How Waitlist Software Improves the Student Experience
Organization in higher education is incredibly important for both students and administrators. For students, there are a lot of responsibilities associated with higher education. Many students must juggle academics, extracurriculars, and financing their studies. Administrators must focus on admissions, enrollment, and ensuring students are up-to-date on tuition. Both parties can feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and a lack of organization can deeply impair the higher education experience. An efficient waitlist software can be the solution to improving the student and staff experience.
The offices higher education institutes use to help students with organization include:
- The admissions office
- The academic advisement office
- The financial aid departments
While these resources can be very helpful for students during their time in college, accessing them can be difficult. Higher education institutes often have administrative offices that offer long waits and difficulty getting in contact with staff. For students with a packed calendar, it can often be easier to just skip using these important services. This is something that can negatively impact both the institution and students.
Students are paying handsomely for their education, with the average cost of college in the United States being $35,551, including tuition and other expenses.
Students deserve a well-organized, well-structured administration where their needs are catered to. One of the ways that many institutions are helping to provide this is by offering waitlist software.
Waitlist software is a digital solution that helps colleges and universities digitize their appointment scheduling and queuing. It is software designed to improve the student experience and ensure students receive the easy access to resources they deserve. QLess is the leading waitlist software that will help each student stay atop their academic calendar and ensure a more efficient, organized school system. Below, we will offer a deep dive into waitlist software. We’ll explore the problems it is addressing, the benefits, and how it aligns with the needs of the students.
Why Administrators Should be Wary of Long Waits
While universities aim to educate the next generation of leaders, they are ultimately businesses. Even if many universities are not-for-profit, they still seek to expand their funding and reinvest resources to improve the school. That means the importance of the student experience is significant. Student tuitions are how schools stay afloat, and keeping students happy is a must.
According to Forbes, 2.2 million students transferred universities in the 2019-20 academic year.
Students can leave if they are unhappy, and many do. That is why it is pivotal that universities give their students an academic experience they enjoy. Long waits for academic offices are something students hate that universities should be wary of.
Long waits are a roadblock to customer satisfaction, as they can feel impersonal and frustrating. In a higher education environment, where students invest a lot to be there, these waits can feel downright dispiriting.
In a survey of higher education students, QLess discovered that 54.78% of respondents said they would skip an academic meeting. Whether it’s with a counselor, financial aid, or student affairs if the wait time was too long.
The results of this survey should concern administrators.
Administrators don’t just schedule appointments for fun. Running a school is complicated, and having students fully informed and up-to-date with their academic calendars and payments is pivotal. These meetings are an important part of organizing a higher education institute. If students skip these appointments, that is a problem for the school.
Long wait times are a common complaint in nearly every industry and can be difficult to cut into. Some US schools have 50,000+ students, and managing the demands of such a large student population makes waits nearly unavoidable. But if students are willingly missing appointments due to extended waits, accepting this is a mistake. Students attending their appointments makes administrating much easier, as they are more informed and up-to-date.
What Do Students Want Out of Their Administrative Interactions
Understanding your student body is incredibly important. Students’ preferences define the services universities offer. So if schools can’t adapt to the wants and needs of the current generation of students, they will fall behind. Currently, most college students are Gen Z, so they are the demographic to pay attention to for university administrators. Many students prefer a tech-centric experience from their school’s administrative branches.
In the same QLess survey of currently enrolled higher education students, 73.77% of respondents stated that they are more likely to schedule an academic meeting if they can book it online.
Students also prefer mobile communication from their schools. When asked what the best way for their higher-education institution to get in touch with them was, the QLess survey showed that the most common response was by text message, receiving 35.20% of the vote.
One trend that universities have been leaning into recently is virtual appointments. This was born of necessity when the pandemic shut down campuses worldwide. But the increased ease of access that virtual appointments brought may have changed students’ perspectives. The QLess survey showed that 51.23% of students prefer to attend an academic appointment virtually rather than in person.
Today’s students are technology-driven and want tech integrated into their administrative processes. This is something that universities need to be aware of because it is beneficial for both parties. With that in mind, waitlist software is a high-impact way for higher education institutes to combat the problem of long waits. It also aligns with the tech preferences of the students they serve.
What Does Waitlist Software Do?
We’ve been talking about waitlist software’s benefits, but what does it do? The QLess software has a suite of core features designed to transform how students schedule and wait for their appointments. It also aids in how universities manage them. The QLess has several aspects that make it an ideal tool for higher education institutes.
