Are we Reaching Students Through Their Preferred Channels?

It feels right to create support departments, on campus, that are staffed with friendly, caring and efficient staff to assist your students.

But is that based on an old communication paradigm? Do they really need us when they’re already on campus – or would they be more inclined to engage with us actively if they could reach us in the “locations” they frequent more like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and perhaps most importantly text messaging?

There’s not doubt that innovative schools are using these tools — but mostly it seems like an afterthought, and certainly they haven’t become the primary source of connection — we still prefer: “Come to my office,” or “call me.” What if we reached them where they live and made these alternative channels – our primary channels?

One of the advantages of this strategy is the incredible information that can be gathered from tracking and monitoring these communication channels – unlike office visits and phone calls, we can capture all the keywords, common phrases, frequent questions – and now we have real science to inform our resources (human and web-based), and improve the information we give students in the first place.

I suspect there are some instances when a real person cannot be replaced – but I’m beginning to believe that we could increase student satisfaction and engagement, while also reducing cost-to-serve, by employing robust, high-tech contact center strategies and tracking technologies.

The Real Danger in the College Enrollment Downturn

I was having a discussion with a client about some career services challenges when the conversation turned to projections for the 2014 cohort. “One important thing to remember” I said, “is that new enrollments are down, so many of the graduate employment issues we are discussing today are going to self-solve in the near future.” Read more