College administrators are pretty adept at and know the importance of giving students an excellent education, but they often overlook the value of something else: a great higher education experience. While colleges don’t receive recognition or funding because their students are satisfied, that doesn’t mean they won’t reap the benefits from fostering a fantastic, service-oriented environment for their students.

There are several important reasons why colleges and universities should strive to turn their students into their most raving fans. Below are the top three:

1. Good word of mouth: Like any consumer, college students will rate, consciously or not, the service they’re receiving at their schools. And then they’ll talk about it. If a student can’t get the class she needs because she was in the back of a seemingly endless line on selection day, or if buying textbooks at the overcrowded bookstore is nothing short of an ordeal, their parents, siblings, and friends are going to hear about it. As will everyone on Facebook and Yelp. That could have serious ramifications on a college’s reputation, regardless of how esteemed its professors may be.

2. Retention and loyalty: Satisfied freshmen will become happy sophomores. Colleges don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so immediately catering to incoming students’ needs, and then sustaining that level of service, means that those students won’t be looking for another school next semester. It always costs less to retain a student than acquire a new one, especially if the administration is spending its funds wisely.

3. It gives the college an edge: When shopping for colleges, parents and students weigh many factors. However, with everything being equal in terms of quality of education, parents have a deep-seated desire for their children to be happy. If they see, hear, and read about the satisfaction level of students, that might be all a fence-sitter needs to know.

There’s no one way to create a great experience for students, but savvy schools know that eliminating the pain points associated with endless lines registering for classes, applying for financial aid, or buying books, can make a big difference today – and will pay off tomorrow.  Download the complimentary eBook “12 Ways to Satisfy Your Students While They Wait” for additional tips on how to improve student satisfaction levels.