6 Tips for Success with Virtual Queue Management Solutions
It’s no secret that virtual queuing can help theme parks increase guest satisfaction and revenue. In the COVID-19 era, we’ve seen even more organizations embrace this technology to help facilitate social distancing. We recently surveyed our experts for their best advice on using a virtual queuing management solution to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for guests. Check out their tips below to learn how you can maximize your virtual queuing success!
What are Virtual Queue Management Solutions?
Virtual queuing helps free your guests from standing in line. While there are several other ways to manage long lines at a theme park or attraction, many of these are not as robust as true dynamic virtual queuing. Many people first think of “time-slot reservation systems,” whether they are an app or a piece of paper that guests can collect with a time to return later and ride. But what happens if…
- A ride needs to temporarily close?
- A guest misses their reservation (accidentally)?
- Several guests decide to skip their reservation (on purpose)?
These are just some of the factors that cause a time slot reservation system to generate artificially high wait times, to have insufficient guests available to load or to simply fail altogether, all causing stress and frustration for guests and staff. By contrast, virtual queuing solutions like our accesso LoQueue solutions are truly dynamic and can adjust to many different real time variables to give your guests the best possible experience. You can even eliminate lines altogether with a 100% virtual queuing model, which several of our clients embraced during COVID-19, like Holiday World (Read their client success story here or watch our video to learn more about 100% virtual queuing).
Let’s dive into some of the things you can do with a virtual queue management solution, and our best practices for making this successful. With over two decades of industry experience, we can help you make your virtual queuing implementation a success.
1. Set Up Multiple Levels, Packages and Offerings
Step one: decide how you want to structure your offering. Different tiers of access (such as Bronze, Silver and Gold) can help make virtual queuing accessible to more of your guests, helping you unlock more potential sources of revenue. For example, your lowest tier could give guests the benefit of waiting in a virtual line for their favorite rides, as they explore and enjoy your other smaller attractions. The next level up could reduce their wait time by 50%, and the highest level could reduce it by 90%-100%, therefore granting virtually instant access to a guest’s favorite rides all day long.
On top of these levels, you can also choose to offer “one-shots” (essentially “jump to the front of the line” passes) that are valid for one ride, or bundle three of these together for another attractive offering. This provides a different option for guests who may not want to invest in an all-day package but are willing to spend a nominal fee to ride their favorite ride once again—this time without needing to spend another hour or two in line!
2. Think Through Ride Entry Management Strategies: Structure Your Stand-By Queue for Success.
One of the biggest things to consider when implementing virtual queuing is: how will my lines work? You will need to consider how to welcome your virtual line guests in a way that is minimally disruptive to those standing in the physical queue, and you may also need to get creative to accommodate two access pathways in a finite space. Many of our partners prefer to make the “priority access” queue less obvious to those waiting in the main line to help reduce frustration for those without access. Having guests enter through the ride’s exit can be a great way to accomplish this.
However, there is also an argument to be made for not hiding this entry-point completely. When guests see virtual line participants leisurely strolling onto the ride, they are often intrigued and interested in purchasing access themselves. This works particularly well when you offer virtual queuing that can be purchased and accessed on a guest’s smartphone, like our QsmartSM virtual queuing solution. With some well-placed signage informing your guests what they could be doing rather than physically standing in line (enjoying an ice-cold lemonade or another ride, perhaps), you have everything you need to drive more registrations on the spot!
3. Educate Your Guests
In order to encourage your guests to truly embrace virtual queuing, it can be helpful to not only focus on awareness but also education in your communication with them. Work with your marketing team to figure out the best way to inform and educate your guests across all channels. Your guests will want to know:
- What a virtual queue is
- How it works
- What the benefits are (particularly for different levels)
- What rides are included/excluded
- Where they can sign up
Gone are the days when queuing services were just enjoyed by the privileged few. Now venues can offer a range of virtual line services and experiences to cater to a range of budgets and therefore all guests. Communicating this to guests prior to arrival and while onsite is key to driving both overall revenue streams and enhanced guest satisfaction.
4. Integrate with your Ticketing platform
Some parks have a dedicated virtual queuing page on their website, with videos and frequently asked questions. Ample signage can also help explain the process and encourage others to enroll. Finally, a great place to promote your virtual queuing offering is on your eCommerce ticketing site. With our accesso Passport® online ticketing system, you can integrate your virtual queuing sales with the sales of tickets or season passes, and let guests know about it via up-sells and cross-sells.
For example, when a guest selects a one-day ticket, they can be shown an offer to purchase virtual queuing alongside other options such as meal passes or digital photo upload accounts. This strategy can be extremely effective in generating pre-visit revenue.
With the right eCommerce platform, you can also dynamically price your virtual queuing offering. This can ease the demand on operations and generate more revenue on specific dates. If Wednesdays are historically a low day for visitation at your venue, you could offer a slight discount on that day to help incentivize people to buy.
5. Make it Mobile
For any product, making the purchasing process as easy as possible is crucial for driving sales. It’s important to understand guest preferences and behaviors, and to “meet them where they are.” When it comes to online ticketing, this means paying attention to the number of steps required to complete checkout, the overall user experience, and the general reliability of the site. Your guests may not realize they want to purchase virtual queuing until they are in your park, so why force them to walk all the way back to the front entrance to purchase?
Through a system like accesso’s smartphone-based Qsmart platform, guests can purchase virtual queuing from their phone, either before they arrive, at the front gate, or during their visit. It gives them a fast and flexible way to enroll on-the-go. One of our European clients generates nearly 20% of their queuing revenue through mobile transactions made within the park.
6. Work with specialists
COVID-19 has driven a rise in demand for virtual line solutions, as parks both aim to comply with social distancing requirements and look to create additional revenue-generating opportunities. Unfortunately, virtual queuing can be challenging to implement and manage without expert guidance during the strategic planning phase. With complicated and unpredictable variables such as ride downtime and inclement weather, less sophisticated solutions often fail to deliver the intended experience – leaving guests upset and staff stressed. But with the right partner, virtual queuing can be a breeze!
At accesso, we invented dynamic virtual queuing and have over 22 years of experience helping venues big and small to maximize their virtual line operations. This gives us a keen understanding of the operational nuances, how to avoid potential pitfalls and how to help you be successful in generating increased revenue and long-term guest satisfaction.
Wondering if virtual lines would work for your venue? Or maybe you’re ready to retire your old paper-voucher system? We can help! Contact us today for a personalized consultation with our virtual queuing experts.
Special thanks to our contributors for this piece: Kennedy Kurtz, Jeremy Gray, Valerie Schein, Katie Reilly, David Jungmann, and the accesso Virtual Queuing team.
Explore Our Learning Library:
- Free Download: Re-Imagining the Guest Journey in the Age of COVID-19
- Transforming the Guest Experience and Increasing Revenue with Splish Splash
- Increase Revenue with accesso Passport eCommerce
- The 10 Hidden Costs of a Bad eCommerce System
- People of accesso: Scott Kelley – On Virtual Queuing, Innovation and 20 Years in the Industry