Friday, February 28th, 2014 .

We are always looking for ways to make people’s wait experience better, and we have added a new way for restaurants to engage and communicate with guests in a non-obtrusive way while they are waiting.

There is now a new NoshList Premium feature for restaurants and other places using NoshList to customize their public waitlist page on WaitList with any information they’d like their customers to see. Some ideas include daily specials, reward program information, a social media feed or video, a link to leave a review on Yelp, among others.

Here is an example of how a rewards program could be highlighted below the waitlist on the page visitors can check from their phones:

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The way NoshList normally works is when a visitor has left their phone number and is added to the waitlist on NoshList, they automatically receive a text message confirming they have been added to the list and giving them a link to the public waitlist so they can check their place in line. The new feature allows guests to see more information below this waitlist, giving restaurants a great way to improve the guest experience even more and give helpful information to guests while they are waiting, right on their phone. The public waitlist can also be displayed on an internet browser in the restaurant or can also be viewed by customers from home. This public waitlist page is free for all NoshList accounts, and NoshList Premium users get access to this new customization feature as well as the option to let customers add themselves to the waitlist from their phone.

To add information to the public waitlist page, login to NoshList on the web and go to the Settings in the Account area. There is a “Customize Page” link that goes to a page where you can add text or HTML and preview how it will look on the page. Adding HTML gives you the flexibility to style the area with any fonts, colors, links, and images that you’d like to appear on the page. Otherwise you can just add text for some simple messages. There are also various online HTML editors as well as HTML views in most popular online blog services (like Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress, etc.) that can help with formatting text into HTML

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Want to customize the page even more or include the NoshList waitlist on your site? Let us know at support@noshlist.com and we can help you with this as well.

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, October 30th, 2015 .

Looking for an easier way to take reservations?  Waitlist Me has a new feature for customers to schedule reservations (or appointments) from your website, and it as easy as adding a link or line of code to set up.

You don’t need to set up any complicated rules for how many reservations are available at what times, as reservation requests will come to you for quick approvals within the Waitlist Me app.  You’ll receive a notification alert so you know when to check, and reservation requests will be highlighted at the top of your main waitlist page as well as on the daily reservation views.

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When you approve a request in the app, the customer automatically gets a confirmation text with their time, and the request becomes a confirmed reservation and appears in the reservations area of Waitlist Me.  If you decline it, the customer receives a text notifying them that it could not be scheduled.

The new remote reservation feature builds on the previous remote adding functionality for waitlists, so now businesses can choose between options of allowing customers to add themselves to the waitlist, schedule reservations, or both.

To enable the feature, log into Waitlist Me, go to the Settings area, and then choose to customize the Public Waitlist Page.  From there you can turn on remote reservations and customize things like the information you require from customers, whether you’d like to skip the approval step to have them automatically scheduled, and more.

Here is how the Settings look:

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The Public Waitlist is one are where customers can see the Make Reservation option.

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And when they press on that it will allow them to enter their info and requested reservation time.

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Another option is to use the Widget on your own website.  Here is an example of how that looks and you can customize the look and feel of the web widget in the Waitlist Me settings.

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Monday, September 8th, 2014 .

Waiting is never fun wherever you are. NoshList started as an app to help restaurants manage their waitlists and send text and phone notifications to guests when their tables were ready, and is now used by many types of businesses to improve the customer experience whenever there are waits. Here is a great example of a smart business owner at Kumon that uses NoshList not only to to shorten wait times for students ready to be picked up, but also to improve child safety, performance excellence, and business efficiencies.

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Kumon® Learning Centers have an after-school academic enrichment program designed to help children achieve more than they ever thought they could. The centers strive to teach self-learning and achievement in the academic areas of reading and math through an enrichment program that outlines steady goals for each student.

Most students spend 30-60 minutes during their individual sessions and are required to attend sessions two times a week.

“The philosophy of Kumon is to build mastery of the subject. Each subject is divided into a series of levels and each level is focused on a learning fundamental built on top of the previous ones,” said Krishnadas Kootale who partners with his wife Geeta Krishnadas as Kumon Franchise operators for the Kumon Denville – South Center in New Jersey. “Because this is a long-term program, we try to make it sustainable over the long haul.”

Each child is required to do homework and each one is given the time and patience needed to build greater mental stamina and focus. The goal, Kootale said, is to help the child build a strong foundation of knowledge and learning skills that they can carry with them throughout their academic career and beyond.

While the program is taught in a safe environment, Geeta and Kootale were a little concerned with what happens sometimes after class. While parents are required to pick up the children from the waiting area and children required to wait in the reception area until their parents arrive once a session is complete, sometimes students would leave the premises into the parking lot looking for their parents.

