No one likes waiting, especially when it’s for a uncertain amount of time. We can’t eliminate the lines completely, that of course is out of our control, but we can help change the perception of the wait.
Student Service Center
Last year the university launched the Student Service Center. It’s the one stop students can make for any admissions, financial aid, or registration information. At various times during the day and especially at certain times during the year it can get pretty busy.
The student experience
Students walk in to the Welcome Center and sign in at a computer and give a reason for their visit. That information goes in to Salesforce so the staff can see who is waiting and why. When a staff member becomes available they take ownership of the student’s request and call them up to the desk.
This has worked great and that process is not changing. But at certain times the service center can have multiple people waiting and although the average wait time is pretty low it can leave an uneasy feeling when someone sits with twenty other people who were there before them.
The power of data
We have the information about who’s waiting, how long they have been waiting and when they drop off the list. We just need to add one piece to make really useful. Luckily the CRM team on campus has an amazing developer, Adam Lincoln, who added a “Call” button to the user screen for the desk staff. This allows us to grab who is being called at any given time. Combine this data with a capable API from Salesforce + a large digital sign and boom! No more guessing for students.
No more guessing
Students can now see at a glance where they stand in line. We also calculate the average wait time which helps a student gauge what they are in store for. Lastly, the “now calling” screen helps students who may not be listing for their name and calls attention to the screen as it updates.
I'm glad Wayne State now has a system in the Financial Aid office where you know when you'll be helped in line and avg wait time.— Black Wonderwoman (@Ms_Faith) August 2, 2012
So far so good.
Thanks to everyone
This was truly a collaborative effort between the Student Service Center, CRM team, C&IT, and Web Communications staff. Without everyone being involved and pushing to make the student experience better this simply would not have been possible.