Every college and university, regardless of size, recognizes the benefits of having an effective financial aid contact center in place for students. Considering all financial aid offices share a common goal, of providing exceptional customer service and enhancing the student experience. The last thing any financial aid office wants to hear is how difficult it is to reach a financial aid administrator, let alone get personalized assistance.
You may have recognized that your school needs to improve its financial aid student contact process. Here are five steps to get started:
1. Identify the need- Utilize reporting capabilities to identify the volume of inbound and outbound communications required on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This information can help you determine if there a greater need for an inbound or outbound contact solutions.
2. Conduct a staffing analysis- Utilize tracking and reporting to determine how long an average call with a student is. Determine how many attempts, on average, is required to reach a student or resolve an issue. Establishing a staff to student ratio will help to determine if your financial aid department is in line with other financial aid office staffing ratios.
3. Assess an organizational strategy- There may be different levels of financial aid knowledge required for different calls. Utilizing a tiered approach may be the best strategy for effectively dispersing the knowledge your staff possesses. Many schools like the idea of one FAA managing a specific group of students. Unfortunately, this strategy tends to become less effective as the student base grows. This type of system also makes staff turnover visible to the students, something which universities typically seek to avoid. Students are more likely to be satisfied speaking to a qualified staff member who is able to provide the correct information, over having a dedicated contact in the financial aid office.
4. Break down the process steps- Document the process of assisting a student by breaking down each required step, as well as the communication channel used. Analyzing the process will enable you to determine which tasks that require human interaction and which tasks that can be automated. If you do not currently have automated processes in place, now is the time to research student contact center tracking and technology. Automating certain processes does not mean the loss of FA office jobs, but rather allows the staff to operate more efficiently. Automation also reduces opportunities for error, and will put you in a better position for compliance, student satisfaction, and growth.
5. Take action- Once you have assessed volume, cycle time, knowledge requirements, and process steps, it is time to apply the data. Formulating an action plan requires commitment, attention to detail, and the ability to accurately assess data. A cost analysis must be tied to each step within the process, from implementing a financial aid student contact technology system, to integrating data with your student information system (SIS), to training your staff.
CampusLogic provides financial aid student contact services tailored to meet your needs. There are no long-term contracts or full outsourcing requirements to utilize CampusLogic’s knowledge and expertise. Visit our services page to learn about the solutions designed to provide you with the most effective financial aid student contact center. Contact us today at (877) 259-9137 or online and take the first step to improving your school’s student satisfaction.
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