QLess comes complete with queue management software that will revolutionize how students wait for their appointments.
With the queue management software, students can virtually enter a lineup at an academic office and wait for their appointment in a digital queue. The students receive real-time updates on their wait times and can arrive at the office when it is time for their appointment. Staff can sort students into different lines according to:
- Their appointment time.
- Appointment type.
- The employee they are there to see.
- They can also blend walk-ins with appointments.
The appointment scheduling features allow students to schedule appointments independently from their devices. They can book appointments through their phone or desktop, and the appointment platform is available 24/7. Students can pick the appointment type they want and manage it through their phones. Then, they can either reschedule or cancel if something arises.
The purpose of this software is to digitize academic offices to become easier for students to use. Rather than scheduling through a legacy appointment scheduling system that is filled with flaws, students can use the flexible appointment scheduling software of QLess. Rather than sitting in a crowded waiting room hoping to hear their name called, students can remotely enter a virtual queue on the QLess waitlist software. It makes it easier and more enjoyable for students to attend their meetings. It also gives administrators a tool to control student flow and better oversee their calendars.
The Benefits of Waitlist Software for Higher Education
Major educational institutions, from Texas A&M to Broward College, have adopted waitlist software. It is a major trend in higher education that is continuing to expand for schools of all sizes. We’ve discussed how this software works, so let’s uncover some of the core benefits of waitlist software that have led to it becoming a key part of the future of higher education.
Collect Data on the Student Experience
In every industry, the better you understand your operation, the more efficiently you can run it. That has made business intelligence a $24 billion global industry. The more businesses know about their processes, the more they can refine them. Collecting data on your higher education administrative meetings is very difficult without the right tools. Many businesses don’t get the opportunity to use data to optimize their student experience. But with the QLess waitlist software, schools can get objective numbers that showcase how their academic offices perform and the type of experience they offer students.
Business intelligence has many benefits for enterprises that deploy it correctly. With good data, businesses can make better decisions and increase their efficiency.
According to Dataprot, businesses using business intelligence are five times more likely to reach a fast decision than businesses that do not.
With the QLess business intelligence software, higher education institutions can gain access to valuable data that will allow them to create a more efficient and student-friendly campus experience.
QLess data tools provide important insights that can be segmented and broken down into categories based on:
- Employee, date
- Time of day
The data reporting features showcase the information in charts and graphs where administrators can spot trends and outliers. The software collects information on median wait time, appointment no-show percentage, employee utilization, number of customers served, and transaction time. It helps paint an accurate picture of how each academic office is performing.
Every student, from a graduate student to a freshman, deserves a seamless, efficient process, and business intelligence from QLess helps schools provide this. They can monitor how their offices are performing and spot flaws. Students can also see whether certain appointment types exceed limits or certain offices struggle with student demand. Implementing these changes and tracking improvements creates better end-to-end results.
Help Staff Manage Busy Appointment Calendars
University administrative staff don’t have an easy job. They oversee and organize campuses that often have tens of thousands of students, each with individual needs. From the undergraduate program office to the financial registrar, staff is often overburdened with a deluge of student requests. At many higher education institutions, staff are not helped by the outdated appointment systems that their offices have implemented. The QLess waitlist software is designed to help increase staff productivity and efficiency by providing organization features in the form of advanced calendar management solutions.
Staff also face incredible stress levels as they are overburdened with an intensive workload.
According to FE News, 70% of college staff have considered quitting due to quitting and rising stress levels.
Higher education institutions need to find a way to decrease the workload of staff and improve their stress levels. Waitlist software is a natural solution.
With the QLess waitlist software, administrators now have a tool that helps manage their busy appointment calendars. This solution is an all-in-one hub where staff can view their appointment calendars, edit them, and connect with students. The calendar feature provides staff with a highly organized smart calendar that can be altered and changed. It can be organized so it is specific to the employee using it and color-coded according to appointment type. Staff can tap on their appointment to see which student they are meeting with. Then, they can message the student to ask for information or updates.
The calendar management features of the QLess waitlist software also help staff adjust to changes. If students are late for an appointment, staff can message them to see if they are still coming. If students don’t answer, staff can move other appointments up and notify those whose appointments have been moved forward. This will help create a more flexible, efficient appointment calendar with heightened administrative control over the day-to-day. This reduces the burden on staff and increases the efficiency of the office.
