Thursday, June 20th, 2019 .

True or false: Customers hate waiting.

Answer: False.

No, really: Customers don’t hate waiting. At amusement parks, they’ll wait all day. What customers hate is where they do all the waiting. Stick them in a bland doctor’s office waiting room and they’ll get twitchy in 2 minutes flat. Give them an area to explore, a space that’s an experience in itself? Well, then the wait becomes part of the ride. And you don’t have to run a theme park to tap into that kind of magic.

Why your waiting room is terrible

Most queueing areas are like purgatory. They’re awkward spots your customers dread sitting around in while they await the main event. They’re a no man’s land. They don’t look or feel particularly like your business, and they don’t look or feel like any place your customer wants to spend time in.

That’s not good for your bottom line. The moment your guests begin feeling uncomfortable or unhappy is the exact time you start losing money. They become frustrated, and they take that frustration out on you and your staff. Sometimes, they walk out the door without giving you the chance to win them over.

Why?

Because whether you intend to or not, a bland, uncomfortable waiting area signals that your business doesn’t prioritize the experience of your customers. The waiting room is the first chance you have to wow them. And right now, you’re squandering it.

How to make your first impression a good one

Forget about hiring an interior designer and picking new paint colors. We have a different change in mind, and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

Waitlist Me is an app that handles waitlists and reservations for all sorts of different businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, and doctors’ offices.

How can a waitlist app transform your waiting area, win over customers, and help you make more money? Easy: by improving the first interaction they have with your business and making the time they spend waiting better.

Here’s how Waitlist Me changes your customers’ waiting experience for the better:

Wait from anywhere

Your customers are busy. With Waitlist Me’s same-day reservations feature and add-yourself web widget, they can jump on line without wasting time.

Set them free

Untether your guests from your hostess stand or check-in desk thanks to our text notifications feature. It lets them window shop or run errands without losing their place it line.

Make your business more attractive

Fewer customers standing around in your waiting area means fewer walk-outs due to long, visible lines and a less cramped, more inviting space for those who do prefer to wait inside.

More flexibility

Running behind schedule is stressful enough. With our simple response feature, guests don’t have to worry about missing their spot. When you notify them by text, they can respond and let you know they’re on their way.

Smarter wait times

What’s worse than a long wait? A wait that’s even longer than the estimate. As hosts use Waitlist Me and can see their quoted times next to actuals, it becomes easier to quote more accurate waits.  

Contact us for a free trial and see how Waitlist Me can help improve your customers’ waiting experience today!

Friday, July 17th, 2020 .

Our table management and resource management tools help businesses track availability and the time customers spend at their business.  When assigning customers to a table or resource or moving customers between resources we have had a pop up for choosing from a list of assignments in some of our views.  In some cases this is a quick and effective method, but other times it may be easier to select a table from the floorplan view or a resource from the grid view, so we have added a new tap to add option that switches to these views for selection.  We have also optimized the action bar in the process to make it easier to view information on customers waiting for or occupying a resource and perform key actions like clearing, serving, and moving.

When you select an open table the action bar at the bottom will show the name & size, and the Add button will allow you to choose a party from the waitlist to assign to this resource. 

After a party is assigned to a table, tapping on that table will allow you to mark that customer as served (checking them off the waitlist), and show the table as occupied. 

Once a party is seated, tapping on their table will bring up an action bar to display the party’s name, size, and how long they have been there. Pressing the Current button will give options to move the party to another table, or clear that resource to mark it as available. You can also clear a party from a table by pressing their current ‘Taken’ status on the left of the action bar and selecting ‘Open.’

On the waitlist screen there are new options for assigning a party to a table. If you press in the Assign column for a party, you’ll see a list of tables that you can assign the party to. There will also be a new button at the top right of this menu, for Grid or Floor (depending on what view you’re using). Pressing that button would take you to the grid or floor view, where you could then tap on a table to assign the party. 

Once you choose Grid or Floor, the app will remember your selection and default you to that for future selections. The Floor/Grid button on the upper right will switch between those two views. If you prefer the list of tables, just choose Use Pop-up on the upper left. For the floorplan view, if you have more than one room you will also see your menu on the upper right to switch between rooms. 

When assigning a party to multiple tables, just press and hold the first one and then you will be able to select more. Press Done on the upper right to finish assigning multiple tables.

Monday, October 5th, 2020 .

You’re a small business owner. You shouldn’t have to be a tech whiz. Forget all the training hassles. Forget the painful user manuals. There’s no reason for you to waste your time and money on waitlist management software that’s anything less than plug and play.

Here are seven easy ways to figure out if the tool you’re eyeing is more trouble than it’s worth.

You can’t buy it without talking to a sales person.

If a product is straightforward and user-friendly, it sells itself. You should be able to watch a quick video, then just jump in and start using the product. When a demo from a slick sales rep is required, it’s not the simple solution you’re looking for. Remember: You want to buy the product, not the pitch.

The pricing comes with more fine print than a cell phone contract.

Start-up fees, 24/7 support fees, usage surcharges, complicated pricing tiers, contracts that lock you in for a certain amount of time—these are sales tactics companies use to hook you with a low upfront price and milk you down the line.  Your bill should be simple to understand.  It should be predictable and not change from month to month.  And most importantly, there shouldn’t be any surprises.

Or, even worse, there is no pricing.

One reason a tech company would make you inquire to discover the price of its software is that it knows a salesperson is more likely to get your credit card number than the product itself.  Another reason is to figure out how much money you can afford or are willing to pay so they can extract more money from you.  Throwing out a high list price (that isn’t actually listed anywhere public for fear of scaring people away), and playing the discount game to make you feel like you are getting a bargain is a common sales tactic with complicated software.

