Case Study - University of Hertfordshire

Overview

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.

 

The Challenge

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 for these services. The Service Centre needed an effective appointment and queue management system to regulate footfall and support staff in delivering a high quality of service.

Delivering a world-class student experience is a core value of the Student Centre. To ensure this happens, the university realized 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 visitor traffic at the student center, which would increase the pressure on staff. As queues build up, with no supporting system in place, increasing wait times for students could naturally move towards frustration for those waiting and staff serving.

 

The Solution

Q-nomy's channel partner and integrator in the region, ACF UK, worked with the university's customer service management team to implement a Student Flow Management solution, using the Q-Flow platform, that would achieve the following key goals:

  1. Offer both appointment services and walk-in services
  2. 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 center
  3. Allocate each visitor with a unique ticket number and keep them updated on their wait time
  4. Using screens and audio, direct students to staff for service
  5. Empower staff to control each case and the queues in general

Some of the main features of the solution provided are listed below:

  • API-driven welcome kiosk & queuing webpage

Utilizing 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 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 center 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 center staff utilize the Q-Flow web-based user interface to manage all cases, appointments, and walk-ins. 

Staff can view all waiting students and current wait-time, enabling them to serve clients in an agile manner.

Q-Flow automatically prioritizes the order students are called in, based on wait times, service SLAs and other business requirements, and automatically opens a case screen to record details after a student is called forward.

  • Management user interface

The service center managers can perform calendar and queue management functionalities, obtain a real-time view of all waiting students and students in service, and see the current and expected wait time for each student.

Managers can access an array of management reports for all appointment and walk-in services, and can take immediate actions to route students between queues or open new queues.

  • Local hosting

The solution is hosted locally on the university servers and network, making for a quick installation and simple local environment support.

 

The Results

The following results have been reported:

  • Significant improvement of the 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 modernized experience

                                                                                 

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