Queue Management System Using Text Messaging to Increase Student Flow and Satisfaction

Cortez Deacetis

Queue Management systems are essential for universities and colleges. Today’s highly competitive higher education marketplace requires Student Services professionals to focus on retention as much as recruitment. Queue Management systems with integrated SMS text communication are highly effective. Student-centered retention strategies emphasize student satisfaction through engagement. Student Services professionals are leveraging social media and other web-based channels to engage students, however, SMS text messaging is often overlooked as a powerful engagement tool higher education with 97% of all students preferring text messaging as a primary means of communication.

Direct Engagement

The school registration software systems do not offer queue management or wait list modules that address student flow. The enrollment and registration process is arguably the most frustrating and challenging period for students as well as administrative staff. Long enrollment and registration lines foster frustration and aggravation for students. Student Services professionals are put in no-win situations that result in poor satisfaction outcomes, particularly during peak enrollment periods, regardless of how good the school registration software is. Much of this can be avoided with proper student flow design and a queue system.

Many institutions have made capital investments in redesigning student centers and administrative buildings to alleviate congestion and enhance the flow of students. In many cases, the adoption of a queue management system that uses SMS text messaging is a more affordable alternative to facility redesign projects. Redesign projects that incorporate queue management systems using SMS text or digital display are also likely to have greater success in enhancing student flow than those projects that do not include a queuing system.

Student Prefer SMS Text Messaging

Students prefer to be engaged via their mobile phone. A 2010 study revealed text messaging is a primary reason students have been switching their computing and communication needs over to their mobile phones. According to Michael Hanley, director of Ball State’s Institute for Mobile Media Research, 99.8% of college students have cell phones with 97% using text messaging as their main form of communication. Furthermore 97% of all text messages are read–85% instantly–versus 33% of emails. This makes texting the most direct means to engage students digitally.

Higher Education Queue Management Systems

Queue systems have been effective tools in many sectors in managing customer flow. Traditional queue systems consist of waiting for your number to be called or displayed on a digital display. Queue systems that integrate SMS text messaging create virtual waiting lines where students can use their cell phones to stay apprised of their position in line without actually physically standing in line. Students receive a text notification when it’s their turn (in some advanced systems students can “text in” and interact with the queue system to check status in line or request additional time). Today’s ideal digital queue systems for higher education typically integrate SMS text, digital displays, as well as self-serve kiosks.

Student Services professionals seeking to increase student satisfaction through increased customer flow should consider the return on investment SMS queue management systems can offer.

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