Articles

PDF Best Practices – Service

J. James Wager, Consultant & Education Strategist

April 27, 2016

While the focus of this series of Best Practices articles is on the PDF transcript, there are associated best practices that relate to the environment in which the PDF transcript resides.

The first environmental issue is the transcript ordering process.  The traditional method of offering a transcript has been to ask the student or alumni to complete and sign an order form, enclose payment (if the sending school has a transcript fee), and mail the order form to the Registrar’s office.  Many schools make this order form available on their school’s Web page.

There are obvious processing issues associated with this approach: time delays due to mailing; incomplete or illegible data issues; exception processing related to record-not-found or transcript-hold issues; and multiple insufficient fund/payment problems.

Another common issue is the manual entry of the transcript order into the student information system.  Data entry is time consuming, is subject to human error, and during peak processing periods can result in significant processing backlogs.

For the receiver, PDF delivered transcripts outside of a trusted network require some form of notification a transcript is ready for retrieval (often email notification) and for actual secure retrieval (typically from a secure Web page).

For all users, the student/alumni, the sender, and the receiver, customer service is paramount.  Questions inevitably arise and personal response is needed to maintain the reputation of the sending school. 

Credentials Solutions provides integrated PDF transcript services starting with online ordering/payment processing for the student/alumni, automated system integration and fulfillment for the sending school, and secure delivery to the receiver.  All of these services are surrounded with the outstanding customer service.

In the next article, we will examine the Best Practices for PDF transcripts – PESC Standards.

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