Throughout the pandemic, governments have been implementing technological solutions to better serve citizens while keeping everyone safe. Some of these solutions have moved essential government services — such as unemployment insurance, licensing, and renewals — online, allowing citizens the ability to be self-sufficient in completing the process. For other services, such as driver’s licenses, permits, or car registrations, there still needs to be an in-person interaction. For these essential in-person services, governments have turned to technology solutions such as queue management, to improve processes. Although these solutions were implemented to facilitate social distancing and safe transactions, the benefits have far exceeded this, helping governments address other pain points that have long existed.
Pain Point #1: Operational Inefficiencies
From DMVs to permit offices, government services not offered online have a long history of being slow and inefficient — famous for their never-ending lines. These inefficiencies are bad for the employees, as the long lines prohibit them from completing other essential tasks. They’re also bad for patrons, who waste hours waiting to be served by a representative. By the time they can be seen, customers can be impatient and irritable, resulting in an unpleasant experience for everyone.
With technology solutions like queue management software, government services can collect data about the citizens’ experience, including information on busy periods and average wait times. This information is vital for staffing decisions, as they can increase the number of representatives during times when there are more customers and decrease them during slow periods. Having an appropriate amount of staff also frees up their employees’ time, allowing them to complete other necessary tasks throughout the day. As they have real-time access to the number of people currently waiting, they can monitor for slower times and use those moments to file paperwork, return phone calls, or complete any other important work that typically gets forgotten about during operating hours. This results in happier citizens and a more organized government services office.
Pain Point #2: Lack of Data and Information
As mentioned above, queue management software collects data on the customers’ experience by monitoring wait times and the number of people in line. The data collected from these government services can help far beyond customer service efficiencies. Many of these technology solutions, including the Qless platform, also allow the government to send out surveys to their customers after their interaction with representatives. This helps them gather real-time data on what they’re doing well and how to improve. Another bonus to using these systems for surveys is that — because they are automatically sent out based on the patron’s visit — they receive greater engagement and responses.
This data is also important for training new and existing employees. Governments often speak about throughput: how they can serve more customers in a day and ensure no one is waiting at the end of the day. The data collected from queue management systems is vital for finding technology solutions to these problems and training government employees on how to be more efficient.
Pain Point #3: Budget Overruns and Costs
Throughput is also important in helping to minimize costs for government services. Working on technology solutions to ensure that all customers are served during working hours cuts down on overtime pay for government employees (while simultaneously improving work/life balance). As many governments are struggling financially due to the pandemic, it’s important to keep operating costs low while still improving the experience.
Appointment no-shows have also increased during the pandemic, which results in wasted time and lost money. By implementing queue management software, these no-show appointment times can be used instead for walk-in appointments. Services such as FlexAppointments integrate extra time from no-shows or short appointments with walk-in customers, ensuring that time isn’t wasted and that customers are being served efficiently.
Government technology solutions that improve the customer experience are going to be important after the pandemic — but solutions that improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and collect and manage data are going to be vital. Queue management software has the benefit of fulfilling many different roles for government services offices not offered online while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction.