Business

App provides a virtual queue to eliminate lines

Rum Cay Media Group is hoping to help businesses eliminate long lines outside their establishments because of COVID-19 safety protocols, and bring a level of comfort to waiting customers with an app called SafeW8 (safe wait), which provides a virtual queue to eliminate the line.

President of Rum Cay Media Group Eric Ward said the app should be available on both IOS and Android in two weeks.

Ward explained that the app allows customers to virtually get on a business’ line, wait at home until the app prompts them to leave and issues them a token when they arrive and it is time for them to enter the establishment.

A demo of the app seen by Guardian Business revealed how easily it keeps customers abreast of their wait time and issues tokens.

On the business side, Ward said companies are able to customize the app for a fee to their specific requirements, given that a bank might not have the same needs as a hardware store or a restaurant.

And the company can download the app themselves and input their own customizations, though deeper customizations can be made on a case-by-case basis through Rum Cay Media Group directly.

Ward said small businesses will be able to use the app for free.

“We think right now we have got it perfected to the point where it should be able to be customized for any scenario that any business wants to use it for,” said Ward.

“An entity that has a lot more complications, we would have to set that up for them, but a general entity, they would do that in the management side of the app themselves.”

SafeW8 comprises two apps: one is used by the business and the other by the customer. 

The app apprises customers of the number of people in the virtual line ahead of them, when they should arrive at the business and even what their drive time to that business will be. The app also allows the customer to alert the business if they will be late.

Ward added that the app allows for businesses to add walk-in customers to the queue and those without the app can give their phone number to the employee monitoring the app and they will be alerted by text.

“That’s what we see as helping to alleviate some of these long lines that we’ve been seeing around town and different places and also to create a safe environment,” said Ward

“We see it being a benefit to them (businesses) to help them have less disgruntled and upset customers. You don’t want the frontline workers having to deal with customers who are upset and have been in line for 45 minutes standing in the hot sun, or someone who has been in line outside and it starts to rain, when they could have been in the safety of their own home or in the vehicle waiting until they were called to come in.

“We see it as benefit to businesses, to create a better customer experience for them and to also give them the benefits of the analytics in the back, so that they can better manage their staff and they can have a really good understanding of what their customer base is doing.”

According to Ward, several businesses are already interested in the app, though he said the lockdown has slowed the process.

However, he contended that COVID-19 has sparked a technology revolution in The Bahamas that is not likely to be curbed even after the pandemic has receded.

“The world is changing and we have to be able to adapt,” Ward said.

“We think that this is one of those things to help us adapt to the change and also makes it a little bit easier and convenient for people to do business in person.”

He is also confident that SafeW8 will remain relevant even after the pandemic has subsided.

“There may still be people out there who want to restrict the number of people they have in their space,” he said.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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