Category Archives: Research

Santa Q™ Break Through: Leveraging the Digital Customer’s Preferences to Increase Visit Volume & Satisfaction

Appeasing the Local Shopper - Eliminate the Wait
Survey of local retail shoppers identified that 87% of shoppers would be willing to use a technology if it would keep them from waiting in line at a retail store for more than 15 minutes. waiting in line at a retail store. 66% or 2 out of 3 respondents said they would use an online check-in or download an app if that would save their place in line at a local business.

Abstract: Fulcrum Design’s Center for R&D  solved the cost benefit conundrum of improving the family experience or suffering the loss of revenue associated with fewer visits due to the added minute and half to add a family the virtual queuing system. This important business decision, is particularly difficult when peak season is only 8 weeks.
What We Discovered: Applying the lean characteristics required to attract and retain local Digital Consumers results in increased revenue, a decrease in (per Digital Consumer) transaction time on the Santa set by 1 to 2 minutes as a result of the digital consumer preference to schedule and pay for their visit online.  To put it in perspective, 80% of local consumers are web savvy, we estimate 60% will book online if given the opportunity.
The savings in transaction time associated with 60% of families opting to book online far exceeds the minute and a half required to input a family into Santa Q.  Offering the freedom to avoid standing in a long waiting line is the least we can do in turn for solving a difficult and costly dilemma.

logo_santa Q 300How Does It Work
First, the data science behind the break through through Accenture Consulting’s 2015 Digital Customer research and report. The report’s survey revealed 60% of customers are digital-consumers.   

The break through results in three important tactics that will require customizing your existing queue system.  
1. Offer your customers the digital technology they have come to rely on an such as an Online Customer appointment portal with the capability to purchase online in advance.
2. Offer the virtual same day booking system on the set through our iPad App.
3. Is what makes the magic happen.
 They prefer to do most things online. MOSTY IMPORTANTLY is how to configure the software (Contact Brandon to learn more).

Why DIY Online is Hot
The reason -largely due to the “additional time required to have a conversation” with the agent and or work through a phone tree and worst of all is the phone tag to schedule an appointment, when all we really need is the date and time you are available.
40% digital-consumer are typically middle to upper income and ideal market to invest in.
A characteristic of this digital consumer is they expect to pay online as well. That characteristic, eliminate the time it takes to make the purchase on the set with or without a virtual queue. In the least we should offer online booking to your walk up malls. While the walk up guest is paying, the online appointment guest can be visiting Santa. That’s maximizing visits while exceeding guest expectations.

Digital Display
Santa Q, Santa set Australia

QueueMobile, a SaaS suite of software designed to promote customer satisfaction by eliminating physical waiting lines with virtual waiting lines on premise.  We also offer same day appointments through our iPad our iPad kiosk.  We now offer the revenue enhancing online appointment booking widget.

Holiday event pop-up operators are a courageous lot. Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas or Easter they have to maximize, what is usually 4 to 6 weeks to generate a profit while satisfying hordes of stressed out young families, not to mention their clients, typical mall operators.   Fulcrum Design developed Event Q a lite weight, high volume virtual queue management system that has been serving the niche sector for Canada to Australia for over 5 years.

There are services environments, that process improvement or structural redesign, cannot entirely resolve waiting in a line, especially at peak times, resulting in overcrowding or long wait times. The agencies or businesses involved, have to balance the cost of benefit of the additional 2 minutes of inputting a party into a virtual waiting line system to mitigate the emotional frustration or leveraging the additional visit volume associated with those 2 minutes to capture additional revenue.

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Fulcrum Design is a pioneer in the innovation of virtual waiting line solution.  In 2010, Mobile Matradee with developed on behalf of Max Restaurant Group, to avoid the costly expense associated with traditional restaurant coaster. Shortly there after Dave & Busters and Top Golf USA were the first national restaurant and entrainment companies to adopt the cell phone pager technology and they choose Mobile Matradee.

Unfortunately, customer retention requires more than the delivery of a service or product. Long, unpredictable wait time result in a negative emotional reaction starting with aniexty, then frustration followed by anger. At this point there is a good chance you lost this customer and the customer has lost repect for management. Examples are Emergency room urgent cares, DMV and seasonal events like Santa sets at the mall.

Happy Santa Claus looking on the mobile phone
Happy Santa Claus Mobile

No other  Seasonal event draws a crowd like Santa
QueueMobile, a virtual interactive waiting line system,  is the least costly alternative that will generate ROI through enhancing customer flow and customer satisfaction.  QueueMobile uses SMS text messaging engagement to create a virtual waiting line. Our virtual lines enables customers to interact with the system, such as reply S to monitor their status QueueMobile or Santa Q, will reply back with a current status demonstrating progress forward in line, now unencumbered to make better use of her time for what matters, shopping.

Queue theory continues to be a popular subject matter of human behavior in sociology. In many cases, if a customer can avoid a line until check out they will continue to shop and spend money.  QueueMobile is used across a broad range of service industries from restaurants, college campuses and special marketing events to manage crowd control.  Eliminating physical waiting lines with hybrid virtual queue management and appointment booking solutions is what customer want.

Santa Sets the Mall Experience
Commerical event photography companies host Santa and Easter set. They are usually contracted by the malls to provide an annual staple event. Mall Managers take these events very seriously and realize the benefits. However working in a mall over the 8 week holiday season can be challenging considering the placement of the pop-up Santa set.  The lighting, electrical and internet capacity are just a few key consideration.  Not to mention the family with two or three kids under the age of 7 in line for 45 minutes to get 2 minutes with Santa and a couple of portraits.

