We’ve all been there – sitting in the waiting room 30 minutes past our appointment time, wondering what’s taking so long and when we’ll be seen. And, working on the other side of the table with the community, you’ve likely seen the other side of waiting room operations, too. From missed appointments to managing the queue, it is a lot to tackle and keep track of. So how can you improve this experience for both your community and your staff? Here are three ways to do just that and how a waiting room organizer can help.
Three Ways to Improve Your Waiting Room Operations
#1. Better Track Appointments
You already (likely) have a resource that helps you track appointments, but is it really giving you all the information you and your team need to better serve your community? You may be lacking details about how the appointment came in, whether or not the client showed up, client information and other important pieces of the puzzle. Scheduling issues can result in quite the waiting room back up.
By using a waiting room organizer, you can give your community and your staff more power over appointment scheduling. Clients will be able to book, schedule and cancel meetings with less hassle. This can result in them being more invested in the appointment, too. Your team can then monitor appointments the day of, track whether someone showed up (or didn’t) and be better equipped to react to client flow. All of this increases efficiency while also lowering waiting room time significantly.
#2. Manage the Waiting Room Queue
Do you have clients regularly asking, “How much longer will it be?” This simple question, over the course of a day, can take up a lot of your team’s time to answer. And much of the time, your staff doesn’t even know the answer! With scheduled appointments and walk-ins, the answer tends not to always be clear-cut.
There are ways that you can better manage the waiting room queue. Mobile ticketing, for example, can allow your community action agency’s clients to check in off-site and only come to the appointment when it’s their turn. Waiting room organizers with digital signage and regular updates can display exactly how long each of your clients is expected to wait.
#3. Get a Handle on Staffing
There’s no doubt – being understaffed is no fun, for your team or your clients, and it can increase waiting times significantly. However, being overstaffed isn’t a good thing for your agency, either. You may be getting ahead of the tickets, but you’re overpaying and likely have staff with little to do.
Getting a handle on staffing can allow you to keep wait times manageable, staff engaged and expenses lower. Waiting room organizers give you much-needed data that allows you to track how many clients a staff member sees daily, the number of no-shows and more. This information can prove invaluable when creating a schedule and ensuring you have the right number of staff on hand each day.
How Can a Waiting Room Organizer Help Your Waiting Room Management?
There are plenty of ways you can track appointments, alert clients of wait times and manage your staff – but a tool like a waiting room organizer can do all three and more. This resource allows you to get a better handle on your operations as a whole.
Waiting room software, for instance, can:
- With less back and forth, your team can increase efficiency as well as productivity, allowing you to see more clients.
Lower wait times
- You’re able to manage appointments and walk-ins, meaning you find that balance between seeing your clients and lowering the wait time for everyone.
Better track appointments and no-shows
- Your staff will be able to see the day’s schedule, while also being able to react quickly in the event of walk-ins and no-shows.
Improve client satisfaction and happiness
- Who doesn’t love lower wait times? It helps your clients feel valued and assisted, too.
Result in better record and data keeping
- If someone skips an appointment and claims to a politician that you’re not helping, you have the data to back it up!
Optimize staff scheduling
- Data allows you to identify whether or not you’re overstaffed or understaffed and you can adjust accordingly.
Reduces staff burnout
- Day after day of scheduling issues can lead to frustration but getting a handle on it means your staff is happier.
Community action agencies already have a lot on their plate with community services. A waiting room organizer can truly be a difference maker in not only lowering waiting times but improving client satisfaction as well as increasing staff efficiency and happiness. It’s time to do away with the frustration that comes with appointment scheduling, no-shows and burnout.