Got any questions?
We have tried answering the Top 20 questions we get below.
Feel free to reach out if you have further questions.
Top 20 questions
Here’s a list of answers for the most commonly asked questions about FrontDesk:
Do you provide online bookings?
Yes. FrontDesk allows citizens to reserve time online before coming into a service center while maintaining the ability to manage walk-in appointments. Through customized reservation sites, clients can map out their workflows into the FrontDesk software, ask the citizens for information, and provide additional information, links, or reminders to citizens while booking, among other features.
Workflows are very easy to customize and build directly into the reservation site. These workflows can direct citizens to the appropriate reservation type based on pre-defined questions. For example, when booking an appointment to renew a passport, a workflow could ask the user whether they are a citizen or permanent resident and offer specific information for both options. You are also able to ask health screening questions prior to booking. Pending on the answer, residents are allowed to continue booking.
Appointment booking can be managed strictly by the City (e.g. through call-in options), strictly by public reservation sites or in a hybrid model, where some services need a call-in discussion before an appointment can be booked.
Do you integrate with Outlook?
Yes. For bookings made through a FrontDesk reservation site, appointments are automatically added to staff’s calendar with all relevant information.
Staff can also install our Outlook plug-in, which makes it easy for staff to invite residents, businesses, contractors etc. for a meeting. The invitees will then receive a booking code they can use to check in at the Smart Kiosk. This way, staff is automatically notified once their guest has arrived. You can also set up specific information on the Smart Kiosk as well as on the printed ticket. Information can e.g. be wayfinding, which elevator to take, meeting room to go to etc.
Do you integrate to other systems?
Yes, we integrate with a ton of systems through our open API. If you need a custom integration, we are happy to help with this.
Do you do queue management?
Yes. If the customer journey starts online, FrontDesk intuitive appointment scheduling platform makes sure the customer books the right service. Our highly customizable online booking sites guide your customer through an intuitive booking flow. Online bookings are automatically added to the given schedule for a day, making it easy to manage walk-ins (queue management) as well.
When your customers visit your City Hall, rest assured FrontDesk’s Smart Kiosk will take care of them. If they already have a booking, the customer checks in using their smart phone or a FrontDesk Smart Kiosk. For walk-ins, the customizable flow on the Smart Kiosk, guides the customer through a booking flow. This part of the queue management makes it easy to avoid crowded waiting areas, as the residents are handed the next available time – or a time that works better, e.g. tomorrow. You can also manage your queue by allowing for residents to pull a ticket for a given service. This way, you integrate both traditional walk-in queue management with appointments. We always encourage our clients to allow walk-ins to book a time on the spot. Through the advanced scheduling system in FrontDesk, clients typically have a wait time of 1 min and 11 seconds on average (across all Canadian and European clients). This is including walk-ins that reserves the next available time.
We suggest watching our video here: https://frontdesksuite.com/product/the-full-suite/#howitworks
Do you provide an overview of bookings?
Yes. Using the Employee App, you can see how many bookings are made for a given day and can thus make decision based on actual data. We also integrate with e.g. PowerBI where data from FrontDesk can be pulled directly into your own business intelligence for your own data analysis.
Our clients typically create the booking schedule in FrontDesk based on actual staffing. This way, they are never overwhelmed and need to bring in extra staff.
Can one book multiple services for the same visit?
Yes, using our Resource Management feature, residents can book for multiple services during the same booking flow. If a resident has only booked for one service upon arrival, staff is able to transfer between queues (services) on the spot. The resident will then be included in the regular flow of the service center. It is also possible to transfer a resident to a different location, if a service needs to be e.g. completed or started in a different location such as a different floor or building.
How do you notify visitors after check-in?
If the resident checked in using their smartphone, they are able to see which counter etc. to go to.
No matter which way the resident has registered/checked in, they will be notified the monitors in the waiting/service area.
How do staff know a visitor has arrived?
Depending on the type of reservation, staff will use the Employee App to see, who has checked in and is ready to be served.
Staff can then call the resident to the counter they are sitting at. If staff has invited a resident for e.g. a meeting in an office/meeting room, staff will receive an SMS/email once the resident has checked in using e.g. the Smart Kiosk.
Can visitors check-in upon arrival?
Yes. Residents can check in using the Smart Kiosk, mobile check-in (using their smartphone) or via the Employee App (a staff member checks them in).
