Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 .

As people flock to tourist destinations throughout the Northeast for their summer vacations, local restaurants are using Waitlist Me to handle the surge in demand. According to the National Restaurant Association, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are expected to hire a combined total of 100,000 new employees this summer to address the rush of seasonal customers, and restaurants are turning to technology to help manage it.

Many are using this new text-based app to increase customer satisfaction and improve business results. By using the Waitlist Me app, available on Android and iOS tablets, restaurants can track waiting guests and send them text notifications when their table is ready. This gives customers the freedom to explore the surrounding area while waiting for a table, which leads to fewer walkaways and greater customer satisfaction.

A little ways up the coast from Boston, the Portland Lobster Company is known for its award-winning Lobster Roll that customers can enjoy while sitting outside by the water. Open from May to October, they get about 70% of their traffic from tourists, and run waits of 30-35 minutes per night.

Portland Lobster Company

 

“We use Waitlist Me on a 10-inch Android tablet at the front for the hostess to add people to the list and estimate wait times, and the person bussing the tables has a 7-inch tablet to notify people that their table is available,” said Ethan Morgan, general manager at Portland Lobster Company. “This saves us a few minutes on each table, which adds up to shorter wait times and happier customers.”

With its open-air gazebo and large deck overlooking the Genesee River in Rochester, New York, Schooner’s Riverside Pub is another seasonal restaurant that has a perfect location for summer dining.  “We are slammed during the summer when people are enjoying the nice weather on our dock,” said manager Jake Clawson. “Waitlist Me has been super easy for us to use, our customers really like it, and it saves us a lot of time from having to walk around and track people down,” added hostess Liz.

Schooners Riverside Pub

 

“With nearly 70 million customers served, we continue to see strong growth among restaurants and other businesses, because Waitlist Me is easy to learn and use without any complicated contracts or training processes. It just works,” said Brian Hutchins, head of product and marketing for Waitlist Me. “We are always excited to see the way businesses are using our service to give their customers a better experience and Waitlist Me at summer hot spots is another great example of using tech to make customers happier.”

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 .

The demise of fast fashion darling Forever 21 might have you reaching for a Xanax, but should it? Not necessarily. After all, while one empire has fallen, some fast fashion brands are thriving.

Look at Target! Their private label pivot in 2018 has been hugely successful. Look at Old Navy! The Gap, Inc. brainchild plans to open 800 stores in the next decade. Look at Gymboree! The beloved clothing brand for babies and toddlers is making a comeback as a pop-up shop concept within The Children’s Place retail outlets.

See? There’s no need to panic. From new merchandising tactics to rebooted branding and marketing initiatives, there are all sorts of ways to keep a fast fashion business profitable. One of our favorite ways to keep your retail venture in the green is to improve your customer experience.

Not sure how to wow your customers? Keep reading for our favorite strategies.

Make customers feel welcome

One prominent reason many consumers turn to online shopping: pushy sales tactics that make them feel uncomfortable. While you should always greet walk-ins with a smile and a cheery “hello,” it’s time to reconsider retail standards that feel like the opening of a sales pitch. Instead of, “Can I help you with anything in particular?” try deploying friendly small talk. A comment about the rainy weather or a compliment on the cute sweater they’re wearing will make the customer’s experience feel more conversational than transactional.

And speaking of conversation, there’s no reason for your employees to avoid it. We’ve all been the only customer in an otherwise-empty shop, shrinking under the microscopic gaze of associates. Awkward! While private conversations should be kept off the sales floor, bantering about TV shows, sports teams, and other harmless topics can make customers feel at ease in your store. Remind them, though, that their body language is important: They need to look approachable 24/7 and they should always be paying attention to customers, ready to offer help on finding a size or snagging a dressing room.

Eliminate long lines

Online fast fashion retailers like Amazon and ASOS struggle with shopping cart abandonment. Brick-and-mortar retailers should be concerned about a similar situation: long waits for fitting rooms and cash registers. 

Lines have the tendency to intimidate rather than to encourage. Many shoppers will load up their arms with potential purchases, then turn to the line for the changing room and wonder if all these goodies are worth the interminable wait. One solution is to use a waitlist and appointment management app like Waitlist Me, which makes long lines disappear by taking them digital. Retail staffers can hold on to the merchandise customers are interested in and let them continue browsing while they wait. A quick text lets shoppers know when they reach the front of the line.

