Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keeping Students over Thanksgiving through Academic Customer Service

The current economic situation is going to make financial issues a larger part of the reasons why students drop out of school equation. It does not appear financial problems will increase in importance as an attrition factor by more than 2 or 3% from what it has figured over the past five years though. That means that financial problems could account for up to 12% of why students will drop out. This is especially so as too many colleges are pricing themselves out of the middle to the upper middle below the 306 name brand schools in the market where the most potential students are.

Financial issues will not cut into other reasons for attrition but will add to the overall drop out number. In other words, drops could increase by as much as 2-3% more if the college does not step up retention efforts.

Certainly there must be more attention to student and parent financial concerns but the biggest reasons for student attrition appear to remain as below
Not feeling appreciated continues to be the major reason students leave colleges so this is still where most of the effort must remain. Or in most schools, START! So get ready now to act on retention. Here’s one way to jump start the effort

Give Real Thanks

Thanksgiving is approaching and it may not lead to many thanks for some students and schools. Thanksgiving is going to be the most extended time away from school for many students. It is a time when students get together with family and friends. It is a time when there is time for questions and thinking. And a major topic is going to be “how is it at….?” Some students are going to think “actually, not all that great.”

Thanksgiving turns out to be a major tipping point in the decision to stay or leave a college. With that knowledge, it is also a time you should engage students to keep them from dropping into the attrition side of the decision. You could also leverage relationships with parents and families to bring them into any stay or drop decision.

Send every student a personalized letter or formal card. The letter should of course be stationary and the card must be printed with the name of the office or person in raised engraved letters such as Office of the President.
The letter or card should have a brief written statement such as:
I want to thank you for the honor and pleasure of having you as a student at ………………….. If there is anything I can help you with, please contact me at (EMAIL SET UP FOR RESPONSES)I look forward to seeing you on campus and at your graduation.
Sincerely, AND THEN SIGN IT.
Mail it to the student AND FAMILY. This way family members will want to see it too. This helps enlist them as supporters. With luck, you will get some responses in the special email box you set up. There may even be some thanks to you but what you are really seeking are issues that could get in the way of staying in school at your school. If you do, you can find solutions and keep that student in school.

BTW, these letters and cards really work. There is enough time between now and Thanksgiving to get it done and increase retention,enrollment and a family's hopes and dreams

Let me know how the letters, cards and email work for you.

We want to say happy thanksgiving to you and your. We are so grateful for the support and all the new and old clients we have worked with this year. Thank you for helping give us purpose through the workshops, training and audits you asked us to do. 

To say a bit more thanks call me at 413.219.6939 and I will help at no cost to you to keep retention and success rising as my way of saying thanks to all my colleagues and clients.


N Raisman & Associates has been providing customer service, retention, enrollment and research training and solutions to colleges, universities and career colleges in the US, Canada, and Europe as well as to businesses that seek to work with them since 1999. Clients range from small rural schools to major urban universities and corporations. Its services range from campus customer service audits, workshops, training, presentations, institutional studies and surveys to research on customer service and retention. N>Raisman & Associates prides itself on its record of success for its clients and students who are aided through the firm’s services. CALL 413.219.6939 OR EMAIL info@GreatServiceMatters.com TODAY TO SEE HOW WE CAN HELP INCREASE YOUR SCHOOL'S RETENTION

“We had hoped we’d improve our retention by 3% but with the help of Dr. Raisman, we increased it by 5%.” Rachel Albert, Provost, University of Maine-Farmington

“Neal led a retreat that initiated customer service and retention as a real focus for us and gave us a clear plan. Then he followed up with presentations and workshops that kicked us all into high gear. We recommend with no reservations; just success.” Susan Mesheau, Executive Director U First: Integrated Recruitment & Retention University of New Brunswick

“Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop at Lincoln Technical Institute. It served to re-center ideas in a great way. I perceived it to be a morale booster, breath of fresh air, and a burst of passion.” Shelly S, Lincoln Technical Institute

1 comment:

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