Streamlining your waiting queues is important for the well-being of your customers. It brings tranquility to your waiting area and it takes away stress. Imagine that you have to ask something, or arrange something. You go to that business or that location. That can be the help-desk at a shopping mall or a large furniture chain, your city hall, a hospital, or maybe (better for you than a hospital) you have to stand in line to book your next travel arrangement. You enter that room and you see many people having that exact same idea at the very same moment as you. Stress!
Luckily for you, there is that ticket dispenser at the entry where you can take your number. The number of people waiting to be helped, will not drop because of this small paper you have in your hand. It is that certainty that you get that you are all treated equally. In the FIFO sequence as they call this. First In, First Out. Away is your stress. Hold that tiny paper. I will become very important in a few minutes.
We all know locations where they are using a queue management system. Old school systems are using a small 2 digit LED box where they show the number that is called in now. That LED box is old-fashioned and you can’t do more. Modern entrepreneurs use different technology for this. They exchange that LED box for a large television. Not to just display that waiting number or counter in a larger font. No, they use that television screen now to sell more or to inform people, since they are all watching this screen. An ideal moment to do more.
Build Your Own Queue Management System
You can build your own Do-It-Yourself waiting queue system with PowerPoint. That application that probably already have, is great to build your advertising screens in. You have animations, you can set a slide to show for a given number of seconds, etc.
The only thing that is missing, is the dynamic incremental number of that LED box. And we have a PowerPoint plugin for that. It is called CounterPoint. With that plugin, you can show your ‘we are helping’ number somewhere on your screen, next to the advertising or information slides.
This is how that CounterPoint plugin looks like. Nicely integrated into the normal PowerPoint ribbon.
Now we can focus on the design. The sky is the limit. Add shapes, images, text boxes, etc to your slide. Display promotions, advertising, info, instructions, etc. Set the slides to advance automatically after some 10 seconds (depending on the length of your content and texts), uncheck the advancing on mouse clicks, and set the slide show type to the kiosk, so that it repeats forever. That’s what you need for your waiting area.
Then we add a textbox to the slide that we are going to use a placeholder to show our counter, our ‘we are helping’ number. Probably we need such a textbox or counter on every shape. Select the textbox, format it as you want it to look and click CounterPoint, and check the option Use shape as counter.
This action sets the textbox’s text to the minimum value of your waiting queue system. Typically these numbers count from 00 to 99. You can set the minimum and maximum counter values here at the ribbon too. After 99 comes 00 again and we start with a new cycle.
Start the slideshow and we will see that 0 counter value.
Now use your mouse and do a simple left-click. This increments the counter on any slide that is currently showing on the television screen. Just let your helpdesk employees use a mouse to increment the waiting queue number. You can also use a cordless remote presentation stick to execute those mouse clicks or number increments.
Notification Sounds and Voice Numbers
People watching the screen, will see that counter update and one person will approach the desk. With CounterPoint you have more options to give more attention to a counter update. You can choose to play any notification sound when the counter changes on the screen. Check this option and browse and select a good WAV file for playback.
Or use our voice numbers (male voice). Any number between 0 and 99 can be spoken over your speakers. Record your own numbers if you want.
Click this button below to hear number 27.
DIY Queue Management System Templates
Together with this great CounterPoint plugin, you also get some 7 ready Waiting Queue templates that you can adjust and use for your organization. Next to these templates that you get for free, you can also completely design your own presentations from scratcch.
You get the following waiting queue templates for:
- city halls
- take-away restaurants
Here is one slide of the waiting queue system template for banks.
Or a slide of the waiting queue system template for butchers
And another sample of the waiting queue system template for helpdesks.
Download the free 15 day trial of CounterPoint today and streamline your waiting area with the next generation advertising system.