How to get the optimal queue for your shop?

One big shop queue or smaller individual staff queues?

The perptual issue of how to get the best optimization for your shop queue. We explore two of the different models and the relative pro’s and con’s.
Any walk-in business is modelled on a specific service and a faster turnover to keep wait time times down. It is the nirvana for price and convenience.  Unfortunately as a service gets popular or during peak periods the wait times grow and clients are lost. Many businesses will look to technology to solve this. The choice is usually a booking system or queue management systems but move to bookings and the flexibility factor is sacrified. The principe of first in first served is the core princple of any walk-in business. This article will explore the balance between two models and the relative benefits. We welcome feedback and discussion on any point.

Queue Models

Think about queue models based on when we do when someone walks in the front door of the business.

  1. Shop Queue :   A single shop queue will allocate and process people based on the order the arrive in the business. This model works well when there are large number of staff performing the same service.  If you have a situation when clients can request a particular staff member or when an in demand service can only be performed by certain staff this can delay for the individual waiting for those staff members.
  2. Staff Queue : A staff queue will allocate people directly to a staff member on check-in. This model is less flexible than the shop queue but does provide more control for each staff member to manage their own queue.

The dynamic nature of clients and staff means trying to address the 1% of fringe cases can increase complexity significantly. Each shop needs to understand their preferred model and work to the best possible queue model.

Shop Queue

  1. Check-In:   Every client order is tracked on check-in..
  2. Shop Queue : A shop queue will allocate people directly to a staff member if they request but will maintain the next available staff based on the queue order. Our optimization process runs at the start and finish of every service to ensure the allocations are optimal.

This model works well with a very dynamic and fast moving shop. We do not recommended to promoting the staff selection option to  client as this reduces the ability to process a single shop queue as some clients must be allocated to a specific staff member. Where shops want to promote selecting staff or have chair rentals a staff queue may be a better option.

Staff Queue

  1. Check-In:   Every client order is tracked on check-in.
  2. Staff Queue : A staff queue will allocate people directly to a staff member on check-in. This model is less flexible than the shop queue but does provide more control for each staff member to manage their own queue.

The dynamic nature of clients and staff means trying to address the 1% of fringe cases can increase complexity significantly. Each shop needs to understand their preferred model and work to the best possible queue model.

It is worth noting for the following secion SLIKR queue management does allow clients to select a preferred staff member. In this instance we will hold that persons place in the queue but only allocate them to the preferred staff member.

Conclusion

We see different factors across different shops. There is also an element of the shop and clients evolving over time. It is a simple setting in our queue configuration to swap between the two models. Reach out to support and discuss your options, we are here to help!

Shops
A year extra revenue, the power of client data
Clients
Not knowing your wait makes it seem longer
Time
Great locations to research while you wait