Pre-booked appointment maintains their appointment time compared to e.g. walk-ins. Depending on your needs, Staff can use the Employee App to see who has booked a time and who is a walk-in. Pending your business needs, reserved times are typically prioritized over walk-ins. However, you decide how to prioritize.
Can visitors see where they are in the line?
Yes, this is possible. However, we always encourage our clients to use reservations. This way, the resident will now when she will be seen as each reservation time is unique – e.g. 11.30AM.
Likewise, walk-ins can either get a ticket or reserve the next available time. If a walk-in gets a ticket, they are able to see how many people are in front of them, but that can be confusing. If a walk-in books the next available time, they will know specifically what time they will be helped.
Can staff book appointments on behalf of visitors?
Yes, staff can create appointments on behalf of residents using either the public online booking site, an internal online booking site and/or the web-based Employee App.
All available times are managed using the same schedule. This means, that if a staff book a time on behalf of a resident that calls the City instead of using online booking, the same time will now not be available for booking online. And vice versa.
Is it possible to set up internal notifications?
Yes. You can set up specific alarms and notifications if e.g. the wait time exceeds x amount of minutes, if there has been pulled/created x amount of walk-in tickets and so on. Live data will be shown in the Emp App and Admin dashboard making it easy to monitor and act accordingly. Our Canadian clients currently use reservation times, which means you will never be overwhelmed and can plan your day for staff accordingly. This means less to no overtime and higher satisfaction among staff as they know the day. For the residents, the ability to book a time knowing you will be helped at that specific time, also means less wait time, stress and unknowns.
It is also possible to limit the number of walk-in tickets available as well as restricting when the next booking can be made. E.g., if staff needs time to prepare for a given service, you can restrict when the next time can be booked – e.g. for the following day or later. This way, you are never overwhelmed.
The Emp App and Admin dashboard will tell you how many have checked in, the reservations for the day, additional information you have collected, average wait time, average operation time etc.
The Emp App will also show at which counter staff is working from. When staff calls a reservation or a ticket at a specific counter, this will be shown on e.g. the resident’s smartphone and on the monitors in the waiting area.
What types of hardware do you provide?
FrontDesk uses a Smart Kiosk – or Tablets – as the greeter.
Before FrontDesk, staff had no choice but to wait in the lobby before the guest arrived. With FrontDesk these days are gone as staff is automatically notified when a guest checks in using either the kiosk or mobile check-in. The Smart Kiosk also serves as a visitation/screening platform, that with questions and choices guides the resident to the correct service. Times can be booked directly on the kiosk if e.g. there are no more available time of the service center is about to close. This way, staff resources are immensity freed up.
In larger service centers, FrontDesk’s intuitive Employee App alerts staff once a customer has checked in – or booked a same-day reservation – on the kiosk. The Employee App is a web-based application that can be run in all browsers. Through the Employee App, staff can call a reservation/ticket, track how many citizens are waiting, how long they have been waiting, and which service they are waiting for. The App also makes it easy to transfer residents between queues and counters.
The kiosk is, in short, a key piece in your queue management strategy. If you want to eliminate queuing, this is it.
Further, FrontDesk offers 55” TV monitors with a MediaPC. The TV is the visual focal point, which tells which counter a resident must go to. It can also be used to show important information simultaneously. Information can be videos, text, photos etc. The monitor has text-to-speech, so residents are guided to the correct counter using both audio and visuals.
Do you offer contactless check-in?
Yes to both. Residents can check in using either their smartphone, an on-site kiosk or through a staff member. You can set up health screening questions etc. prior to check-in. You can build out the flow for check-in yourself and ask if the resident has brought the right documentation etc. If not, the resident is able to reserve a new time directly on the kiosk or smartphone.
For mobile check-in where the residents check-in using their smartphone staff is promptly notified of arrival. In terms of data security and privacy protection, the City decides how much information they want to collect from the resident. Typically, our clients prefer to only collect phone number, which is also the unique ID used to check in on one of our kiosks. If a resident does not have a phone, a unique booking code can be used to check-in.
Does your software solution provide local support?
Yes, our support is locally based in Canada and the US. We are available for both in-person support, training, onboarding etc. as well as virtual. We also offer extensive support documentation ready to use.
Where is data stored and what about privacy?
