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Adjusting to Changes in Customer Need

January 20, 2016

Companies are in business to provide a service that alleviates a pain-point in the marketplace. Once this service is planned, developed, marketed and deployed one might think all the heavy lifting is over. A consumer need has been addressed and the firm hopefully made some money in the process, so what more needs to be done? The reality is that the task of improving the customer experience is never complete. Continuous improvement is critical to an organization staying relevant to both internal and external stakeholders.

Employees must see that they are part of a nimble organization that can form-fit solutions in an ever changing business landscape. Customers must know that their vendor can adjust to their changing needs and provide solutions that alleviate fiscal and operational stresses. Customer demands change as their business evolves. Manual tasks eat up what little time lean staffs have to complete their daily activities, not to mention other fires and long-term projects that need to be tended to.

In 2001, Credentials put transcript ordering online and eliminated the need for students to flood the lobby of a Registrar’s Office to order their transcripts in person. This took care of a pain-point for both schools and students. Fast forward a year or so later and it came to our attention that there was still a lot of manual labor going on behind the scenes. So we worked to develop RoboRegistrar® to automate the back-end processing. It was great to take care of the ordering piece initially but we had to evolve to meet an additional need of the Admissions and Records Office. This then led to us streamlining both electronic and paper delivery, which along with the customer service we provide, has allowed us to take almost 90% of the transcript labor out of the Registrar’s office. The customer and their end-user receive a more efficient service and employees feel empowered as a result of being involved in the problem-solving process.

This brings me to ParkingPlus®, our campus parking solution that I have become immersed in the last few months in my new position. The service provides online parking permit ordering, payment processing, fulfillment and customer service support. It takes care of a lot of time consuming tasks that come with parking management. But as time goes on, advances in technology increase efficiency and lower costs across the board. Since we implemented the service, labor, postage and equipment costs have risen consistently. Costs have increased in the same manner on campus. So how do we adjust?

Credentials has been developing a License Plate Recognition (LPR) solution to simplify parking privilege management. Students and staff members register their license plate number and a camera system attached to an enforcement vehicle reads plates to check for parking compliance in lots across campus, allowing more cars to be checked daily. We are also able to communicate with daily parking and citation management vendors seamlessly to increase compliance and save you money. We will begin a pilot shortly and are excited to expand on the service in coming newsletters.

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