There’s a training program, and you probably have to pay for it.

You don’t train someone to use a simple product, you just use it.  Look at great technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Uber as a few of many examples where simpler solutions are less expensive…  The more complex and detailed software is, the more time you need to spend learning it, training your employees on it, and retraining your employees on it when there’s an update. Plus, there’s an increased likelihood of mistakes and complaints. You should get help when you need it, not need to get help just to be able to use a service because it is complicated.

Installation requires you to do 37 other things

A good solution doesn’t require multiple trips to electronic stores. A simple solution doesn’t keep telling you to download more programs to make it work correctly. A good, simple solution is the one that fixes your problem now, without a tacked-on to-do list.

Your customers need to download it, too, in order for you to use it.

Software shouldn’t just be easy foryou to use; it should also be a no-brainer for your clientele. When you add another barrier to use, whether it’s downloading an app or creating a unique login, you’re making customer service harder on yourself.  Everyone has a phone that receives text messages and calls.  They shouldn’t need to install an app.  And most won’t go through the extra effort so you are limiting the number of people than can receive better service with a simpler solution.

Figuring out which button does what feels like decoding your car’s dashboard icons.

When business is busy, you can’t afford to waste time fumbling with your software’s interface to access a certain feature. The line stretches out the door, the customers’ toes start to tap, and the person you’re trying to serve thinks you look like a doofus. And that is not how you want your next Yelp review to read. You should be able to know what every single button does instantly, not after countless seconds of deliberation.  And you shouldn’t have to navigate through all sorts of options and secondary information when greeting a customer.  Eyes on the customer, not the iPad.

Listen: We get it ‘cause we’ve been there.

That’s why we took simple and traditional tools —paper waitlists, reservation books, and grease-board floor plans—and transformed them into one intuitive app that you can download now and use now. Find it in the App Store and Google Play Store, or sign up at www.waitlist.me.

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 .

When using the Add Yourself features, whether through Kiosk Mode or the Web Widget, there are several ways you can display an estimated wait to customers. Simply navigate to the Settings > Add Yourself > Main View. Here you can select the wait time that fits your business best. 

People and Groups – Show the number of parties and the total number of people on the list.

People – Show the number of people on the list.

Minutes By Group – Display an estimated time by multiplying the number of parties by a number of minutes you specify. For example, selecting 5 minutes will multiply the number of groups on the list by 5, and present that result as the estimated wait.

Minutes By People – Display an estimated time by multiplying the total number of people on the list by a number of minutes you specify. 

Last Estimated Time – Report the last estimate given by your staff.

List View – Show the public view of the waitlist, so people can see where they are in line.

Hide – No estimates, just go straight to the Add Yourself part.

Here are a few examples:

Web Widget, number of groups and people
Web widget, last estimated wait
Kiosk mode, full waitlist view

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 .

The move-in rush. The “can we meet for 5 minutes to sort out my schedule?” emails. The all-at-once campus crush as students, faculty, and staff jockey for rooms and resources. There’s nothing like back-to-school season on a college campus. This year, give your “welcome back” spiel with a hearty dose of “we got this!” and then take a well-earned breather. When you tap a waitlist management app like Waitlist Me, you’ve got this back-to-school thing completely under control.

Not sure how to put a waitlist to work at your college or university? Here’s how schools are already using Waitlist Me:

Schedule counseling appointments with academic advisors

With the first day of classes coming up quick, every student’s scheduling concern is a top priority. Add on a new class of freshmen who are just settling in, and you’ve got a slew of counselors who need a better way to manage the onslaught of appointment requests. Waitlist Me keeps every appointment in one place and lets anyone (a receptionist, a student, the counselor in question) book time from wherever they are (a coffeeshop, an office, a dorm room at 2 a.m.). That means no email back-and-forth and no begging for a drop slip while you’re in the lunch line. Win-win, right?

Manage professors’ departmental office hours

Office hours from 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays sounds great—until you pop by the office in question and realize you’re one of 50 students who had the same brilliant idea. Waitlist Me eases the line, allowing students the opportunity to get the help they need on classwork without spending their entire afternoon holed up in a hallway. The public waitlist feature lets them check on their spot in line and allows professors to shoot them a text when it’s their turn, ensuring that appointments aren’t forgotten and nobody’s time is wasted.

Divvy up access to student activity areas

There’s nothing relaxing about a game of ping-pong when there are two other groups of potential players tapping their paddles just a few feet away, waiting for you and your friends to hurry up, already, geez. Instead of calling dibs on the next game and then defending marked territory, a waitlist system lets everyone enjoy their free time—and know exactly when it’s their turn to crush their roommates at pong or pool or whatever it is the kids are playing these days.

Book writing centers, computer labs, and other resources on the fly

You’re continually striving to give your students and your teachers the best resources money can buy. Now, give them a chance to use them to fullest. Waitlist Me lets your entire school community see if there is a wait for popular resources and how many people are waiting.  The add yourself features let them join the waitlist instantly, no matter where they are or what sort of resources they need to utilize. Leaving their dorm rooms for the library? Easy. Making plans to meet up with a group in the middle of the quad? Consider it done. Checking to see when they can meet with a writing fellow? Not a problem.

Streamline student appointments in financial aid and administrative offices

Students struggling with intricate administrative problems aren’t one-time, five-minute stop-ins; they’re repeat visitors who are frustrated that they’re back in your office again. Waitlist Me lets your admin staff keep tabs on on-going issues with a notes feature built right into the app. Before a student walks into for a meeting, you’ll know immediately what it is your team has already tackled and what’s left to fix, freeing you up to address the problem rather than rehash it.