Increased use of technology, faster transactions and a commitment to efficiency are some of the ways the Department of Immigration has enhanced its customer service recently.
Two key improvements in the main Immigration hall are additional counter officers and a new, automated client check-in system, the department said in a press release.
A new Q-matic machine has been installed to issue tickets directly to clients. The previous system required that a staff member issue the tickets.
Walk-in customers now follow simple on-screen prompts, enabling the machine to issue appropriate counter tickets, the department says.
Using Q-Matic also helps measure staff performance and enhances management’s overview of the department, according to the press release.
The machine produces statistics on particular transactions, and allows supervisors to rotate staff to use resources more efficiently and reduce waiting time.
Four new counter windows have increased the total number of officers serving the hall to 12, said Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans, noting that during 2010 almost 23,000 work permits were processed and that the counter handled more than 89,500 transactions.
“While the average waiting time in February 2010 was 30 minutes, that time has been halved. We also have a new desk that fast-tracks our corporate and business clientele by handling their large-volume transactions by appointment,” she said.
One of the new stations caters to corporate applicants submitting more than three applications or transactions.
Larger companies and agencies can process multiple applications without delaying other front-counter clients.
Regarding the retooling of policies and procedures, Ms Evans said, “This improved service practice evolved after consultation with corporate stakeholders. They were most receptive. To date we have 20 regular business clients, and we are seeking to expand that number.”
The focus on customer service follows feedback from staff and customers.
In addition, the department conducted comprehensive district meetings in 2010 to achieve a better understanding of public concerns relative to immigration issues.
Meetings with business groups and service clubs were also held – all contributing to the goal of improving customer service, according to the department’s press release.
Franz Manderson, chief officer in the Deputy Governor’s Office, said, “I am delighted that the department continues to challenge itself to raise customer service to higher levels. I look forward to even more positive results.”