Tell me if this sounds familiar: “Good evening. My school mailed my transcript today and I’m writing to see if you have received it?”
My first few years in admissions we received hundreds of such emails and calls every week (often with similarly impossible requests). It was a serious drain on both our productivity and morale. We even began to doubt the sanity of our applicants. However, when we prioritized applicant experience, our field testing revealed that students were justified in their frustration. With the high stakes in a competitive higher education environment, our staff was handicapped by poor technology and outdated expectations for communicating with anxious prospective students.
This motivated us to invest in an applicant portal where students could live-check credentials. We set simple parameters such as “Please allow two weeks for document processing” on both our website and communications, while building email triggers that kept students informed where their application was at every step in the process. Our support requests plummeted, and this proactive customer service is now considered best practice in admissions offices.
This is just one small example among many in the way DecisionDesk innovates alongside institutions that care about creating an incredible application experience for both students and staff. We realize this can be difficult on tight budgets and timelines, and let’s face it, if technology could do everything we wanted it to, we wouldn’t be doing these jobs. That’s why we’re here to maximize the resources at hand.
5 Ways DecisionDesk Improves Staff Productivity:
Relief from chasing down incomplete applications.
Sort by missing credentials. Open up a file and know it’s complete. Additionally, our partnership with Parchment transcript service which helps further replace scanning of paper documents.
Reduces call/email volume during application crunch time
Our frontline support team fields technical requests through ZenDesk email and live chat. We’ll deal with the technical stuff, and let you concentrate on yielding your top candidates which maximizes positive interactions students have directly with your institution.
Speeds up reading cycle
Consolidates review and note-taking in a single pane (no toggling between systems). Administrators can assign application teams, review partially completed applications, or express-admit/deny groups of students based on customized parameters.
Monitors Staff/Faculty review progress
Access live progress reports on how many applications each committee member has completed, ensuring deadlines are met. That means more accountability for your team (including busy faculty members).
Standardizes data integrity
As the system of record, DecisionDesk will update your SIS or CRM, so you can communicate both internally and externally with confidence.
About the Author: Evan Cudworth is Director of Content at DecisionDesk. Former Director of Content and Media and New York Director of Admissions at the University of Chicago, he worked with technology teams across the university to prioritize student interaction experience.