College and university environments feature many moving parts. And many, many waiting lines. From the cafeteria to the football stadium, effective queue management is essential to creating safer, more efficient, more enjoyable experiences for students, staff, and visitors.
In the context of universities, sometimes the simplest ideas work best. Applied correctly, you can use common queue management and crowd control solutions to reduce or disperse crowds, improve service quality, and increase the safety and productivity of staff and students alike.
Here are three simple yet effective ways to improve your queue management strategies:
Certain areas of a university, including the Registrar’s office, financial aid, counseling centers, and health centers, are hot spots for student visits. This holds especially true during peak hours, particularly at the start of the year or at the beginning of a new quarter.
Long lines of anxious students are inefficient and can leave your staff overwhelmed. Combine traditional queuing solutions, such as stanchions and signage, with virtual queuing to optimize the experience for both students and staff. Virtual queuing allows students to schedule their appointment online (thus reducing the number of students waiting in person), while physical queues and signage make it easy for students to identify where to go when it’s their time to be served. For example, at the Registrar’s office, strategically placed signage can effectively triage students based on the purpose of their visit, such as class enrollment, course changes, and advisor meetings.
Crowds of students can be expected at key locations, including the stadium and university bookstore. However, unlike other high-traffic areas, such as the Registrar’s office, it is not practical to divert queues to digital management. Instead, it is worthwhile to design a physical queue strategy that is robust, scalable, and easy to understand.
Physical barriers, created with the help of stanchions, rigid rail barriers, and signage panels can help you build an organized system for waiting and communicating with crowds. At a football game, for instance, you can break up the entrance lines by separating fans who purchased tickets prior to game day from those purchasing the day of. More so, you can keep long lines organized and moving efficiently to keep people happy.
With mobile queuing, students can sign up for appointments with a counselor, professor, medical aid, and more, right from your website or mobile app. Rather than requiring students to wait in person for an appointment, digitizing this process with virtual queuing can minimize crowd congestion. As a result, staff can be relieved of the stress associated with queue management and students can eliminate a long wait from their day to be more productive.
When did your university last revisit its queue management strategy? Learn more about the simple, efficient options for optimizing your school’s approach to queue management.