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.

 

Monday, August 6th, 2018 .

Did you know you can add a button to your Facebook page to take reservations or appointments? Allowing customers to book directly from social media is easy, and a great way to increase bookings.

Start by logging into your Waitlist Me account and copying the unique link for your hosted Web Widget. You can find this at www.waitlist.me > Account > Settings > Add Yourself. The link will be at the top of the page.

Next, go to your business’s Facebook page. Choose the Add a Button option on the right.

 

Choose Book with you, and then Book Now.

 

Select the Link to Website option, enter your Waitlist Me link in the pop up, press Save and then Finish. That’s it! You now have your very own reservation (or appointment) button on Facebook.

 

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

Friday, July 27th, 2018 .

We could wax poetic about Waitlist Me’s bells and whistles for hours (and we have!). But, honestly, one of our favorite bonuses that comes with implementing a waitlist and reservation app is getting rid of bad waiting room symptoms that begin to infect customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the annoying waiting maladies and behaviors that Waitlist Me helps do away with (and appreciate just how much better the customer experience is with a waitlist app). Here are 5 classic moves:

The toe-tapper

Who needs music wafting from a speaker when you could keep time to the beat of the toe-tapper’s sneaker on your tile floor? We joke, of course. We know you’re turning up the dial and pricing out carpet in order to drown this sucker out. Their tap-tap-tap won’t make tables turn over any faster, but it certainly can drive your host crazy (along with anyone else who’s waiting). The rhythmic nature of the toe tapping makes it more likely to spread to a variety of fidgeting activities around the room, creating a rather tense environment.

The eagle-eye

We’re certain some eagle-eyes honed their behavior early on as hall monitors. A training ground of tardy students prepared them well for their next mission: us. Now, they’ve set their sights on guests lingering too long over dessert and front-of-house staff dilly-dallying behind the hostess stand. Ever feel like you’re being…watched? We know exactly who to pin that on.

The disappearing-act

Some people have the gift of invisibility. They can disappear into a crowd, blend in seamlessly, fade into the background or jump right into the action like they were born there. This disappearing-act pulls a fast one, all right—right out your door without so much as a word of warning. Will you see them again? Sure, about 20 minutes after you call their name (and give their spot to the next person in line).

The slump-and-sigh

The burdens of the world have to rest on somebody’s, shoulders. Why not the slump-and-sigh? After all, that’s what it looks like once you give them their ETA. They take their seat with a sigh that bespeaks inner turmoil greater than 10 minutes ‘til “the doctor can see you now.” And if they have to stand? This one morphs into the hunch-and-groan. Sigh.

The watch-watcher

Need to know the time? There’s always someone in your waiting room you can ask, although we’re not entirely sure you’d want to. Whether they’re old-school with a wrist watch, analog with a wall clock, or high-tech with the latest iPhone, the watch-watcher tracks their own countdown, thankyouverymuch. And if your wait-time guesstimate is off by so much as a minute, well, you can expect to hear about it. This another of the more infectious behaviors. If you have a diligent watch-watcher in the group, you’ll definitely see an uptick in the unconscious time checking behaviors from others in the room.

The solution

You can’t always get rid of waiting, but Waitlist Me helps you make the wait experience better by giving guests more visibility into the wait process and the flexibility to leave the waiting room and be notified with a text when you are ready for them.

Let the toe-tapper and eagle-eye work off some of their nervous energy by walking around outside while they wait. Help the disappearing-act know the right time to be back with a well-timed text message. Take some of the worries of endless or unpredictable waits off the slump-and-sighs shoulders. And show the watch-watcher you care by using real time wait tracking to give better estimates and deliver on the promised wait times.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 .

You can tell by the block-long lines that people are waiting to get their hands on the newest It-burger or It-lipstick or It-phone. But should you invest your time (and your patience) into queueing for the latest must-have, too?

If you wanna stick around, by all means, go for it. We have friends who see a line and hop right on without even checking to see what they’re waiting for. (Yes, we think they’re crazy, but hey, #youdoyou.) Who knows? Maybe there’s really great music in the lobby. Maybe you have 74 minutes to kill before an appointment. Maybe the arch support in your sneakers needs testing.

Or maybe not. If your eyeballs turn into question marks at the sign of a line, here’s your definitive guide to figuring out if what you’re waiting for is worth the time you spent in line.

#1. The queue is out of control

Some businesses are experts at line management (see: Chick-Fil-A and Disney World). Some businesses aren’t used to lines but are happy to adapt to a surge in traffic. Others use long wait times to garner attention and tend to care more about press than customer satisfaction.

The first two are usually worth your time. They’ll either get you to the front as expeditiously as possible, where you can enjoy whatever it is you’ve been waiting for, or they’ll apologize and offer you something even better.

The last one? Not so much. Many businesses that use long lines as leverage also have limited stock (think: doorbuster deals on Black Friday or Build-A-Bear’s discount goof). That means if you’re not near the front, you’ll be waiting ages for diddly squat. If that’s the case—and a quick Google should give you an answer—we suggest cutting your losses ASAP.

#2. Exiting customers don’t look happy

Pay no heed to impatient line-grumblers—unless, of course, they’re grumbling is along the lines of, “Our pancakes always come out burned when we eat here. Why are we waiting for a table again?”

You want to know what the folks leaving the business-in-question have to say about their experience. Are they smiling and laughing? Are they toting doggy bags and saying they can’t wait to come back? Or, are they frowning? Grimacing? Shaking their heads? Crying?

Read their body language and, if you’re feeling particularly daring, pop on a grin and ask them straight-out what whatever-it-is was like. Most people will tell you honestly, especially if you catch them by surprise.

#3. You feel uncomfortable

The human body is a curious thing. It has parts without purpose. It can manage miraculous feats of strength. And it can sense when you need to get out NOW. That niggling feeling at the base of your spine? Those hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Those are your instincts telling you that, hm, something is a little off.

It could be too loud. It could be too frantic. Perhaps the food smells off or the waiting room looks dirty. Point being: If you’re not feeling it, for whatever reason, back on out of there and move on!

Waitlist Me can help

When there are good reasons to wait or a line is simply unavoidable, Waitlist Me helps businesses make customer waits more bearable. Benefits include improving quote time estimates, simplifying line management, and giving customers the flexibility to wait where they like and be notified when it’s their turn.  It’s great for the business as well. Better experiences mean higher customer satisfaction, less walkaways, and other positive business results.