Another challenge with the malls, is the technology infrastructure, particularly for web hosted or cloud-based software solutions such as a POS or virtual queue systems relying a shared wifi infrastructure. The free wifi at most malls are lowband and not terribly stable as more customers sign on to the service.  The same phenomenon, known as congestion, occurs with the cell towers closest to the mall.

Santa Q Designed to Handle Variable Environments
Santa Q is not your off the self-virtual waiting line system.  It runs as an iPad App, designed to work in offline mode and sync back to the cloud when the signal regains its connection.  Thanks to Managing Partner Stefan Hutton of Scene to Believe, Santa Q was born out of trail in error Down Under, where in its first season processed over 34,000 families in 8 weeks.  Australia is a particular challenge due to the vast antiquated copper telecom infrastructure.  SMS comes in one size, standard 10 digit phone numbers, which means 40 x slower than commercial U.S. shortcodes.  Santa Q is now configured to rotate 10 digital numbers to maximize the speed of messaging. The application is optimized to work over a 3G Hotspots with minimal latency. Lastly the system is configured with  3 international SMS gateways, which means, the line doesn’t stop on the account of a single gateway going down.

If you think you can benefit from an online appointment system, a virtual waiting line or in of fast, instant and reliable communication system for you staff and stakeholder please don’t hesitate to reach out. Brandon Munson, FACHE

Reducing ED Wait Times

The Diseconomies of Queue Pooling: An Empirical Investigation of Emergency Department Length of Stay

by Hummy Song, Anita L. Tucker & Karen L. Murrell

OVERVIEW —Improving efficiency and customer experience are key objectives for managers of service organizations including hospitals. In this paper, the authors investigate queue management, a key operational decision, in the setting of a hospital emergency department. Specifically, they explore the impact on throughput time depending on whether an emergency department uses a pooled queuing system (in which a physician is assigned to a patient once the patient is placed in an emergency department bed) or a dedicated queuing system (in which physicians are assigned to specific patients at the point of triage). The author’s measured throughput time based on individual patients’ length of stay in the emergency department, starting with arrival to the emergency department and ending with a bed request for admission to the hospital or the discharge of a patient to home or to an outside facility. The findings show that, on average, the use of a dedicated queuing system decreased patients’ lengths of stay by 10 percent. This represented a 32-minute reduction in length of stay—a meaningful time-savings for the emergency department and patients alike. The authors argue that physicians in the dedicated queuing system had both the incentive and ability to make sure their patients’ care progressed efficiently so that patients in the waiting room could be treated sooner than they otherwise would have. Key concepts include:

  • This study tests the impact of a queuing system structure on the throughput time of patients in an emergency department that had recently switched from a pooled queuing system to a dedicated queuing system.
  • Patients experienced faster throughput times when physicians were working in a dedicated queuing system as opposed to a pooled queuing system.
  • The benefits of a dedicated queuing system may be due to greater visibility into one’s workload and the increased ability for physicians to manage patient flow.


http://

A Patient Waiting Room Satisfaction Solution
A Patient Waiting Room Satisfaction Solution

Patient Q® is a patient waiting rooming satisfaction solution designed for hospital Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers to effectively manage the patient experience by creating a virtual waiting room.

Patients can access the ER or Urgent Care waiting room portal from the hospital or clinic’s website, choose the next most convenient and available visit time. Complete the online forms to expedite registration and prepare the ED team ahead, which will reduce the patient’s wait time and visit time, as revealed in Dr. Song’s study.

Patient Q can be effective at capturing new patients from your competitor as a result of our value-added search engine optimization which brings patients right to your online portal.  When a patient finds they have a choice to avoid waiting hours in a waiting room versus the comfort and convenience of their own home they will likely choose the convenience of their living room. Patient Q will call or text them as their visit time approaches.

Many quality hospitals and providers suffer from poor patient satisfaction reviews associated with long and unpredictable wait times. Patient satisfaction is core quality measure that is publicly reported and could result in lower reimbursement not to mention the damage to your brand reputation, particularly in the era of social media where your brand is now in the hands of social media fans or foes. To learn more visit http://QueueMobile.com or call 203-715-4780.

Patient Q is only for nonlife or limb threatening conditions.

Text Reminders Can Improve Health, JAMA 2015

textreminders

“Not only does this research provide evidence that a text-based program can improve heart disease risk factors, but it also shows that a bunch of bells and whistles aren’t required for successful health outcomes. A simple, low-cost program of text messaging can do the trick.” says, Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the division of cardiology at Duke and an associate editor of JAMA.  Click to read the full study
September 22/29, 2015
Effect of Lifestyle-Focused Text Messaging on Risk Factor Modification in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease
A Randomized Clinical Trial
Clara K. Chow, MBBS, PhD1,2; Julie Redfern, PhD1; Graham S. Hillis, MBChB, PhD3,4,5; et al

jama-text-study

Fulcrum Design has developed Health & Wellness SMS Reminder Systems and feel it is necessary for population health management initiative to use this technology.  For one, as for as an effective means of communicating to large audiences. Text messages are opened 98% of the time and read within the first 15 minutes, more than email, phone calls or morse code. Two, the studies prove that texted based reminder keep patients in compliance.  To learn more contact us.