When it comes to airport security, there are no shortcuts. Every person who does any kind of work at an airport in the United States must undergo a thorough security evaluation and receive a badge to access restricted and controlled areas.
At the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) – the most visited airport in the north-central part of the country – there are more than 18,000 active security badges. Historically, people have waited in line up to several hours for badging services. Since deploying the QLess line management platform, customers have the option of making an appointment and wait wherever they want.
“Everyone who works at the airport is required to obtain a security badge. This includes employees who work for airlines, government entities, airport tenants, vendors and contractors. As a result, the Badging Office serves in excess of 100 people per day and thousands per year,” said Maria Petersen, Manager of Police Administration for the MSP Airport Police Department.
With over 18,000 active badge holders and limited personnel, it was imperative to create a more structured environment to help streamline operations for customers and staff alike.
With wait times often exceeding several hours, this was a source of frustration for customers and placed great stress on staff. “We needed a better process for managing customer flow,” Petersen said.
After evaluating several options to eliminate long wait times, MSP selected QLess to implement a system that allows customers to sign up for same day badge services – or make a future appointment up to one month in advance – eliminating the need to spend precious time waiting in line.
Customers have several options to enter the virtual queue:
• Online: Customers visit the MSP badging website and enter their name and cell phone number.
• Text: Customers send a text message to a designated phone number.
• Kiosk: Customers get in line or schedule their appointment at an on-site kiosk in the Badging Office lobby. They may leave the office and return when summoned.
• FlexAppointments: Customers schedule an appointment up to one month in advance of being seen. This additional flexibility has been met with resounding success in the time it’s been available at the MSP Badging Office.
Once in the virtual queue, customers receive text notifications as their turn approaches and arrive just in time for service.
One of the key advantages of the QLess system is that customers can plan for a future appointment, continue to perform their job, or attend to other matters while they wait their turn for badging services. For example, a barista at a coffee shop can work for two hours rather than spending time that may be unpaid waiting at the Badging Office.
“The QLess system offers flexible and convenient options for our customers,” Petersen says. “Customers may choose to wait in the lobby and be seen on a walk-in basis or plan ahead for a future appointment. Since deploying QLess, the new system has been met with positive feedback.”
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