Thursday, August 31st, 2017 .

Amid the bottles of product and spritzes of perfume, what sets a top-tier cosmetics store apart from a beauty bargain bin? It all comes down to service—customer service. Greeting customers at the door with a grin and a basket is just the beginning.

Here’s how luxury beauty brands are bringing waitlist management apps like Waitlist Me into their stores to turn run-of-the-mill customer service into rock-star treatment that keeps customers feeling pampered (and primed to buy).

Make the most of exclusive offerings

Your sales associates are great at their job, but even their well-trained peepers can’t estimate a perfect foundation match 100 percent of the time. That’s where technology comes in, and top brands are increasingly turning to tech to move more product. Sephora, for example, has partnered with Pantone to create Color IQ, which helps customers discover color-matched products that are currently available in stores. Brilliant, right?

The next step is to get more customers using it on a regular basis—and that’s where a waitlist can help. Waitlist Me offers text alerts, which means that you can let customers know when it’s their turn to check the tech or have a special consultation, no matter where they are in the store (or the mall).

Balance resource-heavy bookings—like product parties—with walk-ins

You’re tapping in to the power of parties for one very good reason: They’re the perfect storm of shoppers who might never buy, normally, without scads of personal attention from your ace sales reps and a smattering of “oh, come on, buy it!” from their friends. Booking regular parties is a boon for your sales goals, but managing them in real-time can be a bear for store managers.

Enter Waitlist Me. Its interface is flexible, allowing managers to allocate resources (think: space and sales talent) for blocks of time and check on the fly to see who’s available on the floor to do what, whether that means tidying shelves or taking on an impromptu makeover.

Let product experts lead the way

Whether your pros are trained in skincare or eye makeup, Bobbi Brown or Benefit, their knowledge and expertise is what sets your in-store experience apart from a dot com. Give them the time and space to do exactly what you’ve taught them: Connect with shoppers on a personal level, show them product best practices, and help them choose the items that are right for their unique set of needs.

Instead of enlisting all your sales associates as greeters, some stores are choosing to station a generalist up front who can direct newcomers to the right aisles and book walk-ins looking for one-on-one assistance with a specialist. Waitlist Me’s real-time ETA lets greeters give accurate time estimates to eager customers, and our public waitlist feature also lets customers check in on their own to see where they are in line.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 .

Waitlist Me makes it easy for your customers to let you know with a quick text response whether they are cancelling or on their way, so you know whether to expect them or not and can plan accordingly.  We are now combining that simplicity with more flexibility for handling other types of text responses, so you have more visibility into what your customers are thinking and can make smarter decisions faster.

Customers can send two pre-defined responses to text messages to let you know whether they are coming or not. If a customer texts back a “2”, you will see a “coming soon” message in the notes area of the waitlist view. If they text back a “3” the message will say “not joining” and the row will flash. The default notification that is sent to customers when you press to notify them explains these options and looks like this (you can always edit):

Text received

 

If people text back something other than a 2 or a 3, you’ll see “text reply” in their row on their waitlist.

Text response waitlist

 

Tapping on their row will open up the Edit Party screen, which will show their text. You can see things like if they mentioned how long they would be, if they had a quick question, or didn’t understand whether to use a 2 or a 3 and just replied back with something like “Cancel”. You can also see other important details in the Customer Visit section, such as when you notified them it was their turn, how long they were quoted, and how long they have been waiting.

Text visit history

 

Pro users have the additional feature to send custom text responses to texts received, up to three times per customer visit. The point is to keep things simple for you and your customers rather than get into a long chat with them that could be time consuming.

Text response Pro

 

If a customer tries to call the assigned phone number in response to the text or call coming from that number, they will hear a message explaining that the number is only used for notifications and it will provide them your regular business number to call. Pro users have the option to create a custom text-to-speech message for handling these inbound calls.

Here is more on customizing notifications.

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 .

Make your table management more efficient by viewing the waitlist on the same screen as table assignments. Split screen mode, currently available for iPads, will allow you to handle the waitlist while simultaneously managing table turnover.

Press the circle icon on the top left of the waitlist to go to the table management or assignments view.

Press Open in the footer bar to show the waitlist in the bottom half of the screen.

The waitlist, as well as today’s reservations, will now be visible. Drag the bar up or down to adjust the height of the waitlist to fit your needs.

From this view you can still add parties to the list, notify guests when you are ready for them, and check parties off the list. All of the waitlist view features are available without leaving the table management view.

