NEGATIVE WAITING TIME IN COPENHAGEN
The inhabitants of Denmark’s capital are serviced by two main centers and 7 self-service outlets. Citizens service solves a wide range of tasks, amongst others: renewal of passports, taxes, social security. The city is in the process of a comprehensive digitization, which will make the service more efficient and maintain the good citizen experience. One of the large focus areas is the reorganization of the citizens service, so that the citizens themselves are responsible for reserving their appointments and referrals with FrontDesk.
QUEUEING FOR QUEUEING
Not long ago one would risk queueing all the way out in the street when one had to go to one of the city’s two main centers, the Citizens service in Nyropsgade. The 6 employees at the counter were busy servicing the many citizens, and the place was often marked by long waiting times, queueing stress and impatient citizens. An effective tool to handle the queues and the frequent bottlenecks was needed. Citizens might risk queueing for half an hour to be sent home again to fetch the right documents. When they came back, they then again had to wait for a half an hour just to get a number.
This situation changed quickly at the end of 2016 when the Citizens service introduced FrontDesk. Today, the citizens are met by three FrontDesk stands and there is no queue! At the stands, the citizens receive a referral to the right queue, only with a few pushes. Alternatively, the citizen receives an overview of missing documentation and is sent home immediately - without disturbing the employees in the service. In fact, every 5th citizen has not brought the necessary documents, or they are referred to another public authority.
The efficient handling of the citizens at the entrance to the citizens service has released 5 full-time equivalents in the Citizens center Nyropsgade alone.
Despite the great efficiency improvements, satisfaction with the service at the Citizens centre is still very high. 90% of users are of the opinion that the service is good or very good. Among other things, this is due to the fact that now the citizens do not have to queue.
With FrontDesk, the waiting time has decreased drastically. In fact, the progress of the queues is so effective that the citizens in average reach their appointments 2 minutes before the time they have reserved.
FrontDesk gives a better possibility to manage reservations - e.g. using the online reservation. Diligent work is done to guide the citizens’ behaviour so that the pressure is taken away from the traditional “peak” periods. From January 2018, the citizens will be asked to make their appointment reservations from home. The goal is that 70% of the tasks must be handled in this way, in order to fill up the workday in the most efficient way and create an optimal flow. The citizens will also experience the benefits - they will know in advance when they will be serviced and they will receive all relevant information before they arrive to their appointment so that they do not turn up in vain.
The employees are also pleased with FrontDesk. Previously the atmosphere at the Citizens service was affected by the length of the queue but FrontDesk has ensured a smooth-running referral procedure without the past turbulent atmosphere and queueing stress. Furthermore, the employees experience the satisfaction that the citizens get a service boost due to shorter waiting time, better information and more options. Moreover, the citizens are in fact not experiencing the increased self-service as a service deterioration. On the contrary, the citizens are experiencing that they themselves get control of their appointments - that they themselves are able to choose their appointment type and that they are well informed.
“We are fully aware of the high demands when it comes to delivering to a big and ambitious municipality such as Copenhagen. We go humbly to the task and we are delighted in the good and close cooperation that we have with The City of Copenhagen’s Citizen service.”