Higher Education organisations are focusing on new customer engagement solutions and training needs to meet student expectations.
As Education Technology reports, university customers are now mostly Gen Z (born 1995 – 2015) and are ‘digitally savvy, collaborative and entrepreneurial learners.’
Forward-looking institutions therefore are working to deliver a new approach to student engagement.
We were recently at a Unified Comms event organised by UCISA, where some of the challenges and customer engagement solutions were discussed.
- How to fulfil the expectations of a paying customer
Higher Education organisations as businesses need to match expectations. According to UCAS, 568,330 people applied by the 15th January deadline to start an undergraduate course at a UK university or college this year – a 1.2% increase from the equivalent point in 2019.
These students, most of whom have grown up with the internet, social media and mobile technology, expect to communicate on all their usual channels and to be given flexibility. They are keen to hear about how universities are using customer engagement solutions to provide a better experience for them.
This matters because, as Universities UK notes, ‘increased student contributions to the costs of higher education have led to a greater interest in university spending’.
The idea of organisations having ‘tech ecosystems’, with connected systems that are accessed by staff on one, central system is now becoming reality.
- How to get a ROI for the business
Customer engagement software on one, central platform can be used for every communication the organisation makes/receives. Cost savings from the increased productivity, extra efficiency and better engagement with contacts can be substantial. And when you consider that some £2.08 billion is spent by universities on all sorts of contact, including clearing, there is a compelling case for change. There’s:
• Reaching out to prospective students.
• Managing admissions via inbound and outbound contact.
• Recruiting staff.
• Promoting the university to potential employers.
• Publicising information about the organisation, events etc, for students, alumni and the public.
• Enabling flexible/remote working for both users and customers.
Imagine being able to use chat, text or in-app messaging as cost-effective and proactive ways to engage with customers inbound and outbound.
Or you could use higher education software to provide self-service options online and in-app for certain issues, allowing students to access them wherever they are. This type of customer engagement software also provides an easy way for contacts to switch from self-service to live advisors when further help is required.
And you could also talk to customers via video conference, to gain their trust and involve family or other relevant people in the communication.
- Change management for changing times
One of the biggest challenges with any higher education software, also discussed at the Unified Comms event, was combining the expertise of your people with the right tech. It was agreed that early support from suppliers and well-considered training for staff are pre-requisite to success.
Talk to us about our ‘one-stop-shop’ omnichannel customer engagement software, which is easy for staff to use, reliable and ‘future ready’. Being able to evolve as your business needs change is a crucial aspect – and our software has the flexibility and scalability to achieve this.