The municipality of Heerhugowaard in the Netherlands makes Dutch people think of colorful tulip fields and the traditional windmills of West Friesland. But the municipality has also constructed the largest emission-neutral residential area in Europe. In the “Sun City” district, they even generate more energy than they consume – a real future-oriented district. It is also a district that perfectly reflects the modern style of the municipality, because local authority services are up-to-date. Qmatic contributes to that directly.
Floor Manager Rob Meijers at the Municipality of Heerhugowaard states that residents who need something from the City Hall all turn up around 10 am. So Meijers needed to refine the organizational model a little. “Many people come in around the time we open, in the hope that they will be attended to quickly. They would do better to enjoy an extra cup of coffee and drop in after the morning rush. Then the waiting time is generally just a few minutes.” They can drink that cup of coffee at home, or right in the City Hall, for example while reading the paper in the library." Meijers continued, “There are a number of organizations housed in this building, including the library and the local health service. That creates a nice, open atmosphere, and makes it more welcoming here. That’s important, because we not only want to do our best to help our customers, but also make them feel welcome."
If you have a question or request and cannot find the answer on the local authority’s website, you may want to go to City Hall Heerhugowaard; making an appointment is not mandatory. Meijers, “Customers can drop in whenever it suits them. That is a deliberate policy, and it seems to suit our citizens. Remember that many people only come to the City Hall once every five or ten years, for example to renew a driver’s license. In that case they usually do not mind waiting a few minutes. With many local authorities appointments are the norm, but we prefer working like this. In addition, our waiting times are seldom more than ten minutes, and more and more people opt to make an appointment online."
Since the new Qmatic platform was introduced, making an appointment online has become even easier. “We used to work with an appointment system from another supplier. That could not be linked to Qmatic, resulting in two separate information flows.
Because the appointment system was outdated and Qmatic announced a new solution at just the right time, we decided to switch. Excellent timing! The new appointment system is an improvement in many respects. For our customers, who can easily make appointments online. And for our employees: now that we have an integrated system, employees can see all the appointments directly in the Qmatic platform. So they know who is about to walk up to their counter at any given time. It works really easy: as soon as a customer types their date of birth in Qmatic, they are automatically slotted into the queue – without having to register with reception," stated Meijers.
Another innovation, rejoiced by employees, is about to be introduced, “Our back office workers will soon have a Qmatic app on their smartphones. Then they will be informed as soon as a visitor for their department arrives. That is particularly useful in departments that tend to get few visitors. Here in Civic Affairs there pretty much is a constant stream, so we have people waiting at the counters all day long. But departments working with care tasks or permits, for example, tend to have fewer visitors. Until now, their staff had to stay in the counter area, because you never knew when a customer would drop by," Meijers said, "With the Qmatic app, you can work somewhere else, and just go to the counter when the app informs you that a customer has arrived.” Meijers has the
impression that visitors appreciate this way of working. “Our visitors are sometimes surprised when they are attended to so quickly. They really appreciate it. I also think that, together with Qmatic, we have managed to give our hostmanship a good boost,” he ends.
The municipality of Heerhugowaard is located in the Netherlands. Its modern city hall is a one-stop-shop for a variety of public services such as the issuance of drivers licenses, ID cards, marriage licenses, passports, certificates, permits and more.