Thursday, December 21st, 2017 .

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.

 

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 .

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.

 

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 .

santa noshlist

Memories of sitting on Santa’s lap can evoke strong feelings of nostalgia for many of us, and continuing the tradition of capturing these magical moments can be a must-do for parents and grandparents of younger children.  The problem is that the holiday season is already a very busy time of year, and getting a turn on Santa’s lap usually requires some waiting. In worst case scenarios, it can even take several hours. Santa’s Playground and Santa’s Castle in Calgary have found a way to give back some of this precious time to families this holiday season by using NoshList for their waitlist.

Believe Imaging, an event photography company founded by Shelagh Anderson, photographs children with Santa at two of the busiest malls in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At each location, employees are tasked with the responsibility of making sure every child who visits gets a turn to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas.

On average, the two centers combined receive upwards of 7,000 visits per week during the holiday season from November 23 through December 24.  To better handle the large number of visitors, Anderson was able to streamline the registration process and improve the customer experience by rolling out NoshList at both locations.

Prior to the launch of NoshList, employees were using pen and paper to take down names and numbers.

“The problem with pen and paper was the constant barrage of customers coming to ask if it was their turn because there was no visual display letting the customers know where they were in line,” Anderson said.

At first Anderson researched paging system, but the high initial and ongoing costs led her to seek an alternative solution.

“Originally in 2013 I sought out pagers, but after speaking to someone who had a system in excess of $3,000 I thought to myself that it didn’t make sense to invest in that archaic technology and there had to be a better way,” she said. “So I started looking on the Internet and came across NoshList in March 2014. This type of concept has been in my head for a number of years, so finding NoshList has definitely helped us realize some of the vision that I’ve had over the years.”

With the busiest days bringing over 700 kids to see Santa, children and their families can wait up to an hour for their turn.  While there is a play room in each location to ease the boredom, having a waitlist system like NoshList gives parents and families the ability to do other things while waiting for their turn.

“In terms of improving communications with our customers and allowing them the opportunity to roam the shopping center rather than stand in line, NoshList has been extremely well received by both mall administration and customers,” Anderson said. “Mothers are thrilled because they can register and know their kids are going to see Santa, while they have the freedom to go get a drink, use the restroom, continue shopping, or do other things.”

Registration is handled by three employees who are each armed with an iPad to start the waitlist process.Customers can see their places in line by clicking on a link to the public waitlist view and get a better estimate of how much longer it will be before their turn. The company also encourages their customer service desks to also log on to www.waitlist.me/n/believe_mm to accurately convey to customers who phone in asking about the wait times.

But the best part is that employees can also take down the children’s names and ages so Santa is prepared even before the child makes it to his lap.

“The elf standing next to Santa can relay the names of the next kids to him, and it adds that extra level of magic to the experience,” Anderson said. “If you’re a child and you round the corner and Santa calls you by name, that’s pretty awesome.”

believe imaging

Monday, September 15th, 2014 .

Being sick is no fun for anyone. And when you are sick, one of the top things on your mind is how to get better as soon as possible. It isn’t surprising that having to wait to talk to a physician can be a frustrating experience, but ProHealth Care Medical Associates found that using Waitlist to give patients a better sense of their wait made patients and physicians happier.

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ProHealth Care Medical Associates is an award-winning regional specialty and primary care system with services throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. As part of the ProHealth Care program, the system has an integrated network of closely aligned independent physicians. Services encompass nearly all aspects of health care and includes hospitals, medical clinics, home care and hospice, integrative medicine, well-being and fitness centers, and more.

The centers have eight urgent care facilities within a 25-mile radius and see patients on a walk-in basis, which means wait times to see doctors can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

“One of the things we were hearing from our patients is that they weren’t happy with our wait times,” said Kelly Tolson, Director of Operations at ProHealth Care. “During cold and flu season, it can be anywhere from a 90 minute to two hour wait. Two hours is unacceptable.”

Tolson and ProHealth site leader, Maureen Sensiba, were looking for a way to make wait times easier to manage for patients, when they were approached by a patient who had seen the NoshList wait list app in use at a local restaurant.

“One of our patients had been added to a waitlist and notified when their table was ready at a Red Robin restaurant, and she said it was an awesome feature,” Sensiba said. “She raved about it. So afterward, I did some research on my own and contacted NoshList to see how we could make it work for our situation.”

