Queue Management in SSiD

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Managing a high number of people passing through such a small space has always been a concern but in recent times, with increasing numbers of visitors, this concern has become a challenge. The considerable flow of students into this small area causes bottlenecks that lead to frustration for students and stress for staff.

As with any service, customer satisfaction is determined by the gap between a customerĀ“s expectation and perception of that service. Therefore you can achieve for a high satisfaction level can be achieved if the customer has a very positive perception of the process but a low expectation from it - under promise, over deliver.

However, at certain times of the day queuing is inevitable; the result of customers arriving independent of one another, at random times.

So if we can not eliminate queue perhaps we can reduce the frustration caused to students by ensuring that we have a systems and processes in place that makes a good first impression, put customers at ease, and initiate a smooth customer flow. In doing this we also need to ensure that:

  1. The process is fair and equitable
  2. The process is clearly communicated to customers
  3. We implement a system that shortens the perceived waiting time
  4. Resource is available to manage customer enquiries quickly and efficiently.

The basic Queue Management System we have introduced in SSiD tries to address these issues. It reduces `queue rageĀ“, shows customers that their time is important, and that we are endeavouring to keep the queue consistently fair.

To support the new Queue Management System and make it most effective we have also introduced:

  • Signs: Inform customers where to wait from, what they need to have ready like UCard etc.
  • Barriers: Guides the formation of queue
  • GRACE: The customer interaction recording system helps identify peaks and troughs in customer flow.
  • Reorganisation of office furniture: Improves customer flow through the office and provides additional space for staff behind the counter.
  • Additional enquiry points: The increased space for staff means we are able to increase the number of staff serving customers at any one time to six. Previously we only had three enquiry points.

For SSiD the benefits of getting this right are:

  • Faster customer flow rate - minimising waiting times.
  • Better customer flow through an office that looks organised and managed
  • Lowered customer stress
  • Lowered staff stress
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Higher staff productivity
  • Better atmosphere
  • Increased enquiries handled

by Scott Castle
21st June 2008
latestr update 11 January 2018