Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 .

We are happy to announce a number of new resource management features that extend the power of Waitlist Me through the whole customer visit, from checking in to leaving. Whether you assign customers to tables, staff, or other resources, you can serve them better by effectively tracking and managing the assignments with Waitlist Me.  By using a dynamic representation of resources, Waitlist Me simplifies the amount of data needed in different scenarios, so you can make smarter decisions faster.  Here are the details of how it works:

Assigning Customers

Customers can be assigned to one or more resources upon arrival or while waiting.  When choosing assignments, any available resources will show at the top of the list in alphabetical order with a green status.  Resources that are already assigned will have a red status and be sorted in order of how long they have been taken.  So when things get busy you can see what is available or coming available soon much faster, since they will be at the top of the list.

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If a customer is already assigned to a resource from the waitlist or as a reservation, the estimated serving time for that customer will show along with any notes that were added.  Businesses that serve groups of customers can also define resource sizes and view those sizes in the status areas. For example a restaurant hostess seating a party could scan for open table sizes that would seat six or for smaller tables that could be combined.

Assignments – Grid View

The Assignment Grid view provides an intuitive way to get key information on assignments and availability at a glance.  It also has several options for changing the sort order and levels of information displayed.

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At the simplest level, the colors of the boxes show whether the resource is available or not, so it is easy to do a quick scan and find ones that are open.  Across the bottom of the boxes are the resource sizes and time counters when it is in use.  Depending your preferences and goals the resources can be sorted in a couple ways:

ABC – Sorts alphabetically by name
Time – Shows available resources first and then taken resources by how long they have been in use
Size then ABC – Groups by resource sizes first and then alphabetically
Size then Time – Groups by sizes first, then ones that are open, and then ones in use the longest

The Grid view also has a control for changing the size of the boxes and amount of details displayed. For places with higher number of resources, the small size may work best to avoid scrolling, whereas for places with fewer resources the large or medium size might work better.  The smallest size has all the main information, including the resource names, sizes, time occupied, and estimated times for upcoming customers.  The medium size will also show the names for the customers scheduled and currently assigned to the resource, and the larger size will show any notes on these customers.

Assignments – List view

There is an option for seeing assignments in a list format.  Just press the toggle in the upper right of the Assignment area to switch between Grid and List views.  The resources in the list view are sorted to show available resources at the top and ones that have been taken the longest after that.  In both the assignment views, selecting the assignment gives the option to clear the resource, and more options will be coming soon.

list view

 

Assignments are integrated with the waitlist so that when a customer that has been assigned a resource is checked off the waitlist, that resource will automatically switch to taken in the assignment view.  If a customer was using that resource it will switch them with the new customer without any additional steps.

Assignment Analytics

The more you use Waitlist Me to manage assignments, the more data you will have on how well you are managing your resources, and there are a number of new downloadable reports that can be run in the Analytics section of the Waitlist Me site.  Look for trends over time with the Assignment Overview, do deeper analysis with the more detailed data in the Assignment Logs, and see results split out by assignments and sizes in other reports.

Settings

Resources can be set up in the app settings as well as the online settings.  Add and edit the resources you need and set the size for each resource.  There is an option to require an assignment when adding the customer to the list so you don’t forget.  You can also switch back to the simple resource entry method if you like.

The new resource management features are part of Waitlist Me Pro, which has unlimited usage and all the other features for an introductory price of $39.99.  More feature will be coming soon, so lock in the low rate now, and keep it when the price goes up for others!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 .

When we launched NoshList in 2012, we began with a very targeted focus on the restaurant industry and a mission to solve the challenges many restaurants face in managing long wait lines. And it worked. Customizable, easy-to-use and affordable, our wait list app enhanced the customer experience and quickly replaced the antiquated pen and paper lists for our customers.

Over the past two years, NoshList has been used to seat more than 45 million diners, and the new reservations feature helps with a whole new set of scheduling challenges that restaurants face.

Along the way though, we realized that NoshList can be used in a host of other industries. Other types of businesses started using NoshList in ways we hadn’t originally expected, and as they did they asked us for ways to better customize the product for their situations. So little by little we started adding more customization features, and now all kinds of businesses are using NoshList to improve their customers’ wait experience.

Since NoshList can be used on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, other mobile devices, and even computers, the app can be used just about anywhere. All that’s needed is an Internet connection and a desire to make waits more bearable for customers.

Afterall, when a customer is waiting on anything — from a lane at the bowling alley to a rented boat — the wait can be like an extreme lesson in patience. NoshList works as a way to communicate with waiting parties that their lane, boat or other item is ready.

How about waiting in line for a dressing room? With NoshList, shoppers can simply add their name to the list and then continue to shop while they wait for their dressing room. Once it’s ready, they will receive a text notifying them they’re next in line. It’s the ultimate win-win.

The same ideas apply to anywhere there might be a wait — at the pharmacy, the automotive repair center, the doctor’s office or hair salon and spa.

There are few simple things businesses in other industries can do to best use NoshList. The main thing is to customize the texts that go out when a person is added to any type of wait list and when they are notified. NoshList users can also choose from a number of automated call options. Then for more personalization a business can pre-define the list of the most common notes to appear in the app with the QuickNotes feature. Finally, table numbers can be modified to represent what makes sense for a business. These numbers could represent a salesperson, chair number, rental ID or whatever resource is assigned to your customers.

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To learn more, check out our new page on how NoshList is being for different business waitlists across the country.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 .

Want a better idea of how well you are serving your customers? There is a new Waitlist Me feature that will allow you to send quick surveys to your customers after their visit. Customers can rate easily rate their overall experience in a few seconds or have the option to send more detailed feedback or even request a manager contact them. It is a great way to get insights into what your customers are thinking and to respond quickly when there are questions or problems.

To enable the survey feature, log into www.waitlist.me and go into the Settings, which are in the Account area. Click on the link in the Customer Feedback Surveys section to go to the page. When you turn on the surveys so they go out to your customers after they have been checked off the list, you will see a variety of options for customizing the surveys.

In the Survey notification area, you can edit the text that is sent to the customer and how long after they are checked off the list that it is sent. The surveys are designed to be as simple as possible for customers to send a quick rating, so they can just reply with a number from 1 to 5 in a text message and we will record that response automatically. There is also a link where they can follow if they prefer to visit a webpage on their phone to leave their rating.

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If the customer does choose to visit the web page and leave an overall rating, they will also be presented with the option to rate a couple more specific questions, and you can change these questions to whatever you like in the settings.

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Here is an example of how it looks for the customer. First they would receive a text message like this:

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If they choose to click on the link, they will go to a page like this:

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If they fill out the first question, they will be given an option to rate more specific questions. They can also request to be contacted by the manager, and if they do an email will be sent to any users you have associated with your account.

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The details for any surveys completed will be included in the weekly summaries that are sent out, and you can also download the data on the responses in the Analytics section of the Waitlist Me site.

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The Feedback Surveys are currently available to all Waitlist Me Premium users.

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.”

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.