Virtual Queuing for Colleges & Universities

February 02, 2016Perry Kuklin

Waiting lines within busy college and university campuses create more than trying situations for students and staff alike. Registrar offices, health centers, and counseling offices can quickly become breeding grounds for disorderly waiting lines and concentrated crowds of students. The challenges related to queue management often result in dissatisfied students, productivity hang-ups, and an inefficient overall use of administrative resources. Virtual queuing can change this experience for the better. Providing a simple, streamlined process effectively reduces, or eliminates, crowds, improves the quality of service provided, and reduces the costs associated with managing waiting lines. Let’s dive deeper – why virtual queuing is a game changer on campuses:

Effectively manage crowds

Take the example of course registration – where crowds of anxious students trying to enroll in required classes descend upon the registrar’s office and create incessant worry for administrative staff. The number of students needing guidance exceeds service availability and the building’s capacity to contain them. Often, employees are not equipped to handle the influx of students and spend more time controlling the waiting line than actually helping students. Virtual queuing eliminates these problems in 3 simple steps: 1. Students register for a place in the queue without having to set foot in the registrar (or other service) office. Instead, they’re at the student union, the library, a dorm room, the local coffee shop, or wherever they choose to hang out during the waiting period. 2. Students register for their place in line by text message. Then, they receive a web link to their personalized queue where they can view their call number, how many students are ahead of them, and their estimated wait time. The queue’s screenshot updates in real time and the student can cancel or re-queue themselves at any time if something comes up. 3. A students personalized queue page continuously notifies them of their place in line, chiming and vibrating as they move up in the queue. They arrive at the service area right before they will be called. As students register and wait for appointments as outlined above, administration can better plan their workload, prevent large crowds and waiting lines from forming, focus on better serving and processing students, and create a sense of order and calm out of the demanding registration process.

Customize for your department

Virtual queuing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The right system can be tailored to your department’s unique needs. For example:

  • Collect relevant information. The health center does not need the same information as the counseling department for any given student.
  • Place students into appropriate groups. Administrators can then tailor services to meet the needs of these individual groups.
  • Sort students by priority and schedule appointments accordingly.
  • Track individual students every step of the way as they progress through your process flow, start to finish.

Optimize service efficiency

With traditional waiting lines, it’s common for certain staff to end up with lengthy lines that keep them constantly busy, while others stand idle. A virtual queuing system makes it possible to equalize the distribution of responsibilities. When the physical queue is eliminated, staff downtime is kept to a minimum and students don’t have to feel like they picked the “wrong” line. Day-to-day tasks are also facilitated by virtual queuing’s ability to:

  • Manage appointments and wait times – providing clear expectations to students. They know how long they will wait and what time they should arrive for service.
  • Signal service staff when appointments arrive.
  • Easily add notes to files that will be readily available to other service providers in the process flow. Your staff will stay connected with access to the most up-to-date information on any given student.
  • Transfer students to another queue when necessary and progress to the next step faster.

Maximize ROI

Operating as an SaaS, cloud-based platform makes virtual queuing easy to implement and a cost effective investment. You can avoid expensive server-based infrastructure where labor and maintenance costs pile up. Instead, the software runs on almost any existing internet-enabled hardware including PCs and mobile devices. Virtual queuing can enhance processes at any campus location where students need to wait to receive services. And it can be the ideal solution to disperse crowds of waiting students while simultaneously improving the overall quality of service provided.

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