Before social distancing forced us to avoid our fellow human beings, virtual queuing was already empowering us to claw back precious time in our lives. Online appointment scheduling, remote check-in, and alerts to our mobile devices streamline customer services and keep us from lingering in crowded waiting areas.
Now, as everyone pivots to living and working virtually, the ability to access essential services ‘from a distance’ will play a critical role in helping people feel safer and less anxious — not to mention, facilitating responsible social distancing.
As most of us shelter in place, those on the front line are doing an excellent and admirable job of getting deliveries to our door without violating the six-foot rule that the CDC has recommended. But sometimes, for our own sanity, to get essential supplies that can’t be delivered, or for those services which would generally require us to go and queue somewhere, we have to leave our houses and congregate where other people are also hanging out.
When leaving the house or saying goodbye these days, we’re likely to say ‘stay safe.’ But how easy is it to stay safe if we have no alternative but to come into contact with others?
Wearing a mask is one thing… keeping patients, customers, and staff six feet away from one each other, is another. But the good news is, there are other alternatives — ones that mean face-to-face contact can be reduced or even eliminated, entirely.
Connecting customers to vital services, remotely…
The technology to streamline patient journeys and customer experiences has existed for decades — queue management, appointment scheduling, digital signage, etc. However, what you may not realize is that these technologies, already deployed at hospitals, DMVs and BMVs, and corporates and government departments around the world, are also the foundation for delivering services entirely online.
Delivering essential services, anywhere:
How? By combining existing virtual queue management technologies with real-time, interactive video appointments. Allowing customers, patients and citizens to meet their needs either more remotely than in the past, or entirely online.
Step #1: Queue anywhere
At the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ offices across Ohio, citizens can ‘Get in Line, Online.’ The combination of hardware, software, training, and reporting working behind the scenes allows customers to book an appointment online and, with virtual queuing, wait for it anywhere in complete safety, until the time comes when they need to interact with an agent. Appointment scheduling isn’t just the first step in making customers feel safe, it’s also a great way to improve the customer experience — in challenging times and beyond.
Step #2: Check-in anywhere
Once customers have started the appointment booking process, how do they know when it’s their turn? This is where ‘Check-In Anywhere’ comes in useful. It works by using citizens, patients, and customers’ own devices to check in, page / alert them and provide notifications via SMS, mobile app, or a webpage. This way, there’s no need to sit in a real waiting room. Customers’ mobile devices become a virtual waiting room, and they can stay in the safety of their cars until the very last minute.
Step #3: Assist anywhere
Already in use in banking, healthcare, government services, retail and telco industries, virtual appointments are connecting customers, patients, and medical staff faster and more personally, with secure, live, interactive video sessions. Assistant Anywhere goes one step further: allowing people to get the help, support, advice, or service they need without leaving the comfort of their homes. It rapidly increases accessibility to customers with internet connectivity, helps them gain a personalized digital experience, and can even humanize digital interactions between them and staff. More importantly, in the case of health care, it enables patients to initiate virtual care at any time.
ACF Technologies: helping COVID-19 testing move safely in the UK
The technology exists to go digital. It’s even already in use in far more places than you might think. But, arguably more importantly, it is helping fight the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom already. Working with the Department of Health and Social Care, ACF Technologies is digging into its Q-Flow toolbox of queue management, appointment scheduling and wayfinding tools to keep people safe and help save lives.
So, the only question left to ask is: how are you making it easier for customers to access your services in a time of social distancing?
Need help? We’re here for you
If we can provide help and assistance on anything related to queue management and appointment scheduling we’re happy to do so. Get in touch. And stay safe.