Higher Education – The Customer Profile

3 minute read

In a sea of technology fueled industry disruptions, Higher Education remains steadfast.  Built on reputations that go back generations, and driven toward a higher purpose, these institutions continue the tradition of training tomorrow’s leaders.  

Large research universities create innovations that transform our world. But for all the good these institutions do, many of them cling to legacy systems that keep the honeycomb of departments siloed. Meanwhile, the varying customer segments expect their university’s service experience to be on par with the online retailers who embraced technology years ago. 

In order to step into the 21st century, universities first must define their customer profiles, from the prospective student to the long-tenured professor and everyone in between. Let’s look at each of them. 

The student - from the prospect to the graduate. 

This young person is in the early stages of their college search. They’ll likely begin their search on the Internet. At this stage, they want a sense of the institutions and their requirements for admission so they can find schools that match their needs. While these students research, you can capture their data and analyze what’s coming down the pike. 

By their junior year of high school, students have narrowed down their list of schools and begin applying. Today’s students look for ease and transparency in the application process so they can spend their time and energy writing the perfect college essay. 

Once accepted, students need to know about housing, financial aid, campus orientations, how and when to register for classes, and where to buy books. And when they arrive on campus, they’ll reach out to Student Services thousands of times over the course of their college career to register for classes, pay tuition, find student organizations or reserve a room for a study-group at the library.  

Finally, the student reaches their final term. And every college graduate is familiar with the slew of paperwork that accompanies your cap and gown. An enterprise platform allows graduating students to track their progress easily within a single portal – eliminating busy work, allowing them completing their final projects and plan the all-important graduation party. On each step of the journey, ServiceNow’s platform streamlines processes and exponentially improves the student experience. 

The parent. 

As their students leave the nest and fly, parents still want to support them. In fact, parental support can have a profound effect on the student experience.  

Enterprise platforms such as ServiceNow recognize the important role parents play in the lives of their children – no matter what stage of life they’re in. With ServiceNow, colleges and universities can leverage the same platform they use to create amazing experiences for students to provide a stellar experience for parents – without compromising the student privacy. Parents can pay tuition, housing and fees or send a care package to their student during finals week – while allowing the student freedom to grow into adulthood. 

The alumnus. 

Alumni remain loyal to their universities long after their college days are over. And they donate money. Universities can continue to keep in touch with their alumni through an entirely different portal. Alumni can make donations, network with other alumni – even explore graduate school opportunities. 

The faculty. 

While the world has seen a rapid change in student demographics, faculty may appear to be as legacy as the institutions themselves. These brilliant minds who are experts in their respective fields should not be underestimated in their grasp of technology. After all, they’re using Amazon just like everyone else. 

Tenure may keep renowned faculty at your institution, but if administrative tasks and unnecessary paperwork keep them from the work they love, they’ll be unhappy. An unhappy professor won’t be engaged – and they won’t engage students. 

Technology platforms like ServiceNow can eliminate many of the heavily administrative tasks that keep faculty from doing what they love and what they do best – researching and teaching students. 

The staff. 

Meanwhile there’s a completely different segment that keeps the lights on. Whether they are food service, financial aid or student service personnel, each is key to a valuable recruiting and retention experience. ServiceNow connects these key players with the assets they need to do their jobs. 

Facilities. 

Beyond administrative and service staff, universities also have an entire team dedicated to making the physical environment look beautiful and remain functional. And this team is mobile. 

Facilities take care of every detail – from the leaky faucet in dorm three, to landscaping the quad. These workers remain connected to the entire operation via an app on their phone for on-the-go deployment throughout the workday. 

The greater community. 

From the large research university to the small liberal arts college, higher education institutions aim to serve their communities for the greater good. By eliminating many administrative tasks and redundancies ServiceNow improves the employee experience for multifaceted non-profit organizations, including colleges and universities, leaving them time to focus on community outreach activities in the cities and states they serve.  

As universities take a close look at their varied customer segments, they can dig into the tools necessary to connect these systems, maintain their reputation and strengthen their brand. 

Platforms like ServiceNow connect siloed organizations and deliver a seamless experience for everyone regardless of their role in the organization. They enhance the student, parent, alumni, staff and facilities experience by delivering services in an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface. Meanwhile analysts can identify roadblocks in processes throughout the entire organization from the backend through a single pane of glass. Putting traditional universities in step with the employers who will employ their alumni long after their college days are over. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Crossfuze can help your university deliver a customer service experience as world class as your institution, visit our website at www.crossfuze.com or reach out at letstalk@crossfuze.com.  

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