Advanced Queue Management Techniques for the Education Sector
Students study in a library
Up to 32% of campus and college administrators reported in a recent survey that their top challenge was improving the overall student experience. While universities and colleges are always competing to attract and retain the best-fit students by providing excellent faculty, learning programs, and amenities that students are looking for. What most administrators neglect is the need to transform the on-campus experience.
One of the best ways to maximize operational efficiency throughout campus facilities is to manage long queues to ensure a more controlled and organized environment. Students and visitors are not new to waiting in line. Queues are a norm in financial aid offices, health centers, airports, bookstores, and sports arenas. But the truth is, the relationship between long wait times and dissatisfaction has become a great concern for campuses and colleges.
To transform how you manage queues on-campus, turning to technology may be the solution. Prevent long wait times from adding more stress to student life by implementing advanced queue management techniques. Here is what you can do:
Improve Service Efficiency With Queue Management Solutions
Waiting in line is a challenge for students and staff alike. Counseling offices, registrar offices, health centers, and retail centers can quickly become disorderly due to long queues. Students’ greatest dissatisfactions are related to queue management: inefficient use of administrative resources and productivity hang-ups.
Ensuring service efficiency by reducing waiting times for students can solve this problem. Consider these solutions:
- Electronic Queuing
Delivering quality and efficient student services in a timely manner is becoming increasingly difficult for administrators as resources stretch to contend with an increasing number of students. With ever-increasing expectations from students, the importance of student services is becoming more recognized. A combination of these factors can place undue stress on students and staff as unprepared campuses struggle to deal with queues at service points.
Adopting electronic “call-forward” queuing systems is one of the advanced queue management techniques you can apply to increase the overall throughput of waiting students to help reduce wait times. Electronic queuing helps you spread the service workload more evenly across your service staff so that you can minimize the confusion that results from students not knowing where to find an open service point.
Such systems include:
- Digital signage directing students where to get served
- Station lights streamlining the way students and visitors are called
- Audio and visual messaging that instantly alerts the next student in line
- Auto-controlled station lighting that guides students and visitors to available service stationsAs one of the most advanced queue management techniques, electronic queuing is best implemented in busy areas like registrar offices, on-campus retail centers, visitor desks where seamless parent organization is needed during graduations, parent weekends and move-in dates, and other crowded areas where queue management is needed to optimize service delivery.
- Automated Electronic Queuing
To further improve the electronic queuing technique, you can consider automating the process. Instead of your staff pressing a remote-controlled button manually, automated electronic queuing calls the next student in line once a service station is ready. This process relies on sensors that monitor activity at service points, signaling when a transaction or service is complete and ready for the next customer. This option is suitable for self-serve environments like libraries and other checkout kiosks on-campus.
- Footfall Analytics
One of the biggest mistakes that university and college administrators make is failing to gather the necessary data they need to understand how they can handle queue management. Footfall analytics is an advanced queue management technique that forms the basis of creating workable solutions for dealing with unexpected queue management challenges. You need to understand:
- What to expect in terms of student and visitor numbers
- When you expect large numbers and in which service sections
- How to deal with growing demand for services across campus
- Staffing resources needed to meet demandsWith the right footfall analytics, administrators can accurately measure, monitor and predict correct wait times in both structured and unstructured queues, such as health centers, the registrar’s office, bookstores, and other locations. By using advanced queue management techniques, you can assess how many students or visitors are in a queue at any given time and get quick real-time alerts. You get the ability to:
- Keep overall wait times at different service points in check
- Monitor safety and compliance requirements by overseeing student counts
- Optimize staffing needs, create efficiencies, and balance service delivery
- Virtual Queuing
Virtual queuing is quickly being adopted by higher learning institutions to handle long lines of waiting students and visitors. Instead of waiting in unending lines, virtual queue management software like QLess allows students to receive text alerts or phone messages, letting them know when it’s getting close to their appointment or service time. Virtual mobile queuing offers many benefits:
- Disperses waiting students in long lines
- Lets students arrive at service points when you’re ready to serve
- Students can join a virtual queue using their mobile phone
- Students can opt-in to receive updates on their place in line
- Efficient estimated wait times
- Ability to track waiting time and request more time if necessaryVirtual queuing is one of the most reliable and advanced queue management techniques when it comes to managing student queues on-campus and college facilities efficiently and conveniently.
Managing the Flow of Students and Visitors Through Service Points
A student checks her place in line while leisurely drinking coffee.
Managing long student lines in colleges and universities is not just about applying technology to streamline queues. You also need a simple yet effective solution to manage the flow of students and visitors through service points. Consider investing in rigid rails and rigid rail signage for easy crowd control. Signage offers an opportunity to brand and market your campus or college programs and direct students and visitors.
Retractable belt stanchions are also ideal for crowd control, waiting lines, and access barriers. These allow flexibility in queue configuration to meet service delivery needs. You can also optimize retail-oriented queues, especially those in food kiosks, bookstores, and athletic avenues across campus by investing in a queue management solution for in-queue merchandising fixtures like portable Gondolas to ensure lower waiting time.
Get Started With QLess
Improve student satisfaction and student services by eliminating campus lines with the interactive QLess Queue Management System for colleges and universities. Fewer lines mean more school spirit and happy staff. Ready to get started? Get a demo today.