Ever stood in line for hours at the Secretary of State office and become frustrated, irritable and impatient? Those frustrations can now be alleviated.
Don’t want to wait in person? MI-TIME Line allows customers to check in online, or by phone, to hold their place in line at their local branch Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that 10 of the busiest Secretary of State offices will pilot innovative customer service technology to reduce wait times by letting customers schedule appointments and get in line from a home computer, with a phone call or via text message.
It will even call or send a text message when the customer is about to be called. Customers who don’t have a mobile phone can stop by the office, check in at a special MI-TIME Line kiosk and head out of the office to run errands while they wait.
“We all lead busy lives and we know that our customers’ time is important,” said Johnson. “Our MI-TIME Line service will revolutionize how we serve customers in our busiest Secretary of State offices. Now you can get in line online and come to the office just before you’re about to be called. Spend the time you save shopping nearby, running errands or being with family. We’ll let you know when it’s almost your turn.”
Johnson made today’s announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where visitors can interact with the new technology at the Secretary of State display to see how easy it is to use.
The 10 offices that will be using the new system together handle more than two million transactions every year.
The system had a “soft launch” last week in the Flint Area SUPER!Center and the Capital Area SUPER!Center in Lansing and Secretary of State officials say it’s been well received by customers.
It will debut in the coming weeks in five other SUPER!Centers, which are among the largest and busiest offices, including Clinton Township, Detroit, Livonia and Pontiac. Offices in Southfield, Taylor and Troy also will shortly feature the service.
The Secretary of State’s website at www.michigan.gov/sos will have links to the participating offices and customers can also find participating offices on the Branch Office Locator by searching for “Get in Line Online” offices.
To offer this cutting-edge customer-service technology, the Secretary of State’s Office partnered with United States-based QLess, whose line-management service has been successfully used by other driver and motor vehicle agencies, amusement parks, shopping malls, and health care and educational facilities to reduce wait times.
“We are excited to have our service used in the busiest Michigan Secretary of State offices,” said QLess CEO and Founder Alex Bäcker. “QLess has saved customers across the globe more than 370 years from waiting in line, and we look forward to saving Michigan residents’ time and making their visits to a Secretary of State office more enjoyable. With the MI-TIME Line technology, people can get in line from home and be notified when it’s time to head in without waiting long in the lobby.
”The North American International Auto Show runs through Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Cobo Center. The Michigan Secretary of State display, including the full-service Mobile Office, is on the concourse outside of the Macomb Hall entrance. The Mobile Office is ready to serve customers at the show and will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays. On Sunday, the office will be open until 7 p.m.
The new technology is the latest in Johnson’s efforts to improve customer service. In 2011, she launched ExpressSOS.com to offer some of the department’s most popular services online. As part of ExpressSOS.com, customers can use the special Print-and-Go service that allows customers to print off a proof of purchase for tabs to carry until their tabs arrive in the mail.
Johnson also partnered with Michigan retail giant Meijer to install self-serve kiosks in two of their stores.