Texas Tech is a top-ranking University with a student roll of 36,500. Out of these, almost 80% of students will have contact with the University’s office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
It’s here that thousands of applications for loans, grants and scholarships are received and processed.
This mammoth administrative task is managed by Supervisor Nikki Sosa, supported by her 60-strong team. Together they provide the essential service of linking student, agency and financial organization together, allocating funds, awards and scholarships.
At the Lubbock Campus, in north west Texas, this call-centre team responds to a deluge of student enquiries, ranging from the status of a student’s loan application, to how to pay a bill.
These enquiries are done either face-to-face on campus; on the ‘phone; or through digital channels such as the University’s website, Facebook or Twitter.
Having access to up-to-date information is vital for this busy team, as they strive to answer student enquiries ‘on-the-spot’.
At any one time, there are literally thousands of student loan applications in the system. These are processed in batches according to date of submission.
Originally, a daily update was sent to all staff via a group email, advising the status of each batch, and other information. But staff found it time consuming to trawl through their emails and locate the right message. In many cases, these emails got missed completely.
If there were further updates during the day, the only option would be to send out an additional email, adding to the inbox clutter.
Ms Sosa felt the process was not working. She says: “It was inefficient. We had no way of knowing whether staff had seen the email, and therefore working off the right information.”
With the team being widely spread, and includes a mix of full and part-time workers (who at times, may be based remotely - for example, during Orientation), Ms Sosa needed an easy-to-implement solution that could be seen by every employee.
“The ease of having accurate information constantly at eye level makes life
a lot easier,” explains Ms Sosa. “It’s expedited our productivity.”
The University invested in one of SnapComms’ most popular tool – the scrolling ticker. This useful communication channel displays information via a narrow window of moving text. It typically scrolls across the bottom of employees’ screens, overriding email completely.
Its short snappy format is ideal for conveying the bite size chunks of information that the University staff need to do their job.
It can be set to stay on screen permanently until clicked, or to reappear at scheduled intervals. Ms Sosa says most staff prefer to keep the ticker scrolling continuously, as they can refer to it instantly.
SNAPCOMMS TICKER TOOL
Push important news and updates to employees without them having to seek them out. SnapComms' Internal Scrolling News feed tool builds on the power of RSS but is more flexible and easy to customize.
Ms Sosa has developed short-form terms for every approval stage. This condensed text is updated every day, featuring the latest information regarding each batch.
The news-style headlines feature all the relevant information, and are sent direct to employees’ screens.
“It’s so quick to set up – just a minute or two – and easy to update if required,” explains Ms. Sosa.
It helps with multi-tasking – a key skill needed by this busy team. Staff are able to scan-read the ticker headlines while working within other applications or liaising with students. The narrow text field means their screen real-estate is not compromised.
Texas Tech uses on screen tickers that scroll across the bottom of employees' PC screens to communicate important information.
It’s been more than two years since the ticker tool was introduced at the University, and has since become an integral part of the team’s communications.
“Staff love the fact that they no longer have to dig around trying to find an email, or disturb a colleague to get the right answer. With the ticker, it’s right there in front of them, in a single steady stream.”
- Nikki Sosa, Section Supervisor