A new tool for creating unforgettable student experiences
Student experience is a competitive advantage if you have it – and a business risk if you don't. There's a brand new ReadyTech tool for levelling things up.
Creating an optimal student service experience has often been seen as ‘nice-to-have’, rather than ‘must-have’. That is, until educators realised it has now become a crucial business imperative - and a significant risk when so many direct competitors are building powerful service experiences.
A recent survey of COOs in higher education across Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK, conducted by consultancy Nous Group, found that three in four COOs now say that improving service effectiveness had rocketed into their top three priorities in 2022.
Nous Group said the move to digitally-enabled service models during the pandemic has triggered demand for a more service-oriented culture. “Student experience in other industries and the wider perception of themselves as customers makes them sensitive to service quality.”
Two aspects of student experience worth thinking about
How could we begin to think about creating game-changing student service experiences?
Education providers manage students from their very first interaction with their training organisation, through to becoming alumni, so they know that there are a whole series of engagement points right along the journey that are available to them to optimise.
Better service could come from optimising the value provided at those touchpoints.
This comes down to a couple of things. The first is the relevance and timeliness of information that educators make available. That defines truly good service. If a student feels furnished with the right information at the right time, they basically feel like the experience is superior.
On the other hand, if there is lots of uncertainty, this characterises — and tarnishes — a student's whole experience.
The second aspect in creating an unforgettable service experience, in many ways, is that it should be tailored according to the individual student. We often talk about every student being different, and yet we frequently act as though we thought they are all the same.
Part of the reason for this is that time. There's a sense that, given the resources available, it is impossible for educators to meaningfully service students at scale with personalisation. This is an underlying challenge across the sector, from SMEs right up to enterprise providers.
Two-way, dynamic, automated student communication
Our solution has been to integrate with ReadyTech's new and exciting student engagement tool.
This tool allows educators to level up student service experiences through automated SMS communications. The critical and most exciting thing is the communication is dynamic – it is not broadcast only. And it is the two-way nature of the technology that really matters.
Educators can essentially build templates for their service experience using this student engagement tool. Providers can automate the communications they want to provide to deliver information at the right time, and then this is personalised dynamically based on interactions the tool has with their students.
One way to think about this is something like a text from your dentist, saying ‘Are you attending your next dental appointment? Reply Yes or No'. If you text 'Yes', you get a different templated service response - which could be sharing the cancellation policy, for example.
The options keep forking, adding maximum value for individuals at this touchpoint.
During Covid, this could have been used for informing student bodies about returning to campus. It could have included questions like whether they’ve had their vaccination, then directed them to options or facilitated the sharing of policies or statements of advice.
ReadyTech's student engagement tool makes this all really easy. You can build service experiences out really fast on a canvas and put them in place for students. Through integration, the resulting information is also captured by the student management system, ensuring centralisation under a student profile.
When educators template their communications and apply templates according to the inputs they receive back, they are well on their way to building a student service experience that is well ahead of what students have typically received – and will set educators apart.
The bandwidth for brilliant student service experience
We live in a world where almost every education provider and their team is stretched. When everyone is busy, and students are seeking out information and expecting timely, personal responses at the same time, the reality is service experience suffers. And that hurts business.
The question is how do you build out the bandwidth you have available? By automating with a communications engine that has the power of a flexible template builder, educators gain a tool that will enable them to scale and provide individual service at the same time.
Want to get a sneak peek at our powerful new student engagement communications tool, coming soon? Learn more here.