How to apply student feedback to have incredible impact
Auxiliary services can and will influence every student’s college experience. Using student feedback on dining services, for example, can improve the overall college experience.
It is also important to realize that the satisfaction with auxiliary services a college offers will influence overall student satisfaction with the college itself. It should be taken into consideration that the needs of the students can help identify what services a college should prioritize. These would usually include dining options, classroom, and other technology and overall facility offerings.
The best way to improve the efficiency of auxiliary services is to collect and act on student feedback.
Introduce New Technology
Today’s world is nothing if not tech-oriented. What’s more, this trend is only accelerating and colleges need to get on board with the times or see an overall drop in student interest. Self-study over the internet[i] is gaining ground, and even though it doesn’t yet come close to what an actual college can teach, it is, nevertheless, an attractive alternative or supplemental option.
With this in mind, colleges need to seriously consider introducing new technologies that can enhance the student experience. This, of course, transcends technology that focuses solely on education and should integrate as many of their auxiliary services as possible.
Convenience is the word that defines this transition, from the traditional to the modern way of doing things, and should include areas like meal options, laundry room status, real-time parking lot vacancies, car sharing facilities, campus bookstore promotions, sporting or other upcoming events, all sorts of school announcements, and much more.
Certain mobile technology that facilitates this sort information to students already exist. Nevertheless, each college campus has its own issues that need attention and the best way to determine what they are is to ask the students to provide real-time feedback[ii] about their needs and experience.
Improve Student Accommodation
Accommodation-related problems are among the top complaints coming from students. Previous surveys[iii] indicate that dampness or draftiness in student housing is the number one cause for complaint with over 46% of those surveyed. A lack of adequate heating and hot water comes in at a close second with 42% of students surveyed. What’s even more telling is the fact that one in four of these housing complaints goes unanswered, which means there is a tremendous opportunity for accommodation services to implement better systems to gather real-time student feedback and expeditiously respond.
This survey doesn’t represent every college campus out there, obviously, but it is somewhat indicative of a common issue that can be improved upon by the most affected accommodation services. Every college should conduct their own individual survey among those living on campus to better determine what issues directly affect their students the most.
Make Mealtime More Flexible and Convenient
For various reasons, nearly half of all American students[iv] prefer to have their lunch off campus, either at a restaurant, a cafe, or simply a packed meal. This opens up a tremendous opportunity for colleges to increase the student experience and drive revenue by diversifying the on-campus options available.
These options may include ideas[v] like alternative (vegan or vegetarian menus), new on-campus cafes, grab-and-go meals, in-house bake shops, candy bars, omelet stations, baked-potato bars, allergen-free dining halls, on-campus vendors that provide fresh fruit and produce, strategically placed vending machines, and the list can go on.
Yet, like before, every college should ask their students for feedback on this issue so as to have the greatest impact possible.
Introduce University Gift Cards for Better Results
University gift cards are not only useful for the students but can also be an excellent source of income for an institution. By including gift cards into your auxiliary services programs, students can use them for vending machines, bookstore purchases, printing and/or copying, as well as other services that may be included. It keeps your students spending power on campus rather than utilizing outside retailers.
Related article: Here’s Why Your Students Stopped Buying Stuff on Campus
Northeastern Illinois University[vi], among others, is just one example of a university using gift cards as a ‘thank you’ to volunteers or to those who’ve taken part in surveys, like the ones mentioned above. Regardless of how gift cards are used, it is another opportunity to help encourage on-campus spending.
[iv] https://www.sodexousa.com/files/live/sites/sdxcom-us/files/Homepage/ULS_US Report.pdf