Improve staff productivity

Top-notch customer service starts with staffing. If your sales associates are overrun by to-dos or traffic, they’ll be too frazzled to show the level of service that results in sales and customer retention. Adding an app like Waitlist Me to your toolbox can help retail store managers make smarter real-time decisions based on how busy the store is.

Waitlist Me allows managers to easily view things like how many customers are waiting for help or a fitting room, and how long fitting rooms have been occupied. Keeping tabs on traffic patterns means that they know where bottlenecks are emerging so they can direct employees accordingly before customer experiences start to suffer.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 .

The holidays are coming up. You know what that means: a rush of customers eager to snap up the next big tech toy.  If you can’t manage the wait times effectively, though, your customers are guaranteed to be toe-tapping their way around your displays as they wait for the next available associate. Or worse, they may just head to another store.

Waitlist Me Pro can help you turn your customers’ visit to your store into an experience they’ll be more satisfied with. Think: more referral business, glowing Google reviews, and kudos from corporate. Read on for ways our pro-level app will help you do business better.

Schedule your staff more efficiently

Prepare for the storm by tracking your team in real time and accessing reports on staffers’ past performance.

Waitlist Me Pro’s hallmark feature is resource management and reporting. The app lets you assign your associates to different areas of the store (or to different tasks), track how much time they spend with each customer, and see who is working the most and who is working the least. With this data in hand, you’re better prepared to make decisions about serving customers as things get busy.

Add promotions to your public waitlist

Running a special on certain devices or services? Sponsoring an old phone holiday drive? Recycling batteries or chargers? Let your customers know when they check in, thanks to Waitlist Me Pro’s customizable public waitlist.

This pro-level feature lets you add whatever HTML you want to the waitlist. You could include graphics, coupon codes, videos, or plain text, in addition to changing the page’s colors, adding your logo, and swapping out the wording to bring your brand voice to the app’s functionality.

Let customers add themselves to your waitlist, no matter where they are

With Waitlist Me Pro, customers no longer have to start their waiting from your store. They can use the web widget—which Pro allows you to customize more—to add themselves to your waitlist from wherever they are. It’s web and mobile friendly, which means they can access it from home or on the go.

Combine the add-me remote feature with our public waitlist and text notifications, and you’ve got the ideal customer experience. Waitlist Me Pro lets your customers live their lives, run their errands, and make their appointments—and they’ll never worry about losing their place in line.

Quote more accurate wait times

There is nothing worse than waiting around twice as long as the time initially quoted. The app has always helped store associates predict more accurate ETAs. But with Waitlist Me Pro, you can take making better estimates to the next level.

By being able to see in real-time which of your staffers are busy and which are available as well as how much time they’ve spent with each customer and when, on average, they should finish up. With Pro, you have more data at your fingertips to make smarter decisions faster.

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 .

One of the features included in the Pro subscription is a Stats page that gives an overview of the shift or day. Quickly see data for each server: how many groups they’ve had, how many total people were in those groups, their average party size, and the average time it took to turn tables. 

You can choose what time frame you would like to see stats for. Pressing on Time in the header bar will let you select from these options:

– Current day – see all of today’s numbers

– Past hours – choose any increment up to 24 hours (for example, view the past 4 hours on a rolling basis)

– Shifts – enter in blocks of hours to coincide with your shifts (for example, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 11 pm) 

Press on the Stats icon to go to the new analytics view. This page will display each section name, the server assigned, how many groups/people have been served, and averages for party size and time. Pressing on the headers at the top will sort by any of those categories. If you prefer to see things graphically, using the radio buttons at the bottom of each column will display that data in the chart below.  You can also see all these metrics by table or assignment, by clicking on the Sections label at the top.

The data on the Stats page can help hosts know where to seat the next party, so that each server gets their fair share of the work (and the tips!) 

Before getting the most out of the new stats features, you’ll need to set up your tables and sections. Then you can choose a layout, select how you want to view the tables, and assign servers. Sort by Section and use the Labeled mode in order to add server’s names to sections. Use the Edit link in the header row of the first section to enter server names.

Monday, September 30th, 2013 .

We have been working on a number of new features for NoshList, and one thing we have just released is a whole new look for the WaitList website. It is cleaner, faster and more mobile-friendly, so the pages will adjust to your tablet or phone as well as a computer browser.

Hope you like it!

noshlist website