How Customer Service Impacts Higher Education
When someone mentions customer satisfaction, universities may not be the typical industry that comes to mind. Yet, educational institutions have just as much incentive as any traditional business to deliver stellar customer experiences.
Here are four ways that customer service impacts higher education:
Your reputation matters to more than your current customer base.
Once your students enroll in your university, you may feel as though you’ve done enough to satisfy them. After all, they paid their tuition, signed up for courses, and moved into student housing, right?
But don’t forget to think about the long-term. Your students have the potential to be brand ambassadors that affect future enrollment, ensuring ongoing revenue for your university.
Prospective students want to know about current students’ experiences at your institution, and you can bet your students are willing to share their opinions. If you’ve taken care to prioritize student satisfaction in every aspect of your business, you’ve taken the opportunity to invest in your university’s future.
Customer satisfaction extends beyond transaction points.
For most businesses, customer service opportunities usually stem from purchases. And while that’s also true in higher education, auxiliary services such as your dining halls and campus coffee shops aren’t the only hot spots that need to deliver top notch customer service.
Every touch point on campus, from the library and dining hall to the Registrar’s office and parking lots, is an opportunity to impact your students’ experience.
Even after the sale, whether that be tuition, meal plan, or other services on campus, it’s still in your best interest to continually ensure their satisfaction in order to gain repeat business the fuels your university’s bottom line.
When students don’t care for the services you provide, revenue-generating sales decline. That can mean other areas of your operations, such as atmosphere and staffing, may suffer. Even one failing grade on campus may be enough to deter future students from entrusting their undergraduate or post graduate education with you.
Word-of-mouth travels faster than ever.
Your school campus is a community. People talk to each other frequently, which means word gets around quickly.
Whether you’re providing an exceptional customer experience or not, your customers already know about it. And so do others, such as family and non-school friends, who have never experienced your school first-hand. Social media has given wings to word-of-mouth, circulating feedback at hyper speed. Make sure you’re giving your students something great to tweet and snapchat about!
Exceeding expectations is good business.
Students attend your university because they choose to, not because they have to. And if they receive the satisfying experience they expect, they’re likely to give you more business and help you recruit future generations of students.
Students expect to receive a good education and to have a positive experience in other areas on campus, too – – as they should! They also expect to have the ability to share their feedback with their university and feel that their comments and concerns are heard. Even negative feedback is an opportunity for you resolve their issue and demonstrate a commitment to their wants and needs.
Treating your students like the valued customers they are will not only help you to make improvements in certain areas of your operations, but it also helps to position your university for future growth and evolution. When you can understand and quickly adapt to rapidly changing needs of your customer-base, you are in a much better position to remain competitive.