How do I provide excellent customer service at my retail store? How about my restaurant? The airline industry? While customer services experts are bombarded with such questions, it is indeed a rare occasion to come across someone concerned with providing exceptional client service at educational institutes.
The education industry at the end of the day is a service provided to the students, who wish to be catered to with quality standards. Application processing departments at educational institutes need to make sure they offer a convenient and comfortable experience for students who are looking to enroll.
So the question arises: how do we provide a satisfying experience to students applying for admissions?
The first thing that all customers look for when applying to a college or university, is a quick response. The admissions team should have integrated systems which have the entire student data collected, and can provide them with updates and admission news instantly. In case a student is facing a problem during the admission process, such as logging into the university website, or sending scores that have arrived post applying, an admission’s representative must get back and respond in a timely manner to get the issue resolved.
Creating a customer service department at your institute is not enough; everyone from the school’s principal, to the front desk staff needs to be customer centric. This is essential for ensuring that the students receive a satisfying customer experience no matter who they get in touch with.
Why do students come to your institute? To learn! Do not make them run around the office to get an issue resolved, rather let them relax and focus on their academics. A very simple way to avoid any such incident is to create a centralized help desk. Also, keep a map or guideline on your website with phone numbers and office addresses which will cater to particular issues, from registering the ID card, filling in forms and picking up registered papers.
The trend of going abroad for studying has grown drastically. Students are now willing to travel all over the world in order to attend their ‘dream schools’. The most worrisome factor for parents when deciding whether to send their child or not, is the accommodation and food issue. Although top class universities provide on-campus housing for nearly all the students, some institutes do not. We agree that it might not be possible for every college to provide on-campus housing, and when this is the case, the institute should help every student find an accommodation in nearby localities in order to ensure a safe and short commute.
This is probably the most important point in this piece: Help your students with financing. Education costs are on the rise and the demand for funds, grants, loans, and scholarships is on an all-time high. You can provide students with the best customer service experience of their life by helping them out with financing, and thus ensuring that students can attend their favorite institute without having to worry about the annual fee. Guide them with all necessary information regarding financial aid. Helping students out at this stage will create an everlasting impact on them, and hopefully when they are in a strong professional position, you will be getting your return in the form of donations.
Help students make the most of their experience at your institute. Although considering students as ‘customers’ might seem awkward at first, it is about time you accepted this fact and strived towards providing a memorable customer experience.
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