Single vs. Multiple Queues – Which one is BEST

Queue or waiting in lines is something everyone does and waiting lines are encountered everywhere. When queue management works, your contact center is a healthy organization that represents your company in a positive light; but when queue management fails, your contact center is infected with the “contact center disease” – hold time. When implementing an intelligent Queue Management Strategy, contracting the “contact center disease” or hold time will be avoided, which will increase customer satisfaction and reduce your contact center costs

A SINGLE-LINE QUEUE…

Has shorter average wait times. It can look like a single-line queue comes with a long wait, but compared to multiple lines, people are standing in one line for a much shorter time than if they had chosen from many lines. You’re not at the mercy of the customer in front of you or a slow or chatty cashier. The service points are staggered so the entire line benefits from a single fast cashier and the agony of a single slow customer is spread evenly among all who wait.

“First come, first served” is inarguably the fairest way for a line to form. When all customers are standing in the same line, the perception is that there is no doubt who was there when and who should be getting attention before others.

A MULTIPLE-LINE QUEUE.

The customer has greater flexibility in a multiple-line queue because they get to select the line in which they want to stand. Providing they’re not of the jockeying nature, having the power to choose can make a customer happier because they’ve selected where they want to be and aren’t feeling forced to stand in a single line.

When there is one line, serpentine or straight, long or short, a customer can feel trapped by the thought of being at the mercy of only one waiting option. Multiple-line queues maintain the illusion that there is more service available and, therefore, worth the wait.

Conclusion

It’s possible to argue both sides of the coin when it comes to choosing a single-line or multiple-line queue configuration. What ultimately matters is what kind of queuing system works best for your business.

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