How to Determine Which Areas of Auxiliary Services Need Real-Time Feedback

How to Determine Which Areas of Auxiliary Services Need Real-Time Feedback

There’s no doubt that real-time feedback results in enhanced insights and improved problem resolution, but does every area of auxiliary services need it?

Student feedback is valuable to have, but prioritizing which areas on campus have the greatest need for a real-time feedback solution may be easier than you think. From slumping sales to frequent complaints, it’s often the negative consequences of substandard service that can cue management to implement a feedback solution.

Unless it is quick and easy to do, most students won’t go out of their way to let you know they were unhappy with something, little alone tell you about minor improvements that would be greatly appreciated.

Here is how you can proactively anticipate the areas on campus in most need of a formal real-time feedback solution so you can start implementing a program today.

Why Real-Time Feedback?

All feedback is beneficial to universities, but the speed of feedback plays an important role that could pack more punch to the process.

Antiquated feedback methods like suggestion boxes and end-of-semester surveys can’t compete with the timeliness of real-time feedback. For suggestion boxes, it may take days or weeks after a student drops in their comments before they’re read, and even longer before someone uses that information to initiate action. Periodic surveys often lack key details, because of the student’s ability to recall them after too much time has passed.

Relying on real-time feedback, however, offers a deeper, more immediate insight into what’s happening on campus and how your students feel about the services they utilize. This in turn gives managers of auxiliary services the power to respond to customer needs quickly and effectively. What good is it to know that a toilet stopped working hours or sometimes even a day later? How many negative impressions were formed as a result of slow responsiveness to an issue?

When students feel like you’re listening and interested in addressing their concerns, retention and reputation win.

How to Determine Where to Implement Real-Time Feedback Methods

It might not be necessary to implement real-time feedback everywhere on campus. But here are some things you can consider so you know where to prioritize your investment in a real-time feedback program:

Assessing Need

No feedback method is effective if students don’t have cause to use it. Consider which areas are likely to impact the most number of students. For example, if you have a large number of on-campus residents, your dining halls are an obvious choice.

  • What services are most utilized on campus that have a high volume of student consumption or utilization?
  • Which services are self-service where a student wouldn’t have a person to talk to if they encountered an issue?
  • What areas on campus are you looking to make improvements or pilot a new offering?
  • Where would an increase in student engagement help improve the student experience?

Sporting events, parking facilities, bookstores, dining halls, laundry facilities, after-hour snack machines are typically viable hotspots to engage real-time student feedback. The more insights you can collect about a single experience, the better chances you have of using the data to make a real difference.

Ease of Use

Once you identify where a real-time feedback solution is most advantageous, how do you plan to collect feedback? Remember, the easier you make the process, the more likely your students are to participate.

Here at Touchwork, we offer multiple solutions for gathering real-time feedback that many schools utilize for data collection. (You can learn more about our specific offerings here.)

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Make it easy
  • Make submitting feedback quick
  • Make feedback gathering possible on your students’ device of choice: mobile, tablet, PCs.
  • Get feedback alerts instantly
  • Be able to automate responses and send personal responses immediately
  • Alert and deploy necessary resources to address an urgent matter

Wrap Up

Just as businesses rely on customer feedback to improve their performance, so should your university to ensure you’re delivering on student expectations. Collecting real-time feedback not only gives you immediate insight into your students’ perceptions of various aspects, but may also motivate you to do something with all that data sooner.

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About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.