Virtual check-in speeds service in Florida county (with related video)
At the Orange County, Fla., tax office, the QLess customer experience platform enables virtual check-in for faster service and shorter wait times.
Through the setup, citizens of Orange County can schedule appointments online to pay taxes, apply for licenses, and obtain official documents. Through the system, citizens are served quickly with fewer people standing in line waiting to conduct their business. The solution also provides an opportunity for county officials to engage with citizens on the quality of service delivered.
Using the system, check-ins are completed virtually. County customers join a virtual queue via mobile phone, website or on-site kiosk. The system shares updates with the organization’s customers by text or voice message. QLess notifies the customers when their turn approaches.
If users register via kiosks at one of the county’s branch offices, they can leave to attend to other matters and return at their assigned time. Through messaging, the system provides updates to citizens, notifying them of any changes or delays. The platform allows them to change their appointment times without losing their place in line.
“This has opened up a channel of communication with our citizens like we’ve never had before,” says Jim Cochrane, chief information officer for the Orange County Tax Collector. “The feedback we’re receiving allows us to make changes to our operations for even better service.”
“Until a year ago the process was the same as it’s always been at local government offices around the country: arrive at the office, take a number, figure out which line you’re supposed to be in, and then wait your turn,” Cochrane explains. He adds that the county wanted a solution that would integrate all aspects of the process for serving its citizens – scheduling, notification and feedback. The ideal system, Cochrane adds, would help reduce the amount of time people had to wait for service.
As part of the selection process, the county conducted a 90-day pilot in one of its offices. In short order, the county rolled QLess out to all seven offices in October 2014.
“Just before a scheduled appointment, citizens receive a message confirming that it’s on time, and even directing them to the correct window for the type of business they wish to conduct,” Cochrane says. Through the system’s functionality, government employees spend less time managing traffic. Instead, they can focus on serving citizens and getting them on their way.
“Since we implemented the program, we have 35 percent fewer people waiting in line for service at any time,” Cochrane says. Lines are now significantly shorter at all seven of the branch offices of the Orange County Tax Collector, making citizens happier by reducing the time it takes to conduct their official business.
Cochrane adds that the feedback function offers valuable insights on the solution itself as well as the services provided by the branches. “Once their service is completed, our patrons receive a survey request via text. In the past we’ve done surveys by mail and through our website, but the response rate we get through QLess is 10 times more than anything we’ve received before,” he says. The feedback, he adds, is overwhelmingly positive.
Go here for more information on QLess
In the video, Alex Bäcker, CEO of QLess, discusses the advantage of his firm’s customer experience platform.