Waitlist Me makes table management simple and effective. Our unique approach to section and resource management provides an intuitive tool that restaurant staff can pick up in a few minutes and enjoy using.  If you haven’t set up your sections yet, you can see how to do that here.

Check out more ways to get the most out of Waitlist Me by visiting our Knowledge Base.

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 .

The Waitlist Me widget allows customers to add themselves to the waitlist and reservations. It is convenient for customers and saves you the time of having to take down information over the phone.

Whether you choose to have customer requests automatically approved or pending an approval step in the Waitlist Me app, we have a new feature that you can use to limit when these requests can be made.  This helps avoid confusion where a customer might try to add themselves to the waitlist when you are closed or not taking waitlist requests.

Now you can decide if you’d like the widget to take requests all the time with the “24/7” option or you can set the days and times that it would do so.  During the times that you choose to take requests the widget would display as it normally does.  During other times it would show a message you can customize on not being available at that time.

widget times

 

The new widget time display settings are part of the Waitlist Me Pro service.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 .

BL Sign

Little Star Pizza took San Francisco by storm in 2004 by quickly becoming one of the best pizzerias in the city. Known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza with cornmeal crust, Little Star quickly garnered five-star customer reviews and a loyal following among local residents. There are now three Little Star Pizza restaurants in operation throughout the urban San Francisco region and another four Blue Line Pizza locations, owned by the same company, in the surrounding suburbs.

 

The two restaurant concepts do not take reservations, which means Little Star diners wait anywhere from 90- 120 minutes for a table on weekends, said founder Angela Pace.And wait times at sister chain Blue Line Pizza run anywhere from 60-to-90 minutes.

“Not taking reservations was a conscious decision because, for us, the community does so much for us that we don’t want anyone to not get served because we’re booked with reservations,” Pace said. “We want to make sure our dining room is always there for our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

In order to make customer wait times easier to manage, the company enlisted the help of WaitList, the country’s fastest growing wait list app available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The app was launched in 2012 and has seated to date nearly 40 million diners.

“The use of technology is unique to a place like Blue Line because we really want to focus on the guest,” Pace said. “We’ve always been very open to technology and willing to embrace it as an organization.”

Pace said the company chose NoshList from a variety of options because of its ease of use for customers and staff.

“We tried so many different things that all had their own little merits. Ultimately, we had to find a solution that we knew would work for us. Not just me personally but for our entire staff,” Pace said. “It boiled down to NoshList being so easy to use and straightforward, and the user interface is very simple and direct.”

BG Upper Patio night

 

One concern with the app was if customers would be hesitant to give out their cell phone numbers in order to interact with the app; however, adoption has been widely accepted.

“We even created an explanation of how the system works for our hostess to use on hesitant customers, but our hostess doesn’t even get to it. We’ve had no pushback,” Pace said.

The company’s philosophy toward the use of technology has been to use it as a tool to improve the guest experience. By replacing pad and paper or buzzer seating systems, waitlist apps are changing one of the most arguably antiquated seating systems in the industry.

The NoshList wait list app also does what other systems cannot: such as automatically calculate average wait times for guests. This takes the guesswork out of estimating seating times for restaurant patrons. It also frees up restaurant staff to focus on other areas of the customer experience.

“Much of today’s wait list application technology can support two-way communication between restaurant staff and guests. This two-way communication system is great because it gives guests the freedom to decide whether they want to sit and wait at the restaurant or walk around the area knowing they won’t be forgotten when their table is ready,” said Craig Walker, founder of NoshList. “Obviously we think our NoshList app provides the best wait list app functionality available today.”

In addition to the core seating and management features, NoshList enables restaurant staff to customize the notifications and public view of the waitlist that users can check from their phone or from anywhere. Customers can even add themselves to a wait list from wherever they may be if a restaurant turns on this feature. The company also recently unveiled a reservations feature which opens the door for continued innovation in waitlist technology.

“Now, restaurant operators don’t have to rely on web sites or single-use apps to handle reservations and manage a wait list. In this way, technology such as ours will continue to integrate into it as much functionality an operator needs to run their businesses better on the back end while improving the guest experience on the front,” Walker said.

Functionality was another key driver behind Blue Line’s decision to implement and use NoshList.

“We found that a lot of other technology had a lot of bells and whistles that ultimately did not get used,” Pace said. “NoshList has bells and whistles as well, but it truly is functional. We feel that NoshList in particular has made it so much easier to manage and track our wait list and now people can walk down the street and know they’re going to get paged when their table is ready. From the customer standpoint, it has really come down to peace of mind.”

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