Remove the Burden of Waits from a Busy Student Body
The reality of student life is that it is often incredibly busy and draining. Students tend to have jam-packed schedules as they navigate school, extracurriculars, a social life, and often jobs that fund their education. It is no wonder that 88% of higher education students reported their school life to be stressful, with 45% reporting high-stress levels. Students are busy, anxious, and often experiencing independence for the first time. Long waits to access school resources are a problem that many students are unwilling to stomach.
The QLess waitlist software comes with embedded queue management solutions designed to transform students’ waiting experience.
Instead of sitting in a crowded office waiting to hear their name called, they can remotely join a lineup from a phone or computer or enter a virtual line through an on-site kiosk. The remote join features include real-time updates on the student’s spot in line. It also provides updates periodically sent to them via text message.
Students only enter the office when their appointment is set to begin. This saves them the nuisance of waiting in an office’s waiting area. This is a substantial change for students that are sure to appreciate their newfound freedom. They can wait in the library or a nearby cafe. It allows them to dip into their workload away from a crowded waiting area where working is difficult.
Giving students an improved waiting experience will help remove the burden and increase attendance for appointments. We’ve already discussed how students will skip appointments if the wait is too long. The QLess waitlist software eliminates this problem. Students can wait wherever they want, whether in their apartment or favorite study hall. The time impact of the appointment is greatly reduced as students get to go about their daily lives until the appointment is set to begin.
Maintain Social Distancing Where Possible
When the pandemic hit North America’s higher education institutions in the winter of 2020, it was unlike anything the system had ever seen. Degree requirements and financial costs were pushed to the back burner. Schools had to navigate surviving in a new world of social distancing and highly transmissible viruses. Most schools emptied their campuses and moved their resources online. While the average higher education institute has returned to in-person learning, the need for social distancing remains. Many students still feel anxious about the pandemic, and schools hope to curb outbreaks.
The pandemic had a massive mental health impact on students, and the repercussions of that are still being felt today.
According to an Active Minds survey, 89% of college students say COVID-19 has caused them stress and anxiety, and 27% have had to rely on virtual mental health support.
Schools should aim to eliminate students’ stress by removing congestion from academic offices where possible. The QLess waitlist software is an impactful way for schools to reduce congestion. It can also make students feel more at ease on campus.
With QLess, crowded waiting areas are a thing of the past. The waiting room for appointments used to consist of students gathered around in an academic office, but now it is all done through digital means. The education queue system places students in virtual lines where they can wait for their turn from wherever they choose. This will be an excellent option for COVID-cautious students who don’t feel comfortable in crowded areas.
In a time where many have lingering stress and anxiety after years of social distancing and crowd caution, the QLess waitlist software enables remote waiting, away from crowds and physical queues. The pandemic remains a significant cause of stress for college students, and the QLess software counters this problem.
Align with the Tech Communication Preferences of Your Students
Universities are instruments of education, and that requires evolution on their part. How one generation of students learns, or how they want to interact with the administration, doesn’t necessarily carry over to the next generation. Currently, the student population is a technology-dependent group that expects the schools they attend to accommodate their technology preferences. Most schools have failed to do that in their administrative offerings, particularly regarding communication. That is because schools overlook the benefits of using technology to communicate with their students.
Higher education institutes typically send emails to students rather than focus on mobile communication. The aforementioned QLess research showed that 35.20% of students would choose text messages as the ideal way for schools to communicate appointment information with them, while 20.53% of students would prefer phone calls. That means most of your students would rather be contacted through their phones than by any other form of communication. But many schools don’t consider the degree of personalization and communication that students have come to expect.
Gen Z, which will make up the vast majority of the typical higher education institution’s student body, expect personalization and communication from the businesses they interact with. This generation heavily expects to be treated as an individual, not just a number.
According to The Drum, 77% of a survey of Gen Z respondents stated that it is important for businesses to customize interactions, and 76% expect businesses to send them digital communications customized according to their preferences.
For academic offices, customized digital communications with students is a must.
The QLess waitlist software has bi-directional communication features that allow schools and students to stay in touch. These communication features allow staff to custom-write messages to individual students. They can also send out mass messages to a large group of students at once. This will make it easier for colleges and universities to scale their digital communication to meet the needs of their large student body. Communication and personalization are two things Gen Z students want from their schools. With QLess, schools have a tool that helps them provide this.
