In times of Coronavirus lockdown, you’ve probaly experienced, like me (and the 55% of the world population living in a city), long, painful queues at the supermarket just to satisfy the basic need of feeding yourself and your family.
Or, if you attended the Expo Milan in 2018 you remember incredibly long lines of people, standing in queues to enter the pavillons. Pysical queues are part of our lives and are here to stay.
But here’s a quick idea for startuppers, retailers and events managers: it does not have to be that way, and it does not have to be that painful. QR codes can help with that. Some startups are already moving into that space, but, the Market, at least in Europe, is still open.
I am showing here an idea for a quick-to build app that allows the tracking and notification of customer queues cycle time, thus improving customer experience and customer loyalty. The app allows retailers to offer a better sevice, while customers will enjojy an improved experience.
The idea is very simple. You just put a first QR-code at the beginning of the queue and a second QR code at the end of the queue, before entering the supermarket. I showed in a previous post how to create your own QR-code.
The customer will A) check in at the first QRCode and will B) check out at the second one, thus gaining a discount for the subsequent purchases at the market. The time difference between the check-in and check-out will give you a cycle time. The app will store it, instantly calculates moving-average times, and makes them available for the customers. Customers, on the other hand, will optimize their experience deciding when and where they will shop, based on queues cycle times. This optimization process will further reduce queues and improve the customer experience. Apps with similar concepts are just recently arrived, at least in Italy, but they rely on the customer effort of counting people standing in line (just a proxy for cycle time), and are thus less precise and far more tedious for the consumer, thus limiting the usage and utility of the app itself. QRcode checking, instead, is almost effortless and allows for precise tracking of actual cycle times.
The app could build on more advanced features, like avoiding you to physically stand in the queue, just notifying you back when it’s your turn to get in. Social network features such as notifying you when a friend of yours is on a specific queue, Facebook integration, and so on.
When Coronavirus will be defeated, the Q-tracker will still remain useful as it enhances the customer experience in theaters, hospitals, public offices, public interest places, museums, and events.
So, give it a chance and build your Q-tracker.
Marcello Del Bono is coaching and leading Agile Teams, supporting Transformation programs. He has multi-year experience as a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Agile Coach in e-commerce, IT, Marketing and Decision Support Systems in Media, Telco, Finance, Fashion industries.
Contact him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcellodelbono/