ABOUT University of Hertfordshire
Founded in 1948, the University of Hertfordshire is an innovative public university located in the county of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The University is the UK's leading business-facing university and an exemplar in the sector. With over 25,000 students, and more than 2,500 staff, the university supports a wide variety of undergraduates and post-graduates, spanning over 100 countries.
Core to the University campus is a busy Student Centre where students drop by for a wide variety of essential supporting services. With a high density of student population onsite, there is naturally a substantial demand on these services. The Service Centre needed an effective appointment and queue management system to regulate footfall and support staff to continue to deliver a high quality of service.
Delivering a world-class student experience is a core value of the Student Centre and to ensure this happens the University realised a need to automate and innovate the management of the flow of students.
At certain times of the academic year, there is a dramatic rise in the numbers visiting the student centre, which would increase the pressure on staff. As queues built up, with no supporting system in place, increasing wait times for students could naturally move towards frustration for those waiting and staff serving.
ACF worked with the University of Hertfordshire customer service centre management team to implement a Student Flow Management solution, using the Q-Flow platform, that would achieve the following key goals:
Enable students to join a queue easily, by selecting the service they need at either a self-serve kiosk, or from one of the 8 PCs located just outside the centre
Allocate each visitor with a unique ticket number and keep them updated on their wait time
Offer both appointment services and walk-in services
Using screens and audio, direct students to staff for service
Empower staff to control each case and the queues in general
API driven welcome kiosk & queuing webpage
Utilising the Q-Flow API, the University of Hertfordshire IT team were able to build their own webpage for students to join queues or book appointments for the services they offer.
The IT team have now also enhanced the solution by deploying the queuing functionalities to a tall, free-standing kiosk which enhances the experience for students.
Digital signage screens
Whilst the student is waiting, they can visually see the progress of their wait time by tracking their unique ticket number on the digital screens located in the service centre waiting area.
The screen designs are fully aligned to the University branding, and can provide other information on products, services, and news to the waiting customers.
Student Services Team user interface
The service centre staff utilise the Q-Flow web-based user interface to manage all cases, appointments and walk-ins.
Staff can perform the following tasks:
From a single screen, view all waiting students and current wait-time
Seeing the live wait times enables staff to serve clients in an agile manor
Calling students forward to service automatically opens a case screen to record details
Q-Flow automatically prioritises the order students are called in automatically, based on wait times, service SLAs and other business requirements
Management user interface
The service centre managers are able to:
Perform calendar and queue management functionalities
Have a real-time view of all waiting students and students in service
View an array of management reports for all appointment and walk-in services
See the current expected wait time for each student
Take immediate actions to route students between queues or open new queues
The solution is hosted locally on the University servers and network, making for a quick installation and simple local environment support.
ACF Technologies supports the University with a 3rd level support model and have regular account meetings to ensure the system evolves with their needs.
Significant improvement of overall student experience
Reduction in actual and perceived wait times for students
Increased ease of calling and serving students for staff members
Valuable insights gained using the reporting suite for managers and admin users
Improved staff engagement and performance around the services offered
Increased feeling of a modernised experience