Eliminate Missed Appointments With Waitlist Software
No matter what academic program students are involved in, the importance of them attending their appointments can’t be overstated. This is where schools can ensure their students abide by education requirements and get the most out of their time. But getting students to show up for their meetings can be difficult. Appointment no-shows are a serious problem for school offices. They block off appointment times for their student, invest time and energy to prepare for the appointment, and the student doesn’t show up. This is a waste of time and resources and is something schools should move promptly to address.
There are two ways the QLess waitlist software helps schools combat missed appointments. The first, we’ve already touched on. QLess helps academic offices reduce waits dramatically.
According to a QLess survey, 54.78% of students responded that they would skip an appointment if the wait was too long.
With the waitlist software, schools don’t have to worry about their students seeing long waits in the academic office and deciding the appointment is not worth the wait.
The second way QLess helps enterprises cut into appointment no-shows is by providing an appointment reminder tool to schools. With the QLess waitlist software’s communication features, schools can schedule appointment reminders to be sent to students via SMS. Schools can set it up, so these appointments are sent once on the day of the appointment or multiple times on the days leading up to the appointment, with confirmation from students required.
Appointment reminders are a straightforward solution to a serious problem.
According to Klara, text appointment reminders reduce appointment no-show rates by 38%.
Text reminders will ensure that staff is getting the most out of their time and not wasting resources on appointment no-shows. The QLess software also tracks the no-show percentage, so offices can identify if they have a problem in this area and see if their appointment reminder solution is helping to fix it.
Enable Improved Virtual Meetings
One of the biggest changes the pandemic brought has lasting power. Even in a pandemic, students needed to maintain their academic standing and stay in contact. So virtual meetings became the norm. Students and staff would meet up through Microsoft Teams or Zoom and have their appointments without ever needing to meet up face-to-face. Schools are now seeing the trend of virtual meetings isn’t going anywhere, and with the QLess waitlist software, they can integrate virtual appointments into their calendar.
QLess has virtual features designed to allow staff to run virtual appointments alongside their in-person appointments. QLess can be integrated with video conferencing platforms like Teams and Zoom. Customers that have virtual appointments or want to walk in virtually are placed in the digital queue and moved through until it is their turn. Once their appointment is set to begin, they are sent a link to a meeting and are directly connected to the staff. This removes the need for students to come into the academic office at all.
The early indicators of the value that virtual appointments can provide are exciting.
According to a study from EAB, students schedule 29% more appointments when the appointments are virtual.
And not only do they schedule these appointments more, but they actually attend them. The same study showed that virtual appointments at a community college helped them reduce their no-show rate from 15% to 5%.
There are certain truths the pandemic revealed that couldn’t be ignored. One of the biggest is that technology has removed the necessity to be physically present for many different things. Academic appointments are just as effective if done virtually, and students favor this option. The QLess waitlist software helps schools manage virtual appointments and blend them with in-person ones. It is a solution designed to give students options and help staff manage the confusion of switching between a physical and virtual schedule.
Increase Student Satisfaction
The ultimate purpose of waitlist software is to help schools transform their academic appointment processes to create a better system for students and staff. This will help lead to a higher education institution with higher student satisfaction rates and better engagement from the people they cater their business toward. Upping student satisfaction is incredibly important for universities, as many schools across the country are dealing with a disengaged student population that is unsatisfied with their school.
According to the Student Research Foundation’s survey of hundreds of thousands of higher education students, 56% of students at private or public four-year institutions said they were satisfied overall with their college experience. While this is still a majority, it also means that nearly half of the respondents in four-year institutions were not satisfied with their college experience. This is unacceptable, particularly considering the price students pay to attend these schools.
Waitlist software won’t magically fix all students’ issues with the academic experience, but it can make a tangible impact on an important problem. Students can grow disenfranchised with their education when accessing resources. They should have an easy time connecting with the appointments and resources they are paying significantly for, and waitlist software makes that possible.
QLess has been found to boost student satisfaction rates by 75% by making everything from appointment booking to waiting in a queue easier for the student body.
Convenience and ease of access are two things your students crave, particularly with their busy schedules. Waitlist software gives students more time in their day by removing the difficulty of accessing school resources and ensures that students feel more positively about their college experience.
Meet the Needs of the Entire Student Body With Waitlist Software
Higher education institutions cater to a very broad population. Many schools across the country have tens of thousands of students who rely on their universities to offer excellent education and services that meet their needs. Many of these students will require accommodations to make services more accessible. Waitlist software is one way schools make accessing resources easier for students with disabilities, as these tech solutions come with embedded accommodation features.