For our Canadian clients, data is stored in Canada on Microsoft Azure servers in Toronto (Canada East). Clients in the US will have US data centers etc.
E-mail addresses, phone number and any other personal identifiable information is treated according to the strict guidelines set in the GDPR which is comparable with MFIPPA. All personal identifiable information is always stored and transferred encrypted. The City has full control over who has access to said data and for how long time it is stored before it is anonymized.
Please see our ISAE 3000 and Penetration Test certificate attached for more information about privacy and data security.
Our solution’s data security is rated Gold (Tier 1) by the global firm BDO.
We follow Microsoft Azure’s compliance offerings: CIS Benchmark, CSA STAR Attestation, CSA STAR Certification, CSA STAR Self-Assessment, ISO 20000, ISO 22301, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, ISO 27701, ISO 9001, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, WCAG 2.0
Regional/Country Compliance: PIPEDA & MFIPPA
Industry Compliance: CDSA, GxP, NERC, OSFI, PCI DSS, Shared Assessments, TruSight
We are yearly audited by externals to renew our ISAE 3000 certificate. Penetration tests are also carried out bi-yearly or during major updates to the platform. Please see attached for both.
All data is handled used managed keys and all data is transferred using HTTPS to ensure encryption. For identification (password encryption etc.) FrontDesk uses ASP.NET Core Identity for store user authentication data. It implements PBKDF2 with HMAC-SHA256, 128-bit salt, 256-bit subkey, 10000 iterations.
FrontDesk also supports Single-Sign-On using SAML 2.0
Who are your customers?
We have many North American clients in the public sector using our platform for a wide array of locations, departments and use cases. Our platform was built for busy service centers and can easily be scaled to fit your operation and business processes.
We always recommend reaching out to the contacts below for their feedback and thoughts about FrontDesk. Selected descriptive case studies can be found here: https://frontdesksuite.com/frontdesk-customers/
Do you have an analytics module?
FrontDesk has an advanced analytics module that makes it possible to analyze data and create extracts that can be used for any type of reporting.
FrontDesk makes it easy to see where your staff resources have been used, what has been produced and by whom. The analysis can easily be used to plan staffing so that customers’ waiting time is reduced and downtime is minimized.
All access to the following is determined by user roles.
Data on both appointments and queue management can be both exported (.csv/.xlsx) and scheduled pending your needs. Every client has specific needs, so an initial discussion about reporting happens to ensure the right format is used going forward. As some of the data collected is PII, we limit what some users can export and have a discussion before allowing users to export specific reports.
Generally, User roles can be set up to allow for e.g. external access to certain data points per location etc.
Examples of standard, custom and ad hoc reports and graphs:
- Number of transactions today per hour
- Todays customer flow compared to same weekday in general
- Percentage of customers served within 3 minutes from the reservation time
- Waiting time in reference to check-in
- Waiting time in reference to reserved time
- Each service type’s share of total service transactions
- Statistic per employee (transaction time, operations etc)
- Statistic per ticket, both booked and walk-ins (checkin time, created time, activation time, hold time, postponement time, end time, date, time, transaction type, CSR, wait time, transfer etc.)
- Additional information connected to a ticket (special needs, language etc.)
- Upcoming bookings/reservation with/without PII
- Historical bookings/reservation with/without PII
- Reservations by queue/service
- Reservations by location (e.g. call centre)
- Data export with PPI by authorized users
- Service times
- per day
- per counter/agent
- per service type
- Waiting times
- in total
- per day
- per service type
- Customer satisfaction
- in total
- per day
- per service type
- per counter/agent
- in reference the waiting time
- in reference to service time
Do you do capacity management?
Yes. Capacity limits can be set for the given schedule and queue (service). This way, you ensure that capacity compliance is easily met. With the check-in feature you also ensure that data is valid.
Do you have an app?
No. With over 10 years’ experience working with the public sector, we have learned that an app is a barrier for residents to engage with the City. Everything with FrontDesk is web-based. This means, online booking sites, Employee App etc. can be accessed using an URL. The sites are all responsive and can thus be used on computers, tablets, smart phones etc.
The Smart Kiosks runs on a native application installed on the Windows 10 kiosks we provide. This application can also be installed on a Microsoft Surface Go for use for e.g. floor-walkers or similar staff where a handheld “kiosk” is preferable.