Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 .

Want a better idea of how well you are serving your customers? There is a new Waitlist Me feature that will allow you to send quick surveys to your customers after their visit. Customers can rate easily rate their overall experience in a few seconds or have the option to send more detailed feedback or even request a manager contact them. It is a great way to get insights into what your customers are thinking and to respond quickly when there are questions or problems.

To enable the survey feature, log into www.waitlist.me and go into the Settings, which are in the Account area. Click on the link in the Customer Feedback Surveys section to go to the page. When you turn on the surveys so they go out to your customers after they have been checked off the list, you will see a variety of options for customizing the surveys.

In the Survey notification area, you can edit the text that is sent to the customer and how long after they are checked off the list that it is sent. The surveys are designed to be as simple as possible for customers to send a quick rating, so they can just reply with a number from 1 to 5 in a text message and we will record that response automatically. There is also a link where they can follow if they prefer to visit a webpage on their phone to leave their rating.

feedback - settings1

 

If the customer does choose to visit the web page and leave an overall rating, they will also be presented with the option to rate a couple more specific questions, and you can change these questions to whatever you like in the settings.

feedback - settings2

 

Here is an example of how it looks for the customer. First they would receive a text message like this:

feedback - notification

 

If they choose to click on the link, they will go to a page like this:

feedback - survey1

 

If they fill out the first question, they will be given an option to rate more specific questions. They can also request to be contacted by the manager, and if they do an email will be sent to any users you have associated with your account.

feedback - survey2

 

The details for any surveys completed will be included in the weekly summaries that are sent out, and you can also download the data on the responses in the Analytics section of the Waitlist Me site.

feedback - reports

 

The Feedback Surveys are currently available to all Waitlist Me Premium users.

Friday, May 17th, 2013 .

We are getting ready to head to NRA, and are happy to have reached 11 million diners seated through the NoshList waitlist app.

We have also added three key features to improve restaurant efficiency, which include customizable text message notifications, multi-restaurant management, and a customer-facing waitlist display. These are now available on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

The customizable text message notification feature gives restaurants the ability to modify their text messages for waitlist notifications and allows managers to better engage customers by adding a link to their website or menu, or to inform their diners about specials and promotions.

With the multi-restaurant management feature, new admin accounts allow owners or companies with multiple restaurants to login and see how each restaurant is doing from one account. We work with a number of large chain restaurants and wanted to give them more powerful tools to manage all of their stores’ waitlists. These new multi-restaurant administrative features are an introduction to all the advanced analytics and other tools we can provide to restaurant operations managers and owners of multiple restaurants.

The third new feature released this week lets any restaurant using NoshList display a public view of the waitlist that customers can check from their phones to see where they are in the list. The mobile version uses a custom link in the notification message to highlight each individual customer’s position in the list on his or her mobile phone.

2014-02-22_18-57-02

NoshList will also be attending the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago this weekend, May 18-21, and will be located in the Technology section in the North Hall, Level 3 in Booth # 5867.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 .

We are happy to announce the opening of a new headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina.  Waitlist Me started in the Silicon Valley by former Google employees as NoshList, a popular restaurant app, and expanded to serve businesses across multiple industries.  As part of the company’s aggressive growth plans, Waitlist Me considered a wide range of options and was attracted to Charleston for a number of reasons.

“Charleston is a true hidden gem for tech start ups,” said Brian Hutchins, Waitlist Me CEO, “When you consider the beauty of the area and all the things the city has to offer, it is hard to beat the quality of life, and that is a key strategic advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.  Furthermore, smart investments made in infrastructure and programs to support business innovation are starting to pay dividends in Charleston, and the local tech economy is evolving rapidly. Waitlist Me has an office at the Charleston Digital Corridor, is part of the Harbor’s Propel accelerator program, and will be exhibiting at the DigSouth.  These are a few examples of very valuable initiatives that have come into their own relatively recently.”

To celebrate the occasion, the company will be giving away a free year of its Premium service to ten Charleston businesses that need it most, based on suggestions from locals.  The offer is designed to raise awareness around how technology can improve wait experiences in Charleston.  It also opens up ways for the broader community to engage and share ideas.  Many businesses are still struggling by using paper or clunky buzzer systems, and don’t realize there are better ways to manage their waits.  People that visit these places feel the pain though.  Nominating a business for the prizes is as simple as visiting www.waitlist.me/charleston and sharing a business name and experience that could be improved.

Charleston is well known for its hospitality, and Waitlist Me is tool local businesses can use to help offer the exceptional level service that makes it a top tourist destination as well as a great place to live.  Instead of just standing around bored or frustrated, waiting customers could take a nice stroll, experience more of the city, shop, and more.  It’s a win-win for everyone, and we are hoping people will help us spread the word.

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.

prohealth image

 

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.”

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 .

Building on the set of resource management features we rolled out a couple months ago, we have added more flexibility for creating and tracking custom resource statuses. These statuses can be used to visually highlight different stages of your occupied resources in different colors to help make assignment decisions faster and easier.

Here is a new video on resource management, including the new custom statuses:

 

 

For example, say you are managing restaurant tables and using Waitlist Me to view what tables are available or occupied. You can sort tables by the times they have been occupied for a better sense of which ones will become available first. Now with custom statuses you could improve on those estimates even more by changing the states of tables that are waiting for their bill or being cleaned. Marking tables with customers waiting for their checks as “billing” can give your bus boys a heads up on which tables would need cleaning soon. Similarly, you can change the status of tables to “cleaning” when they are being cleared and prepped. Using more detailed statuses can help your staff at the front of the house know what tables will be available soon, which means they can quote better wait time estimates and seat customers faster. This means more revenue for the restaurant through more table turns and improved customer satisfaction.

This is just one example of how it might work in a restaurant, but the flexibility of the naming and usage of statuses means they can be tailored to different processes in different businesses.

To change a status in Waitlist Me, all you have to do is press on the resource and an action bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. This area shows information on customers currently occupying and waiting for the resource, and has actions for moving and clearing customers. Pressing on the status on the left will bring up a list of statuses, and selecting one will change the status and color of the resource. In the list view, just tap on the status color to change it.

status - full view

 

Note that when you choose a custom status you can see both the total time a resource has been occupied as well as the time spent in the current status, which is shown in parenthesis. This makes it easy to see total visit times and times in specific statuses at a glance, so you can tell if a certain stage is causing more delays than others and how that might be affecting total wait times.

Accompanying the custom statuses are a couple of new sorting options in the Grid view, where you can view your resources grouped by Status. Select “Status the ABC” to have all the statuses grouped together and then ordered alphabetically by the resource name or “Status then Time” to have them ordered by the length of time they have been in that particular status.

To customize your statuses, go to your Settings and then press on “Manage Resources” and then again on the “Statuses” in the upper right. In addition to the default “available” (green) and “occupied” (red) statuses, you can add four of your own statuses. Just add the names and move the sliders on the right to turn them on or off. Statuses will show alphabetically in the options when you select them, so you can set the naming accordingly. The green and red statuses for available and occupied resources are always required, and custom statuses are treated as states of an occupied resource.

status - settings