Enhancing The Customer Experience for Student Retention

As the person in charge of admissions, you understand the importance of the many facets regarding student retention. In this article, we are going to review some strategies you can implement to increase retention rates through the customer experience. Transfer rates are currently at 60%, which is very high across the board. One of the most important aspects to consider is that your college or university is not only an institution for learning, but it is a business. We hear time and again how integral great customer service is to any successful business. Due to the lowered expectations of the general populous, enhancing the customer experience for your students is key. For starters, you have to understand the driving factors that lower student retention. Those are:

  • A lot of students are part-time employees, and full-time students.  This is due to many factors, but cost remains the largest factor in why students transfer or drop out.
  • Isolation. Students (in or out of state) feel isolated already after leaving home and friends behind.  Being introduced to a new set of peers and not having anyone familiar around creates isolation in new students.
  • Unclear Expectations. Like with any new experience, students will have a different reality than they initially anticipated.

Now that you have a better idea of the “why,” let’s take a look at how you can take a strategized approached at putting a dent into the issues that are detrimental to higher student retention rates.

  • Ensure financial aid and financial counseling is readily available and offered to students in need. Increasing the availability of financial aid reduces the number of cost related transfers.
  • Helping students form social bonds on campus. This can be done through several strategies, i.e. campus funded tutoring or intramural sports teams.  Involvement is directly related to less transfer rates, or students dropping out altogether.
  • Develop an intervention strategy for “at-risk” students. Notice a student who is missing classes or suddenly slipping in performance?  Reach out to find the student’s specific needs and begin to strategize a plan for success.  It may be as simple as schedule changes; the earlier you catch the problem, the easier it is to intervene.
  • Utilize the data you collect. Having a concise and quality data collection is important only if it is used to take action.  If you notice a high number of students transferring to a specific institution in the area, find out why and offer solutions based on your findings.

To summarize, you want to create a prestige and legacy around your institution, but not to the point of isolating potential or current students. Offering resources to students, which help them feel included and valued, is the key. Pull resources from other folks at the institution with intimate and ensure that your students are not just numbers. For more information or help, Suporta can be reached by phone at (888) 253-1752. You can also check out more of our outbound call center services  to help your institution, including student retention.