Busiest Secretary of State offices to pilot new system to manage, shorten lines

JANUARY 22, 2014Image: Our Customers are number 1

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

DETROIT – 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, Grand Rapids, 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.

For more information about office locations and additional services, visit www.michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/michigansos.

Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

For media questions, please call
Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520
Robin Dwyer with QLess at 619-234-0345

About QLess
QLess is dedicated to letting people live more and wait less. QLess Mobile Wait Management dramatically reduces waiting in line or on hold by letting people join a mobile queue from their phones, roam freely and get notified as their turn approaches. QLess is the first true mobile CRM and boasts a powerful analytics & SMS surveys suite for brick-and-mortar merchants. QLess serves retail, government, education, hospitality, healthcare and everywhere people wait, and has saved millions of users well over three centuries of waiting. Customers include the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Kansas Department of Revenue, the University of California – Berkeley, several of the largest college districts in the nation, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Rolex/Tourneau, and leading healthcare providers such as the Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about QLess at www.qless.com.

About Michigan Department of State
The Michigan Department of State is the oldest department of Michigan state government and is administered by the secretary of state, who serves as the state's chief elections official and chief motor vehicle administrator. Elected to a 4-year term, the secretary of state is a member of the executive branch of government and has constitutional as well as statutory duties. The department collects more than $2.2 billion in revenue each year. That money supports the Michigan Transportation Fund, the School Aid Fund and the General Fund, among other purposes. The 131 Secretary of State offices perform 13 million transactions a year, or about 52,000 a day. In the two years since the number of online transactions were greatly expanded and improved, customers have performed 4 million transactions.

*These 10 branches will be using MI-TIME Line

Genesee County:

Flint Area SUPER!Center - 5512 Fenton Rd., Flint, MI 48507

Ingham County:

Capital Area SUPER!Center - 3315 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912

Kent County:

Grand Rapids Area SUPER!Center - 3665 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Macomb County:

Clinton Township SUPER!Center - 37015 S Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township, MI 48036

Oakland County:

Oakland County SUPER!Center - 1608 N Perry St., Pontiac, MI 48340

South Oakland County PLUS - 25263 Telegraph Rd., Southfield, MI 48033

East Oakland County PLUS - 1111 E Long Lake Rd., Troy, MI 48085

Wayne County:

SE Wayne County Plus - 21572 Ecorse Rd., Taylor, MI 48180

Livonia Area SUPER!Center - 17176 Farmington Rd., Livonia, MI 48152

Detroit New Center SUPER!Center - 3046 W. Grand Blvd. L650, Cadillac Place, Detroit, MI 48202