March 22, 2014

How not to have a queuing system?

In short: been to bank this afternoon, got a token from queuing machine, waited for 15 minutes, another guy waiting for 45 minutes and here walks in a customer - goes directly to one of the counters and voila, gets served. Got me irritated, walked upto that counter and representative told me that there are no pending tokens; so now they look at the screen and ignore customers sitting in holding area just next to them. Got to the branch manager: told by her that sir you must have missed your number! And the other guy as well missed it! It took my some time to figure out what's wrong, and a lot of stuff was wrong. But here are the solutions:

1) The tokens were not plain sequential. They are like GYC012, MWR048, RTV039. So a waiting customer would never come to know if she has missed her number by looking at the screen flashing the number which may be RWR120. So strip off all info from token number that is not relevant to customer. KEEP IT SIMPLE

2) It took me two minutes to figure out where the display was, simply because it wasn't visible from my corner of holding area. Numbers must be announced when the turn comes, not just flashed. There are people with not a great eye-sight, and with none as well at times. HAVE RESPECT.

3) If you have a token based queuing system, never entertain a customer without a token. There are people sitting and waiting with tokens. BE FAIR.

4) Physical bodies are far more important and easy to see than small slips of paper. Do visit the holding area every 5 minutes or so. Don't leave managing visitors just to a machine. VALUE YOUR CUSTOMER.

Why not to name the bank? Because that's not the point :)
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