Taco Boy
- Tavern & Table
Customers are feeling the pain of having to wait, and businesses can use Waitlist Me to dramatically improve this experience. Waitlist Me makes it easy to manage a waitlist and send customers text notifications when ready for them, allowing customers the freedom to walk around and enjoy more of the beauty of Charleston while they wait.
Waiting is a universal problem. Wherever you are, it is painful to have to wait for your turn at a restaurant, barber shop, store, or other business. And businesses suffer from lower customer satisfaction and lost revenues when wait experiences are not managed well.
That is why we are happy to announce that Waitlist Me is now available in over 60 countries! Check out our international plans page to see if it is live in your country.
One of the challenges in offering the service globally is that prices to send SMS text messages in other countries are generally higher than in the US and Canada. The prices also vary considerably from country to country, and often even by mobile carrier within a country. We have addressed this by having a flexible system for charging for text messages separately, with pricing for these texts depending on the country. There is also more control in the Waitlist Me app over when to send confirmation and notification texts, so businesses don’t waste money sending a text that isn’t needed. Since texts are not included in monthly subscription prices, we have lowered the price for Premium to $10 and Pro to $20 for international plans, and removed the 100 party limit on the Basic free level of features.
In terms of localization, all the customer facing parts of the Waitlist Me service have been translated into 30 languages, so businesses can send out texts and display their public waitlist pages in local languages with even our basic service. With Premium and Pro they can customize the messaging even more for these and other features. The Waitlist Me app that businesses use is still in English, but we’ll be fully localizing this in more languages over time. The nice thing though about the Waitlist Me service is that the core processes of adding, notifying, and checking people off the list are very simple, and don’t require a lot of reading or knowledge of English.
We announced an exciting new integration in January with Clover that puts our NoshList waitlist app directly in front of restaurant operators across the country. NoshList was one of the first apps to appear in Clover’s newly developed app marketplace. This is new and exciting for us because technology such as the Clover POS is leading the way for restaurant operators to efficiently update and integrate their front-of-house and back-of-house operations. Never before have waitlist apps been able to sync up with a restaurant POS, providing sales analytics based on waitlist names and phone numbers. Now, they can.
Clover, owned by First Data, is going after restaurant operators with modest businesses in an effort to treat them like large brands by giving them what they’re asking for: something more from a technology provider without the high price tag to match.
Clover is answering this call is by offering a merchant-driven technology tool based on the Android operating system. It’s smarter, more flexible and secure than what many of these operators have been using, and the fact that NoshList is featured as a tool within this technology makes what Clover is doing that much better.
For Clover users, the toolkit is future proof and includes a printer, cash drawer and credit card terminal. Additionally, it includes preloaded apps such as ours intended to give restaurant operators the ability to control and customize the tools best suited to their needs.
Additionally, we have recently made several new enhancements to our NoshList waitlist app. These updates let restaurant owners and management define pre-set notes, such as dates of birthdays and anniversaries, in the Quick Notes feature. The notes can be viewed in the wait list for easy reference and can be synced across each device used in the restaurant. The new app features a seating history display below the current list and people that add themselves to the list show up at the top with special highlighting to alert the hostess.
In addition to the new app features, the NoshList website now has several powerful analytical reports for paid premium users. The reports include an activity overview that highlights diner trends seated by the day, week or month, a visitor breakdown by age and gender, activity logs for custom analysis and loyalty metrics comprised of guests who visit your place when, how often, and their average length of wait.
The NoshList and Clover technology is based on flexibility and is a valuable tool restaurant operators can leverage to make their operations more efficient. And integration is easy!
When someone installs NoshList from Clover, it immediately pulls their merchant account information and links table orders directly to the table numbers entered into the POS. Restaurant staff can then view the customer’s name, order and visit history, giving them an opportunity to elevate the guest experience through rewards and direct marketing campaigns.
Here is a summary of the latest features that will be on display:
New Free features available to all:
- Quick Notes – Easily create a list of common notes to use when adding and seating parties.
- ETA – Choose an estimated arrival time for same-day reservations and larger parties.
- Seated View – View notes and parties seated in the main waitlist view.
New Premium features:
- Rich Analytics – Download activity, demographics, party size, and loyalty reports.
- Table Management – Customize and assign table numbers when adding and seating parties.
- Customizable Public Waitlist – Add information on daily specials, loyalty programs, coupons, and more to the public waitlist that guests can check from their phones while waiting.
With partners such as Clover, we will continue to push the boundaries of waitlist technology because we believe in doing things differently. We are a team of professionals focused to innovate an antiquated aspect of the industry,one we understand, appreciate and are passionate about.
Sometimes if you press the notification button to send a text message to a customer and don’t see them right away, you may press the notification button again to trigger an automated call notification. Premium subscribers have a list of several pre-recorded messages to choose from. Pro subscribers have all these options, and now have an additional option to type in their own message and have it played using text-to-speech. This provides more flexibility for what you may want to tell your customers when you notify them.
Changing these settings can be done on the Waitlist Me website, under Account > Settings > Notifications. Here you can select one of the pre-recorded messages, or create your own by flipping the switch to On under Custom Phone Notification. Use up to 160 characters to craft a message that fits your business, pick a voice option, and save! Now your customers will hear this message when they receive a notification call.
Waitlist Me assigns a unique phone number to your account for sending text and call notifications. If customers try to call back, they will hear a message instructing them to call the business directly. This message can also be tailored to reflect your needs. Simply type in the message you would like clients to hear, decide on a voice, and save your work.