Since the location was near a state highway, the couple wanted to take extra steps to ensure the safety of their students. “Whenever you have kids, parking lots and roads nearby there are always safety concerns,” Kootale said. “We didn’t want the children to move around unattended.”

While thinking about solutions for the waiting children, Kootale discovered how NoshList was used by restaurants to manage their waitlists. He was able to easily check out the app, and realized it was a perfect fit for his needs.

Now, when a student checks into the Kootale’s learning center, the parent’s contact information entered into the NoshList waitlist. At that point an alert goes out to the parent providing an estimated time to session completion. This eliminates the guesswork involved for parents who may be looking to run an errand or so while their children are in class. Once a student’s session is complete, Noshlist sends a message to the parent’s phone alerting that the child is ready for pick up. Once the parent arrives at Kumon, they enter into a classroom to check out their child and then leave together.

“The primary reason we considered NoshList was to set up a check-in check out system with parent alerts to avoid children moving unattended, which was not something we wanted,” Kootale said. “Parents like the flexibility of being able to leave during their child’s session and then be alerted when the session is completed; and with Noshlist we have such a system helping us ensure that parents drop off and pick up children at the reception area.”

While using NoshList, Kootale realized there were other benefits he hadn’t originally expected. With the analytics features, they are able to track each student’s time used in the center. They then cross reference the student’s study time against their performance, which helps them improve the educational experience for that child.

“At any time, we have the live list of the students in class. Anyone who takes longer on their studies, or who finishes sooner, we have that information in real time. We use that information for class review and plan management,” Kootale said. “This real-time information is quite valuable to us.”

“It’s really a great app!” Kootale said.

 

– By Valerie Killifer, special to NoshList

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 .

What do patients complain about most? It’s not bedside manner or needles or paperwork, it’s the waiting room. If you want a glowing review on HealthGrades or Vitals, or you’re looking to boost your Yelp or Google stats, there’s one thing you can do today—right now—to make that happen: Improve your customer service.

Waitlist Me is a waitlist and reservation management app that can help you do that in a snap. Can’t envision it in your office? Here’s what it’s helping other healthcare businesses across the medical industry achieve:

Manages fluctuating crowds and periods of high volume

Perfect for urgent care centers and emergency rooms

When you cater to patients who need help now, telling them they have to wait is just about the worst thing you can do. The next best thing, though, is making their wait easier, no matter how full the waiting room is. Waitlist Me does exactly that. Our public waitlist feature lets patients check their real-time ETA from the comfort of their chairs, a bench outside, or wherever it is they feel best. Best of all: You can customize the information displayed on it, protecting your patients’ personal information while still cutting down on those painful walks to the front desk to ask when it’ll finally be their turn.

Makes walk-in visits possible alongside scheduled appointments

Perfect for dental offices, doctor’s practices, and clinics

Watching a receptionist click through a series of complicated screens takes eons when you’re the guy with a toothache standing on the other side of the counter. With Waitlist Me, administrative staff don’t have to hem and haw about squeezing in an emergency walk-in, or waffle over exactly how long it’ll take to get him in front of the doc. Waitlist Me’s intuitive interface is learnable in minutes and readable in seconds. With just a glance, you can estimate the wait, check him in, and reassure him that you’ve got everything under control.

Allows customers to book facetime with medical experts (and easily wait for prescriptions)

Perfect for drugstore and hospital pharmacies

Not every pharmacy customer needs a Q&A to accompany their prescription. For the ones who do have questions about the medications they’re prescribed—or any they’re considering taking over-the-counter—a waitlist app can make scheduling a conversation with a busy professional quick and easy. Waitlist Me can be used to manage customers waiting for prescriptions to be filled and for consultations. The color-coded interface lets you easily see and sort who is waiting for what and instant text notification allows you to call them over when it’s their turn, no matter where they are in the building. Looking at magazines? Stretching their legs? Not a problem!

Moves patients through check-in, waiting, and procedures efficiently

Perfect for donation centers, blood drives, and testing centers

Plasma donation? Drug test? Routine bloodwork? These sorts of visits are ones that people schedule before a work shift or in a free hour between meetings. Getting them in and out of your office is the order of the day, and Waitlist Me makes it easy for everyone. The app’s simple visual interface makes registration quick and painless for every person on your staff, whether they’re a long-time volunteer or a receptionist-in-training. Once a patient is checked in, they’ll receive an automatic text confirmation with a link to a public waitlist, which allows them to see where they are in line—and take care of whatever business they have before you’re ready for them.