Building a touchless waitlist experience with Routegy, Trello, and SMS

QR sign for customer contactless waitlist check-in

As many countries around the world begin to soften COVID-19 related restrictions, restaurants, hair salons, and other service-industry businesses are resuming operations. However, in this post-COVID world, business owners have a new set of challenges: screening customers for symptoms, enforcing lower occupancy, and limiting face-to-face interactions.

A tablet at a restaurant prompting customers to check in by entering a name and phone number

The first point of interaction usually involves checking in. Previously, it would involve talking to a host and using pen-and-paper or a shared tablet. In the midst of a pandemic, though, we don’t want customers to reluctantly touch surfaces and question our sanitation and social-distancing practices.

Touchless, contactless solutions based on QR and NFC can help, and in this article we'll show you how you can easily create a touchless waitlist to keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.

For customers, the experience is seamless: They scan a Routegy QR/NFC touchpoint with their phone and fill out a mobile-friendly form providing details like name, size of the party, and a phone number to use for notifications. Routegy uses JSON Schema to define collected data, making it simple to customize this touchpoint, or build your own that collects data specific to your business. Want to ask if they made a reservation? Done. Do you run a hair salon and need them to specify the desired service? No problem. Are you required to collect some COVID-19 related data from your customers? Easy.

Once submitted, Routegy will route collected data via handlers attached to the touchpoint. First, it will send an SMS confirmation to your customer via our SMS handler. Second, it will use the Trello handler to create a customer card in your Trello board used by staff to manage the waitlist.

For you and your staff, managing a waitlist using a Trello board couldn't be easier. The board consists of three lists: Waiting, Ready to seat, and Seated. Every time a customer checks in, Routegy will create a card with their information in the Waiting list, and you simply drag the card to Ready to seat and Seated lists as you work your way through the queue.

In order to notify customers that you're ready for them, we'll use Trello automation rules. When a customer card is moved to the Ready to seat list, we will programmatically call a Routegy touchpoint that will send an SMS to your customer using the Routegy SMS handler.

That’s it! A touchless waitlist experience that's both easy to use and flexible. The types of data collected from the customer can be easily customized to include things like reservation info, type of requested service, or any data unique to your business. Routegy touch handlers make it easy to send collected data to any destination of your choice including email, Slack or, if you’re building a more complex workflow, Zapier.