ADOT MVD 'laboratory' testing ways to improve customer service

MVD Office Room

MVD Office Room

By Angela DeWelles / ADOT Communications

Earlier this month, when we blogged about how ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division is seeking new ways to get Arizonans out of line and safely on the road, we mentioned that MVD is experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t.

We want to tell you more about that today…

Experimenting to improve customer service

Right now, over in the West Phoenix MVD office at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road, a team of ADOT employees is working to reduce customer wait times. The location has become a laboratory of sorts.

The team, which includes staff from the West Phoenix and other MVD offices, MVD leadership and ADOT’s continuous-improvement specialists, holds regular brainstorming sessions in a room that is now covered in a colorful assortment of sticky notes, as you can see in the photo above. The yellow notes are used to list process steps, pink are for problems, blue are for solutions and orange record whether additional data needs to be collected.

Post-it Note Wall

Post-it Note Wall

“We are looking at everything from driver licenses to titles and registrations and brainstorming possible solutions to issues with those processes,” said West Phoenix MVD Office Manager Steven Parra, who in addition to his other duties oversees the experimentation. “It’s exciting to be a part of a venture where we get to actually test the ideas we come up with to see if they work.”

Managing the queue

One major changes at the West Phoenix office has to do with the way people are called to a customer service window.

You’re probably familiar with the way MVD offices work: You take a number when you get there and wait for it to be called. At the West Phoenix location, MVD is experimenting with a different way.

At present, no numbers are called (it’s so much quieter than before). After checking in, customers line up along a path through the lobby marked by yellow tape. While one MVD employee walks down the line to make sure customers have what they need to complete their transactions, another directs people to the next available customer service window.

The initial results are promising. We’re seeing that customers are getting in and out in 30-35 minutes on average versus the usual wait average time of more than an hour.

While the change seems to be a good one so far, MVD will continue to closely study the results before rolling it out to other offices.

But wait, there’s more…

In addition to innovations that will come from the West Phoenix office, MVD has already made several changes through its continuous-improvement process. These include printing temporary credentials at the customer service window instead of sending customers to a separate line. Also, a customer retaking the driving test now goes directly to the testing area instead of first waiting in line to re-verify his or her application with a representative.

There are even more changes in the works. Some ideas will work. Some won’t. Both are part of a process that will lead to the final step of continuous improvement: acting, in this case by identifying ways that all MVD offices can reduce customer wait times.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress. Stay tuned for more blog posts about MVD's continuous-improvement effort.