Working with students - why it always pays to book ahead
Talking to staff managing equipment stores and checkout desks, we know how time consuming it can be to respond to a series of student enquiries about equipment availability every day. You need a system that can provide this information to students directly, better still, one that allows them to reserve what they need for themselves.
After all, most students are happy enough ordering items on Amazon or Ebay. Why not apply the same principle for what they need on their courses? This way you can spend your time where it's more valued, advising students on how to use the equipment rather than being waylaid with repetitive queries and administration.
This is how it works with connect2...
Instead of arriving at the desk speculatively or enquiring by email or phone, students can use the connect2 online system to view availability of equipment and make their own bookings. So when they turn up at the counter, the items they want are definitely available and take less than 5 minutes to issue. This is in contrast to the 15+ minutes it would otherwise take to respond to each query.
90% of universities using the connect2 system operate such an advance booking system, and this leads to an average 70% of bookings being made by students online in advance.
Enabling students to make their own bookings saves technical teams hundreds, if not thousands, of hours every semester. How is connect2 so successful in achieving this?
- Connect2 makes it easy for students to reserve their items in advance, helping them to browse and select the items they need, add them to their basket and agree to terms and conditions. It’s an online experience that most students are very familiar with, so there’s no resistance or lag in getting students to adopt the system
- Images and information on each item help students choose the right equipment for their needs
- A ‘frequently booked with’ feature assists students in adding the necessary accessories and battery packs etc to their booking
- Further time is saved when picking up the equipment as you will have time to review and prepare for the scheduled checkouts made visible to you in the same system
Further time-saving features
More time is saved by dispensing with the need to explain or negotiate the authorized length of loans with each student – instead the borrowing rules are embedded in the system with the details given to students at the point of booking.
Connect2 even makes it possible to tailor the borrowing rules by user type so, for instance, staff can book for longer periods than students. Or final year students can book for longer than freshers. Students can also renew items themselves without staff assistance, simply by going online. Connect2 works out if there is sufficient availability to allow the renewal. If there isn’t then the automated reminders will tell the student to return the item.
When connect2 enables students to manage their own enquiries, reservations and renewals, you have more time to support them in ways that add real value. This is what our connect2 customers tell us:
“Checkouts are now much faster due to having advance bookings. We didn’t used to have these. Students would walk up to the counter and say ‘I want a camera’. With an advance booking, it probably cuts the checkout time in half." Indiana University Bloomington
"We encourage students to reserve their items online before coming to pick them up. From the start, they could see how easy it was. We would tell them about it either by phone or while at the desk. Now 60-70% of equipment loans are made in advance by students without any help from us... It’s no exaggeration to say that checkouts typically take 90% less time than with the previous system.” Cal Poly, Customer Technology Support Department
To find out more about connect2 and how it can benefit your department, please contact:
Danny Thomas on 646 583 2215, email email@example.com.
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