Virtual Waiting Rooms: A Solution for the Age-Old Problem

Ombori on Virtual Waiting Rooms
Ombori on Virtual Waiting Rooms

Technology has changed how customers interact with businesses. Clients expect faster response times, decreased wait times, and more availability than ever. Even with the increased demands, companies cannot always provide customers with instant gratification or immediate service. In those situations, creating a new type of waiting experience will help increase client satisfaction and keep customers coming back.

A virtual waiting room allows customers to wait without actually making them feel like they are waiting. Patients, clients, and customers can do a lot of the “waiting” activities that they would have to do in person over their phone, on a tablet, or at their desktop computer-often long before they set foot inside your physical location.

Virtual waiting rooms provide a unique solution to a problem that has been around for as long as there have been companies. They make the waiting experience a lot less inconvenient.

What Is a Virtual Waiting Room?

A virtual waiting room taps into this psychology behind waiting in line. Instead of asking patients or customers to sit around while their number is called, a virtual waiting room allows customers to move about more freely. Then, when it is their turn for products or services, the client is notified to head to a business’s location.

Examples of virtual waiting rooms might include situations where a client or customer can:

  • Check-in ahead of time for appointments and virtual visits
  • Complete check-in paperwork online or from a tablet or other mobile device
  • Get instructions on how to check-in or safety protocols before heading to a physical location
  • Be notified when it is their turn to receive services

In the COVID-19 era, ensuring that waiting clients and patients socially distance is important. A virtual waiting room can help cut down on how much time people are spending in close proximity to one another. Clients can wait in their car for appointments or run other errands as they wait for the notification that your team is ready to help them.

The Benefits of Virtual Waiting Rooms

Increase Social Distancing and Decrease COVID-19 Concerns

When clients check in with their mobile device, they can wait at home, from their car, while taking a walk around the building, and more. They are no longer confined to a small waiting room area with a room full of strangers.

Allowing for this distance is very helpful in ensuring that you keep the number of people in your facility at one time to a minimum, and it decreases the potential for COVID-19 exposure.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Checking in virtually or using a mobile check-in process allows them to go through any necessary paperwork ahead of time and, in some instances, avoid waiting in a physical line altogether.

Obtain Complete Client or Patient Information

In the medical context, you can get accurate medical histories and patient information long before the patient appears for services. This allows you to recommend additional care, track accurate histories, and a lot more. Clients can also maintain their privacy better if they can complete medical questionnaires and surveys from home instead of a physical waiting room.

Decrease Staffing Needs

Using a virtual waiting room can also help you customize staff needs over time. You can track when your busiest times might be and determine how many people you need for any given shift. If done correctly, you can decrease waiting time significantly because you will have the right number of people to service customers as needed.

Implementing a Virtual Waiting Room

For example, a health care facility will often have a different kind of virtual waiting room compared to a restaurant or retail establishment. Each type of virtual waiting room should be tailored to how your customers interact with your business.

Health Care Settings

  • Automated appointment reminders for scheduled appointments and bookings
  • Options to fill out patient paperwork ahead of the appointment
  • Status updates to let patients know when their care providers are running behind
  • Notifications when the doctor or other healthcare professional is ready to see them
  • Virtual check-ins from the car or other locations
  • Screening tools to check for COVID-19 symptoms and other concerns
  • Two-way messaging or chat to discuss the need for an appointment or other services
  • Follow-up surveys to measure satisfaction and similar data

Retail Stores

  • Ability to set up a specific curbside pickup time and location
  • Schedule appointments with customer services representatives
  • Send notifications when products are ready for pick up
  • Create options for buy online, pick up in-store () purchases
  • Utilize people counters to track and report how busy the store may be at certain times of the day or days of the week
  • Incorporate retail displays to check into internal queues or get more information about specific products or services

Restaurants

Restaurants can use a queue management system with the following features to cut down on wait times.

  • Send notifications when their table is ready
  • Check-in with virtual signage at the physical location to be added to the queue

Ombori Grid Can Create the Solution Your Business Needs

Originally published at https://ombori.com.

Father, husband, coder and entrepreneur. Founder of @omborigroup