As businesses around the world close their doors in order to protect their employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certain industries that have been deemed essential. Manufacturing, transportation, public services, and most of all, healthcare have been essential for both managing the pandemic, and helping maintain necessary services and resources for citizens. Unfortunately, balancing employee and customer safety, maintaining services and providing a positive customer service experience can seem daunting – and nearly impossible. Luckily, social distancing technology exists that can help manage the customer experience while maintaining social distancing at work.
For businesses that require appointments for visits, or even businesses that have seen increased demand during the pandemic, managing waiting rooms using remote check-in software can be pivotal for customer safety. These systems allow customers to check in to their appointment virtually from their phone and wait at a distance, whether it’s in their car or outside the building. Then, when it’s time for their appointment, they’ll receive a notification that they can enter the building and immediately be seen, avoiding the dreaded waiting room. In healthcare, waiting rooms are notoriously busy as doctor appointments often take longer than expected. With many places limiting gatherings of people to 10 or less, they can quickly break social distancing workplace rules. Using a remote check-in system to manage appointments can help improve the customer experience and keep everyone healthier with social distancing at work.
Government efficiency has long been criticized, with the lines at the DMV inspiring many horror stories. Although lineups can be manually managed, social distancing technology can also be implemented to improve the experience. Line management systems function in a similar way to remote check-in systems: customers virtually join a line from their phone and receive updates on wait times and their position in the line. This can be done in a parking lot or even from home. Once they reach the front of the line, or are close to the front, they’ll receive a notification. Services like line management systems and remote check-in systems can protect customers, but they also promote social distancing at work by limiting the number of people in a confined space at a time.
This pandemic has inevitably taught us a lot. One thing that businesses have likely learned is that most services can be completed online or by phone. Call centers and online services received an influx of demand as government legislation was rolled out and, although this allowed for fewer in-person interactions, it also highlighted a problem with these services. Call center queues were so busy that, in many cases, people were rejected from the line. The influx of visitors on online services crashed servers and web pages. These scenarios show that line management systems are equally important for physical lines and for call center queues. Moving services online is the best way to implement social distancing workplace policies that protect customers and employees, but only if the services actually work. Call centers and online services also need to consider how to improve the customer experience.
Social Distancing at Work For Essential Services
We live in a time when technology can be implemented to improve any aspect of life, including customer service. Using customer service technologies can not only improve the customer experience, but keep people safe and healthy with sound social distancing measures at work. During the pandemic and beyond, these social distancing workplace technologies will become essential for keeping necessary businesses and services running no matter the circumstance.
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