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The QLess Blog

Digital Queuing Systems and Campus Bookstores

Jul 10 By Qless Admin

close-up of bookshelves in a store

Introducing a digital queuing system into your college network has significant advantages for every department, but no area benefits in the same way as the college bookstore. The bookstore is a notorious time-sucker. It's almost always crowded, but it's particularly rowdy near the beginning and end of each semester. Things can get busy and loud at the end of the year as students descend on the bookstore to sell back their used texts, but buying books for a new spate of courses causes much more chaos.

The students who invade the bookstore after summer and winter breaks all have the same thing in mind: getting books fast. When everyone arrives at once, however, it's impossible for anyone to find what they need. Books get tossed about and end up in different areas, making it difficult for coeds to locate the texts on their lists. For numerous reasons, students can end up leaving the bookstore without all of their required texts. That puts them at risk of falling behind once their classes start. You can understand why coeds get angry and frustrated over untenable bookstore situations.

QLess organizes the process of buying books, which improves all areas of the bookstore. Staff members won't be so harried. More importantly, they can tell who's coming in to buy their textbooks because QLess uses a virtual queue. Students who register with QLess can sign up for an appointment to search for their textbooks. They walk in knowing exactly what they need, and the staff is aware of what they need, too.

You can figure out a process that benefits your campus. Continue reading to learn the advantages of the QLess system as it applies to your bookstore. Then you can move on and request a demo from us.

Reducing the Bookstore Crush

overhead view of a crowded bookstore

Come late August or early September, and the bookstore is a mess. Between students shopping for gear to show off their school spirit and coeds stocking up on notebooks and pens, it's crowded enough. Add in the kids who need books for their classes, and it's little wonder that the campus bookstore becomes chaotic at the beginning of every semester.

A digital queuing system can calm the madness exponentially. QLess is a cloud based virtual queue that exists online, not physically. The bookstore can open up appointments for incoming coeds looking to buy textbooks. The meetings don't have the last long, particularly if you create a way for students to share their book lists even before they come to the store. They don't have to arrive until the time they choose, at which point an employee can take 15 or 20 minutes to assist the students in locating their required texts.

You may choose to limit your hours of operation for other shoppers or to extend your hours during the start of the semester. It might help to bring on additional staff for two weeks or so, as well. Either option ensures that you can see more students and help them more quickly, as long as you do it in combination with QLess.

Texts by Appointment

Since you can customize our digital queuing system, you can limit the time frame of each appointment. When everything is organized, it doesn't need to be an hour-long endeavor. It helps that there won't be dozens upon dozens of students pawing through the shelves trying to find textbooks at the same time. Even if you allow three or four students in for the same time slot, you can place an employee with each one to assist. That cuts down on the crowd and reduces the risk of disorganization in your inventory, which is a pain for everyone involved.

The Full List

You have a few options to help students find their books. The easiest way is to ask them to arrive with their reading lists and the titles of their required textbooks in tow. You can also request that they include their books when they register for an appointment with our digital queuing system. There's a spot for sharing information about why they're visiting the bookstore they can use for that. The base system is more than enough to improve the flow through the store. From that point, you can customize the system to suit the needs of your campus. As a result, all of the professors and teaching assistants on campus can input their book lists to simplify the process further.

Communication Throughout Campus

Students today appreciate the ability to make appointments on their smart devices. The cloud system is the ideal option for coeds who want to maximize every hour of the day. They don't want to deal with a crowded bookstore, either. QLess keeps them from standing in line or fighting other students for a spot in the Philosophy section. Because the system allows employees to call, email, or text students—and vice versa—communication is possible at any time. Bookstore staff can let a student know that a particular book finally arrived, or notify appointment-holders that reservations are behind schedule and they can show up a bit later than intended.

Valuing the Students' Time

Our digital queuing system enhances staff resources and increases the morale of both employees and the student body. Introducing up-to-the-minute organization ensures that things run smoothly, not to mention efficiently. Staff members are prepared and equipped to help the students, who know to be prepared and prompt. They feel valued, too, because they aren't forced to compete to buy textbooks, nor do they waste time waiting in the bookstore.

The QLess digital queuing system is a worthwhile addition to the registrar's office and individual departments, as well, but you'll be amazed at what it does for your bookstore. Employees will still spend their time helping coeds, but they don't have to fight the crowds or spend their time searching through messy stacks. Want to learn more about QLess wait management software? Read our campus without lines whitepaper to learn how you can improve operations on your campus and raise retention rates.

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