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GCN: How to solve customer-service language barriers with virtual queuing

Article Publish Date: February 3, 2023

Article Abstract:

Most of us move through interactions with state and local government—like paying property taxes, renewing driver’s licenses and participating in elections—without giving much thought to our ability to access and understand the information we need. For residents with low English proficiency (LEP), though, navigating these same steps might be challenging if information is only provided in English.

While no one likes to wait in line, imagine how frustrated residents would be if, after standing in line, they finally reach the counter and discover a language barrier keeps them from communicating their needs.

A virtual queue solution that offers an interface in local spoken languages can solve most of these issues by removing customer language barriers, minimizing lines and boosting efficiency. Agencies can also improve customer experience and potentially increase civic engagement, too.

How virtual queue management works

Physical queues involve standing in line. A virtual queue allows individuals to check in either at the location or remotely. Residents aren’t even required to be present while they wait.

During the check-in process for a virtual queue, individuals are led through a series of questions about the services they require. At local and state government offices, that could be paying their water bill, renting a picnic space at a park or collecting supplies available from social safety net programs.

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