In the business world, the value of customer service is exceptionally high. It’s a commodity that directly impacts the bottom line of every company. Normally we don’t tend to think of higher education institutions as businesses. However, as universities have to deal with decreased revenues, increased enrollment, and the ever-evolving demands of the student population, it’s vital that the value of customer experience management tools be examined further.
Universities and colleges need to put a renewed focus on meeting and ideally exceeding the expectations as well as the needs of their customers, which more often than not are their students. Students are seeking out educational opportunities in outlets that meet their customer service needs.
What does customer experience management look like in a traditional higher education environment? By taking customer-service principles and infusing them into academia, schools are able to get scaleable results from making small but important changes.
Customer Service In Higher Education
Customer service is a group of activities created to enhance the level of a customer’s satisfaction. Specifically, the feeling surrounding a product, service, or action that has met the customer’s expectations. Customer service is being utilized in most educational institutions. Further, there are specific departments that are often created and solely dedicated to providing services for students.
However, for a more authentic customer service experience, it’s vital that all departments are involved in making sure that the customer/student has a positive experience and interaction in all their endeavors on campus. And providing a true environment where service is respected is everyone’s responsibility. While it may be argued that higher education has not focused enough on customer and student service and satisfaction, there is a strong tide of change in that department.
Tools Can Make A Difference
With customer experience management tools such as queue management technology, schools can re-engage with their student population in a clearer, more organized way that serves both the students and the faculty simultaneously. Campus life has changed so drastically over the past 10+years. Whether it’s the way students register for classes, wait in line for food or tickets to an on-campus event, or apply for financial assistance, there are so many ways that students now have to know how to navigate the school campus. Developing easier and more efficient ways to do these things then becomes the next logical step.
With so many stressors contributing to the college experience, the last thing that students want to get stuck doing is waiting in line. With customer experience management tools, these stressors can be significantly diminished.
Aids For Administrators Means Better Student Experiences
The value of queue management technology is changing the way both students and administrators work and handle student inquiries of all kinds.
School administrators want the educational process to be a seamless and smooth experience for their students. This then allows the staff to do their jobs more efficiently, thereby creating a happier, more sustainable work-life and workforce.
Change The Way Students Register
Every semester brings a wave of new students and returning students who must register for classes. This can be an overwhelming task, especially when hundreds of other students are clamoring for the same classes. With the proper implementation of queue management software, students are more likely to get treated fairly and get selected for courses based on their place in a queue, rather than having to wait in an unending line of people with no real solution in sight.
Once students put their name and information in a queue, they are then free to move on about their day until their name comes up to receive either customer service or the services themselves. This type of queue management is a perfect example of customer experience management tools that can benefit both the customer and the university. In addition, with queue management, they can quickly and easily access other similar courses and register for the classes they want.
Without having to commit to the physical space of waiting in line, they can refocus their energies on other pressing tasks at hand. They can also be notified via telephone registration, text message, or email.
The admissions office is another area where colleges can benefit from customer experience management tools. This is due to the transformation that occurs when new queue management is implemented. Admission is a vital part of the college campus experience and is also vital to the movement of new and existing students into the university system. It’s also where many students will head to when they have questions regarding admissions, transcripts, and more. When a large number of students arrive simultaneously, it can be a stressful for all those involved.
However, when employees are able to access the queue software, they are more easily able to help those needing assistance with registration, minimize the amount of confusion in the physical space of the admissions office, and make the process for students smoother overall. When staff is equipped with tablets to showcase those needing help or appointments, they can easily check the status of the queue and provide any additional information needed. This customer experience management tool is one that benefits not only the students but the staff as well.
Queue management software also comes in handy in the transportation department of a university. With on-campus or local, campus-only busses, students can more easily determine when their busses will depart and arrive and from what locations. Having access to this accurate information is critical as so many students and staff use buses for commuting to and around the campus.
Medical facilities are a major part of many university campuses. These facilities may range in size and also may serve not only the college community but the larger community as well. When aiming to improve customer experience management, one of the best ways to do that is by improving people’s ability to connect with patient services.
With software to better connect patients, it can make the customer experience substantially better in areas such as patient appointments, scheduling, rescheduling, obtaining test results, or communicating with doctors and staff. With thousands of patients desiring access to their medical information daily, queue management can also help students and patients make sense of an often confusing system.
As always, when the patients and customers get better care and feel more satisfied with the service they receive, it allows those working for them a great sense of satisfaction as well. With it comes a greater ability to do one’s job. This keeps the process flowing and a positive feedback loop arises when all parties are having a positive experience.
In today’s world, and on college campuses more than ever, students live hand-in-hand with their mobile devices. Never without their mobile and cellular technology, they are connected online virtually most of the time. When it comes to customer experience management, there are numerous ways to reach out and stay connected to those customers who have mobile accessibility. Whether it’s for commerce, academic purposes, statistical analysis, or data collection, mobile queueing can be a powerful tool to connect with customers. For example, after students have registered for a class, students can be quickly notified of their spot via SMS messaging. Or when needing to access school transcripts from administrative offices, a customer can reach out to admissions via a mobile queue and more easily connect with staff. The need to stand in line is no longer the only way to get your questions answered. And with this form of stress-free communication, it helps to further foster and promote a positive customer/administrator relationship. This goodwill is an asset to both current students as well as those who are in the process of applying or considering applying to the university. And further, for those who are considering to do business with the university outside of academic purposes as well.
More ways customer experience management tools can help a college campus environment include:
At any given time on a college campus, there can be numerous tests being given in any number of fields. Finding ways to keep track of applicants, register them, and make sure that they all receive the proper information is vital. With a queue management system, universities can greatly reduce the headaches and frustrations related to this in just a few simple steps. With such a stressful component of the college experience on the line, having a more organized approach greatly alleviates unneeded stress in all those affected by the process.
Libraries And Computer Labs
Library study rooms and computer labs are a great resource for students needing to study and also obtain access to library materials. However, there are often only a limited number of them available at any given time, so organizing how and when students gain access to them is important. But with proper customer management tools such as digital queueing, students can rely on a fair and unbiased way to gain access to the study rooms and labs. With proper scheduling, more students are able to access the space and get work done in the allocated time.
As technology continues to evolve, so does the opportunity to improve customer management tools and the way that businesses collaborate and integrate them into their business model to improve the customer experience. To find out more about queue management software and its benefits on the college campus, check out QLess today!