Duo multichannel strategy
DUO is the operational organization for the execution of education laws and regulations of the Dutch government. Students mainly know DUO from the registration and completion of their studies, and from the study grants and loans. They are a modern service provider which, via multiple channels and with increasing efficiency, assists and handles information requests from students and parents. The 14 service offices receive approximately 200,000 visitors at their counters and handle 1 million calls. Since the use of functions such as the appointment module of Reflex Online, the customer contact has improved considerably.
The benefits of less direct client contact
DUO works with a mature multichannel strategy to achieve higher quality and provide a more efficient service. The appointment module of Reflex Online is a small yet important component. “We would like to have as little as possible client contact with students and parents at our counters and as much as possible contact online,” says Jan Kouijzer, Multichannel Manager at DUO.
That means a decline in the use of traditional means and an increase in the use of the digital service. This includes the obligation of making an appointment.” A major change for both clients and employees. At the start of the pilot ‘Working with appointments’ almost everyone still made an appointment via the front desk. That was obviously not the intention. Through a targeted (multichannel) approach, the ratio changed drastically after six months to the advantage of the appointment module. Jan Kouijzer. “Now only 20% of the appointments are made at the counter and more than 80% of the clients make an appointment independently via the internet.”
DUO meets the toughest security protocols
DUO was looking for a small appointment application that could be accessed anywhere and which would be managed externally yet would be secure. “We had little time and had a limited budget”, says Jan Kouijzer. “This appointment module is a Cloud solution. That was exactly what we were looking for and we noticed that Reflex Online is flexible and thinks along with us. Still, the process was quite exciting. We were going to use an application ‘in the cloud’ for the first time.”
The Dutch government has to comply with the strictest privacy and security protocols with its systems and applications. The appointment module is a cloud solution and is on the Microsoft Azure platform, which is ISO certified and secured in accordance with the American Partriot Act. .
With the assistance of Reflex Online and several security specialists from DUO, all security aspects have been closely examined. “Microsoft Nederland visited us to explain Azure. Any doubts and requirements were discussed in detail. ” Jan Kouijzer continues seriously, “To prevent possible leaks from happening we performed several hack-tests and checks.” Ultimately, a few adjustments were made in the appointment module.
The go-ahead was given. This is the safest way possible.
Thorough approach and powerful steering instrument
The Service offices in Enschede, The Hague, and Eindhoven were pilot locations in 2012. Each was of a different size, had different types of clients and employees. The traditional waiting rooms were transformed into friendly reception areas with a number of desks, aimed at short, quick appointments. When entering you can already read on posters that you will only be helped if you have an appointment. On a large monitor in the reception hall you can see which counter you are expected to go to.
This information is compiled from two different systems, including the appointment module.
Reflex Online is going to further modify the module in close collaboration with another supplier. The client contact monitor makes it possible to measure the client satisfaction rate and the quality of the appointments.
Depending on the number of planned appointments, counters will either be added or closed throughout the day. The employees who are not working at the counters respond to questions that are received through other channels, mainly email. The new system is a strong steering instrument. Overcapacity and undercapacity are no longer an issue.
The passion is back
Despite earlier reservations, the employees of the pilot locations are predominantly positive about the new approach and system. Client contact is much better. They now have time to prepare. Sorting out an urgent problem while the client is waiting is no longer necessary. Personal contact is much pleasanter. The employee is actually able to help and confrontations with angry clients occur less and less frequently. Trying to eliminate queues at the last minute no longer happens. “We see the passion for their work growing. A satisfied client also makes the employee happy. And a happy employee leads to happy clients!” says Jan Kouijzer. “That is what everyone wishes for in their work, isn’t it?” In June 2013, the Service offices of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht also switched to the new system. Appointments are mainly made via the website.
A small fraction still prefers to call and make an appointment via the call center in Groningen. An increasingly small number of appointments is still made via the front desk.