Why virtual queue management is a great tool for HE

Vanessa Walmsley, MD at Qmatic, discusses how queue management technology can improve the student experience, and how unis can benefit

Organisations in all sectors are looking at emerging technologies that they can implement to increase efficiencies and deliver an improved service or process. Higher education institutions are no different, and while many have made great progress in their digital transformation journey, they mustn’t ignore the technologies that improve and accelerate interactions with students.

Technology has become completely ingrained in today’s society and younger generations in particular have come to expect its integration in most aspects of life. While higher education institutions should be looking at the exciting technologies that are dominating headlines currently, such as artificial intelligence, automation and IoT, they also need to think more broadly about the technologies that will have extremely effective outcomes on day-to-day processes. It’s therefore integral for higher education institutions to implement technologies, so that they not only improve services, but also stay relevant to potential students and meet their demand for digitally focused interactions with any organisation with which they come into contact. 

Students expect more

The rise in student tuition fees in the UK caused significant controversy when it was implemented in 2012. Higher education institutions are now expected to provide a premium level of service to their students, integrated with user-friendly technology, to give students the very best experience possible. This extends across all aspects of the student experience, from academic to extra-curricular, but a student’s interaction with university services can make a significant impact on whether they have a positive or negative perception of an institution. Student satisfaction rankings are incredibly important to universities, and it is critical that every service interaction a student has is as efficient and seamless as possible, to help reinforce a positive perception of the institution. 

Students expect a high quality of service when they interact with their university or college, but they also expect to be able to receive it in the way that suits them best. 

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Student ‘hubs’ act as a first port of call for students and visitors, providing information, support and advice on all aspects of student life, from opening bank accounts and paying bills, to accommodation, fees and personal or academic counselling. As such, these areas experience large volumes of people passing through them, especially during peak times, such as orientation and exams.

Higher education institutions typically serve very large numbers of students in various locations throughout any given day, and virtual queue-management technologies are an important solution for ensuring these interactions are dealt with effectively and efficiently. 

With virtual queueing technology, students can open a smartphone app or scan a QR code to open a webpage and select the service they require. They are then given an approximate waiting time, based on real-time demand, and a position in the queue. Once students know they have a place in the virtual queue they can go and get themselves a coffee, without worrying about missing their turn. 

Through the right system, higher education institutions can manage the student flow more efficiently, reducing points of friction, shortening waiting times, remove the need to stand in line and also gain data analytics to help manage the services provided. A thorough analysis of waiting times and student demand enables higher education institutions to establish how successfully they are managing their services and identify any friction points that need to be resolved.

Students expect a high quality of service when they interact with their university or college, but they also expect to be able to receive it in the way that suits them best. This is where higher education institutions can deploy virtual queue management solutions to ensure that they can deliver an efficient, seamless service to students, through the channels that they prefer, whether that is through their smartphone or in person. Implementing this technology can help universities and colleges improve their service offering and have a significant impact on raising student satisfaction, making it easier to attract the next generation of students.

W: qmatic.com

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