According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, 19% of all enrolled undergraduate students and 12% of enrolled graduate students reported having some kind of disability.
This is a substantial portion of the entire higher education population, which schools need to be aware of. Most schools take the necessary steps to meet the requirements of students with disabilities, and waitlist software like QLess is another important step for schools to take.
QLess has accommodation features designed to make it more accessible for people of all backgrounds. These features are crafted to help users adjust their experience with the waitlist software to meet their unique needs. The QLess software includes:
- Text-to-speech screen reader
- Dyslexia-friendly font options
- Text size and space adjustments
- Pausable animations
- Helpful user tooltips to make using the software a more straightforward experience.
These features will ensure that a more substantial portion of the student body can see the benefits of the QLess technology.
Every student on campus should have no problem accessing the resources to help them navigate higher education. Outdated legacy appointment systems that many schools have implemented do nothing to help students that require accommodations. With the QLess accommodation features, schools can integrate a system that takes the necessary steps to provide students with the customizable, personalized service they deserve. This will ensure a more substantial portion of the student population can receive the help they need.
An All-in-One Centralized Hub for Schools
Students and staff often struggle with the bureaucracy of higher education. It can be exhausting navigating red tape, switching from system to system, to solve a problem that should be simple. Figures have shown that the hiring of managers and administrators has increased dramatically in recent years as schools try to keep up with their bureaucracy. Extra bureaucracy does not benefit anyone in the higher education system, which is why the addition of technology that helps reduce this issue can be a major solution.
The QLess waitlist software is one way schools can centralize their processes in an all-in-one hub. Students using this software can handle everything from appointment scheduling and messaging advisors to waiting in a queue. For staff, QLess helps limit the number of solutions they need to focus on. The QLess software lets staff manage their appointments, view their calendar, connect with students, and analyze their performance. It is a central administrative platform that will help schools ensure a more straightforward appointment scheduling and management process.
Bureaucracy has its place, and schools must have systems for checks and balances. However, too much bureaucratic bloating can only be looked at as a bad thing. If students have to switch through different solutions just to access their appointments and handle advisory meetings, many won’t make the effort. The QLess waitlist software is a primary hub where students can schedule and control appointments without too much red tape. For staff, the platform’s key features will ensure they have all they need for their appointment calendars in one place.
Integrating QLess Waitlist Software for Higher Education
Implementing a new system is a major undertaking that many enterprises choose to avoid. It can seem easier to not make any drastic changes at all than to make a significant change like altering your appointment scheduling system and queue management process. But schools that choose not to make changes because of perceived difficulties overlook the simplicity of implementing the QLess software and its impact on streamlining systems.
QLess was specifically designed with schools in mind and can be customized according to the office using it. Administrators can set different policy configurations for each office and have a single flexible platform capable of handling the various needs of different offices. It has API integrations meaning that it can be connected to a huge array of different software solutions, so schools won’t have to trim their tech stacks to get the most out of the QLess waitlist software.
The QLess software is easy to implement for schools and has integrations with technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which the average school uses consistently. QLess is a straightforward, easy-to-implement solution that can be customized for different offices. It is a more flexible waitlist software that will provide schools with appointment software that is easy to use and efficient.
Waitlist Software Key Takeaways
Students need help from start to finish in university, from the admissions process through graduation. Staff and administrators must help ensure that students receive the guidance necessary to put them on the path to academic success. That is why advisement appointments are crucial. From appointments with the financial registrar’s office to academic advisement meetings, these important collaborations are a necessary part of the college experience. That is why it is concerning that many students are content to skip these appointments due to inconvenience or long waits.
Higher education institutions have many students with loaded schedules, from school and work to social lives and extracurriculars. Advisement appointments feel inconvenient to students, particularly when they are marred by long waits and difficulty with appointment scheduling. Implementing waitlist software is one of the crucial ways schools can offer improved academic appointments that meet the needs of their student body and improve the workflow for staff.
Waitlist software provides various useful solutions to schools, from online queue management software to a virtual appointment scheduling system. The software helps automate the queue experience, so students don’t have to spend their time waiting in a physical line or waiting room. It uses mobile technology to enhance communication and transparency with students and also helps make virtual appointment scheduling a straightforward, simple process.