student experience enrollment

Student Enrollment With Virtual Queuing

For the past few decades, college administrators have been under pressure to increase student satisfaction and improve the campus experience.

Negative experiences with services aimed at students are one of the biggest sources of friction that have a ripple effect on other aspects of student life.

Supporting and enhancing the student experience through high-quality student services — from enrollment to graduation — is critical to success for both students and universities.

One of the more neglected aspects of student experience is queuing — or lack thereof.

With virtual queuing, schools can manage the flow of students in a more efficient way and transform the campus experience for the better.

Why enrollment requires queue management

You may think that since enrollment is a once-a-year event, it is not a big deal even if there are some delays.

But the effects of long waiting lines can be disruptive on a large scale.

This is an example that we bring up whenever we talk about slow, inefficient enrollment: In Johannesburg, South Africa, parents had to endure a 1-km-long queue so they could register their children.

Even though school gates only opened at 6:30, parents began queuing from 4:00, and by 6:00 all the parking spots were taken.

The situation grew so desperate that some parents decided to pay other people to stand in their place. One such employed man said he got paid 250 rands (about 19 USD) and two meals for queuing.

All of this happening in the heart of the most technologically advanced country in Africa. No other country, developed or otherwise, is immune to poor queuing.

Such problems could be avoided with a simple, virtual queuing system for enrollment.

Queue management for enrollment services

Virtual queuing solves the problem of overcomplicated queuing rules.

With a virtual system, students get to choose the required service upon self-service check-in. This could be either an iPad kiosk installed at the entrance, or even a remote check-in option via QR-codes.

Depending on their choice, they are added to a specific virtual queue. Schools have a lot of different service types: admissions, financial aid, registration for extracurricular activities, etc.

The manager who is responsible for this type of queries will instantly receive all the information and will be able to prepare for service ahead of the actual visit.

Meanwhile, the student is notified about their queue status and any possible changes (postponements, cancellations, delays) in real time. Getting this timely information is important, as it cuts down on the perceived wait time.

This has an added benefit of not requiring students to be physically present at the waiting area. Once the student’s turn comes, they are once again notified via SMS and may proceed to the service area.

Students get to enjoy an efficient visit experience, with direct routing and optimal use of their time. On the other hand, managers get to be their most productive selves as they manage cases and troubleshoot problems.

Optimize visit flow and waiting area experience

Employing a virtual queuing system contributes to a relaxed atmosphere by cutting down on minor frustrations and giving students peace of mind.

The main benefit of virtual queuing is in the name itself — virtual. This means that any changes in the system are immediate and do not disrupt the flow.

For example, if a student mistakenly joined the wrong line, they don’t have to rejoin it and go to the back of the queue. Forwarding them to the right line is literally a one-click action.

Better, faster communication with students

As a form of communication, text messaging outranks phone calls among younger generations.

The mobile component of queue management is crucial to students. By taking advantage of this form of communication, schools can further improve queuing, minimizing the toll of enrollment queues.

What’s more, virtual queuing systems record and store the history of interactions with each student. If there is an issue, managers can review the logs and make the necessary adjustments.

Reduce the perceived waiting time

Perceived wait time is a very human phenomenon that influences our waiting experiences the most.

Perceived wait time, or the way we perceive the passage of time at a given moment, is how we ultimately judge the entire experience. There are many ways in which your brain could be tricked into thinking you’ve been waiting longer than you actually have:

  • If there is no estimated wait time.
  • If you are not engaged.
  • If you think the waiting system is not fair.

Needless to say, all of these aspects are made irrelevant with a student line management system.

Improve the level of service

This isn’t something that comes to mind when people think of colleges, but student experience absolutely does matter. The feedback a school or university receives from students impacts its prestige — word of mouth alone is a good enough reason to become preoccupied with the level of service.

With a virtual queuing system that is equipped with service-level data analytics, managers can further streamline their service strategy and reduce operational costs.

As a result, the administration can plan their workload more efficiently and managers get to focus on service.

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There are many other lines in school and universities that could be solved with the use of a queue management system — say, lunch queues at school.

The main point of this article is to encourage educational facilities to commit to a better level of experience. Student life is already filled with challenges; there is no need to add poor queuing on top of them.

Want to try a virtual queuing system at your school? and start experimenting!

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