Whether you work in the healthcare, finance or professional services sectors, there are plenty of benefits to reap from virtual waiting room technology.
Virtual online queues help to streamline your processes through video appointments, automated workflows and data analysis. This will not just improve the functionality of your business or practice but will have a huge, positive impact on the overall customer experience - the most compelling argument for investing in a virtual waiting room.
Often an appointment - be it with a bank, lawyer or estate agent - means taking time off work to travel to the appointment, wait to be seen, complete the appointment and commute back to the home or office. This is not convenient for those who are time poor or cannot afford to take the afternoon off. In a medical environment, for example, this possibility could mean that patients who need to be seen may end up skipping the visit altogether, which could put their health at risk later down the line.
When waiting for their virtual appointment in an online waiting room, customers can carry on with work, browse the Internet or run errands while they wait. If they are actively able to track their estimated wait time, they will know exactly when they need to be ready to be seen. This also means their perceived wait time is reduced as they don’t feel that they have been stagnantly waiting in a queue for an hour because they have spent that time productively.
Salesforce found that “84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business”. This stat could not ring more true for service enterprises like banks or opticians, especially when, in a virtual setting, that initial face-to-face interaction with a receptionist or manager is missing.
Before they join the virtual waiting room, ask customers questions to help them receive premium, personalised service. What is their name and title? What are their pronouns? What language do they speak? Doctor surgeries in particular may want to ask if the patient wants to speak to a staff member who is of a specific gender. This information will help match them with the right staff member before they get to the front of the queue.
Not only does remote check-in deliver greater personalisation of service, but it also automates the virtual waiting room process. This begins when they book their appointment by sending out individualised reminders via email and text message and finishes after the appointment is complete by prompting them to book another - a perk that is great for services that require regular check-ups, such as opticians.
With automation, the registration process is accelerated and data can be captured and synced into customer records via cloud computing software without the manual effort. Staff can proceed with more meaningful work that impacts directly on the customer experience.
No matter the speciality of your organisation missed appointments can have a long-lasting knock-on effect throughout the day, making the waiting room experience extremely frustrating for others. A 2020 report published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine attributed missed appointments to transportation problems and forgetfulness, both of which can be mitigated by automated workflows and the ability to log into appointments remotely. They also cited a study that found “home virtual visits saved patients a median of 88 min and 38 miles compared with usual care” to support these claims.
Virtual waiting rooms provide you with more data to help map out your unique trends. For example, is your dental office busiest on Thursdays between 4-7 pm? Move employees off the overstaffed Monday morning shift as this is where insights have told you it is quietest. Your queue management dashboard will help you better oversee your scalability as greater efficiency means the ability to use your resources more consciously and service more clients.
Sometimes, visiting a professional can be a very personal experience and many clients and customers appreciate the privacy that a virtual waiting room offers. Here, they will not bump into a gossipy neighbour or have someone listen-in to their conversation with a receptionist. Online queues also mean they can fill in the relevant information to their appointment without being worried that someone is looking over their shoulder. This is particularly helpful for IVF or mental health patients, those who seek the help of a family law firm or even recruitment consultants.
Once they are able to see their appointed professional, they feel more at ease as they have been able to conduct the appointment somewhere they feel most comfortable - perhaps in their bedroom, a park or in their vehicle. The more relaxed they feel, the better their experience with you will be.
The most vulnerable in society are those who have lost the most from social distancing measures. Suddenly, they cannot go to the bank, dentist, opticians and so many other services that they may have been reliant on. Virtual waiting rooms eliminate the risk of the spread by going remote: people can still make appointments with professionals without having to put their health at risk by being in close contact with others, opening these services back up for more members of the community.
Want to find out how you can better implement remote appointment technology into your practice or service? OX Virtual Waiting Room is a resilient, secure, and simple solution. Speak to one of the team today.
OX Virtual Waiting Room is a resilient, secure, and simple solution. Speak to one of the team today.