CX Trends for Higher Education
As colleges and universities strive to meet the needs and expectations of modern students, they must embrace the latest CX trends. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most important CX trends for higher education in 2023 and beyond.
The Importance of CX in Higher Education
In today's competitive landscape, attracting and retaining students is crucial for the sustainability of higher education institutions. With ongoing budget cuts and increasing competition, universities need to prioritize the student experience to stay ahead. CX plays a pivotal role in creating a positive and engaging environment for students, leading to higher satisfaction rates and improved outcomes.
Trend 1: Embracing a Customer-Centric Culture
One of the key CX trends in higher education is the shift towards a customer-centric culture. Institutions are recognizing the need to create an environment where all employees are focused on delivering outstanding customer experiences. This involves nurturing behaviors, practices, and standards that prioritize the student's needs and expectations.
A great example of a university embracing a customer-centric culture is Salesforce.org. They emphasize the importance of driving change and developing cross-company experience accountability, from the C-suite to the front line. By adopting a customer-centric culture, universities can ensure that every interaction and touchpoint with students is optimized for their satisfaction and success.
Trend 2: Leveraging Technology and Data
Institutions of higher learning are often burdened with outdated technology and disconnected data sources. To improve CX, universities need to invest in modern technologies and leverage data effectively. By doing so, they can gain valuable insights into student preferences, behaviors, and needs.
Cloud contact center solutions, for example, are being widely adopted by higher-education institutions to meet student needs. According to a report by Five9, more than half of higher-education decision makers consider a customer-centric strategy a top priority, with a significant focus on improving student experiences. By utilizing cloud contact centers, universities can streamline communication channels, provide personalized support, and enhance the overall student experience.
Trend 3: Enhancing Recruitment Efforts
Recruitment is a critical aspect of higher education, and institutions are now realizing the impact of CX on attracting prospective students. The college experience and student satisfaction are often the deciding factors for students when choosing a university. Therefore, universities must focus on providing an exceptional experience right from the recruitment stage.
According to a blog post on LinkedIn, better recruitment practices can lead to improved customer (student) satisfaction. By adopting CX mindset and strategies, higher education institutions can differentiate themselves from the competition and attract top talent.
Trend 4: Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
In the 2023-2024 academic year, DEI initiatives in higher education are gaining more prominence. Institutions are recognizing the need to address the unique problems faced by historically marginalized students and low-income students. A recent study highlighted that nearly 25% of undergraduate students in the US face food insecurity, emphasizing the importance of action-oriented measures.
To learn more about the top trends in higher education, including DEI initiatives, you can visit Hanover Research. Their comprehensive blog post provides insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by higher education organizations in the coming years.
Trend 5: Accelerating Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is an ongoing trend across various industries, and higher education is no exception. Many institutions struggle with disjointed multichannel strategies, resulting in a fragmented customer experience. To bridge this gap, universities need to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.
A report by Genesys highlights the importance of organizations having a cohesive, connected strategy across the customer journey. By leveraging technology and ensuring a seamless experience across channels, universities can improve student engagement, streamline administrative processes, and enhance overall satisfaction.
In conclusion, the CX trends in higher education are centered around creating a student-centric culture, leveraging technology and data, enhancing recruitment efforts, embracing DEI initiatives, and accelerating digital transformation. By adopting these trends, universities can create an environment that prioritizes the student experience and sets them apart from the competition.