Today’s students expect a lot from their university or college, and so they should. The average cost of tuition and fees to attend a private college in the U.S. is over $38,000.
With such high costs, it should come as no surprise to hear that students have high expectations of their school. However, for many students, there is a key area in which their expectations are not being met — digital support.
While investment has been plugged into various areas to advance the clear need for digital transformation in higher education, digital engagement has been neglected. Many schools still rely on traditional methods of communication–mostly telephone and email. These channels do not and cannot provide students with the support that they want. Growing up surrounded by technology, this generation wants fast, convenient, 24/7 digital support that only an omnichannel approach that includes live chat, chatbots, SMS, and social media can truly provide.
A lack of digital student engagement has a snowball effect throughout the institution, from limiting enrollment to reducing retention.
Here are the 5 major impacts that universities and colleges are suffering from when they don’t offer the digital support that today’s students expect.
1. Engagement dwindles across the student lifecycle
Sixty percent of Gen Z say that they ‘hate calling people.’ By offering phone as your primary support channel, colleges create a significant barrier to engagement with both prospective and current students. This is in part due to the desire for speed. Phone is a notoriously high-friction channel, forcing callers to be put on long hold times and repeatedly passed between agents. Email is less hated by students, but it can also be unpopular for the long response times. After all, 71 percent of Gen Z believe that CX can be drastically improved by quick responses. By only offering channels that students often have reservations using, schools will engage with less students across the lifecycle, from prospective students to graduates.
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