The customer was specifically pleased with how the wait list app gave her the ability to shop while she waited for her table at Red Robin. That also caught the attention of Tolson and Sensiba, since it would be nice for patients to not have to be constrained to the waiting area.

Before getting started, the app had to be shown to the company’s patient experience officer and corporate compliance officer attorney to ensure the app wasn’t in violation of any patient privacy issues. Because the app only shows patient initials, it does not violate HIPPA rules or any other privacy rule, and Tolson was given the ability to then launch the app at the Medical Associates Brookfield, Wisc. location.

“Brookfield was a great place to start because it’s a small community. People could go home, have lunch or run errands while they waited to be seen by a doctor and get back in a short amount of time,” Tolson said. “It has worked so well that we have expanded it to another location and have plans to roll it out to the remaining six within the next six months.”

How it works

When ProHealth first started using NoshList, it was more popularly used as an iPad app, so they had to be a little creative in getting to fit their needs for an urgent care waitlist from a computer. Tolson and Sensiba realized that they could customize the public waitlist web page and the Add Yourself feature that restaurants normally use to allow diners to add themselves to a list, and they adapted this functionality for their staff to enter the information.

The patient names are put into a computer once they arrive at the center, and they can check their place in line from a phone or computer. When other patients look at the waitlist to determine where they are in line, only the patients’ initials are visible. Then when it is a patient’s turn, the ProHealth staff uses the regular waitlist view to trigger the text and call notifications and remove people from the list.

Since that time, NoshList has added the ability to do everything in one place in the browser, and early adopters like ProHealth Care that started using the system in new ways and sending feedback helped drive these product improvements.

“It was very smart how Tolson and Sensiba figured out how to use the NoshList public waitlist page, which was designed for other purposes, to serve as a simple entry form that could be used by multiple people on computers,” said NoshList CEO, Craig Walker. “We were all very impressed at NoshList, and have been building more and more improvements into our service to make it better for cases like these and for solving the wait problem everywhere.“

While the facility operators have yet to determine how the app has impacted wait times, customers appear to be happy with the solution.

“I don’t know if their wait times have decreased, but patients are more satisfied because we are being more respectful of their time,” Sensiba said. “We know they have other things they could be doing and we’re giving them an opportunity to do those things if there is a long wait.”

The physicians also are happier.

“We expected the patients would appreciate the new waitlist options, but we didn’t anticipate that the physicians would also be happier, because the patients are happier when they get into the room,” Tolson said. “That has been a very nice surprise.”

Friday, May 15th, 2015 .

We are happy to announce some exciting new ways waitlist technology is being used to help restaurant operators better serve their customers.  Through the use of the Waitlist Me API, these new solutions will be on display for the first time during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. The app will be showcased during the show, May 16-19 in Chicago, through partnerships with BrightSign and Clover.

brightsign

 

With BrightSign, the global market leader in digital signage players, restaurants can now display a public view of their waitlist on their digital signage so it is easy for customers to check their place in line without needing to bother the hostess. The flexibility of the BrightSign integration lets restaurants fully customize the look and feel of their waitlist so it looks like a natural extension of their menu board or other digital signage.

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Restaurants operators can also tailor their customer-facing experience to their brand while using the Waitlist Me apps and service to easily manage their waitlist and page customers with text and call notifications.

It is exciting how well the BrightSign integration empowers restaurants to create displays with designs limited only by their imagination. We are very happy to be working with a company like BrightSign that shares our values of building scalable and reliable solutions that are easy to use and maintain.

Clover is another Waitlist Me partner that will have new things to show off at this year’s NRA Show.  The new Clover Mobile device, announced in April, lets businesses add customers to the waitlist right at the door as well as allowing status updates to be made from other parts of the store or restaurant.

Clover is at the forefront of creating better and more elegant POS hardware and solutions for businesses, and has a robust App Market for third-party developers. Because of the deeper integration Clover allows, Waitlist Me is able to offer more efficient tools for businesses and better experiences for their customers on the Clover platform.

Waitlist Me just recently announced its API earlier this year with Enplug as the first partner, and has several more projects in progress.

We want to help improve wait experiences everywhere, and integrations with companies like BrightSign and Clover highlight the power of the Waitlist Me platform.  By extending our waitlist management features and best-in-class text and phone notification infrastructure to work in other products, we can solve a wider set of needs together than with our service alone.

For more information on partnership opportunities, contact support@waitlist.me