Real stories of change

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Each month, the TargetX Campus Visit Consulting team has been featuring stories of change from current clients, tips we have learned on campus and/or trends we have seen that impact higher education.

These posts (the “Three T’s: Talks, Tips and Trends”) are designed to illustrate that change takes time and change faces challenges. Campus visit tips can take all forms and the trends we see in our everyday lives impact the visit and the students we are trying to recruit.

When you read the posts, we want you to think about the experiences you have had that shaped the way you approach recruiting students at your school.

This month, Jennifer McLendon of the University of North Texas talks about how their work with TargetX helped keep their visit from feeling like a Texas-sized cattle herd.

How did you work to create change within your campus visit?
During my time at UNT the number of campus guests has doubled to roughly 20,000 visitors each year and our Eagle Ambassador team has grown from 13 to 22. Your team was brutally honest with us and made it clear we had to make a choice — either “go Disney” with the visit or accept that we would be leading a cattle herd through campus every day…

What outcomes have those changes generated?
We have happier guests and happier Eagle Ambassadors and are making tremendous strides in delivering an authentic, customized UNT experience to each of our visitors…

Tell us a story about an experience outside of higher education that you loved or that continues to inspire you.
On a visit to Disneyland with my three year old daughter we spent the majority of our time in Fantasyland. To our dismay, the Snow White ride was closed.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all had some part of your campus closed for various reasons and you’ve had to explain that to your guests. What impressed me about this experience was how Disneyland decided to address the ride closure. There was a friendly gentleman in full costume standing at the entrance of the ride explaining to everyone why the ride was closed, when it would reopen and apologizing for the inconvenience. He was also handing out Disneyland buttons to all the children who approached. We left with a souvenir and a happy little princess.

In our work with guests, it is more convenient to take the easy way out and just “post a sign.” But this Disney experience really made me stop and think about how we deal with inconveniences and still make our guests feel welcomed and valued.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s interview from this month’s “Campus Visit: Talk.”

To read more of the Consulting team’s “Three T’s,” visit the iThink blog.

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