The vast majority of university mail service centers were constructed prior to the rise of the digital age. Initially, most of the post they received were letters that could be easily separated and then slotted into a small personal mailbox. There were no notices or alerts; a person simply checked their box sporadically to see if they had received anything. In terms of outgoing mail, services were minimal.
Now, in the days of social media and Amazon overnight shipping, receiving or sending a letter in the mail is an uncommon occurrence, while online shopping and package delivery have seen a meteoric rise. This technological growth has changed the way society views mail services and has forever altered expectations. As a result, university mail rooms have been rendered inefficient and obsolete in many ways.
Below, we will discuss ways to modernize your university mail services in order to improve student satisfaction, optimize the mail room, and drive revenue.
How to Improve University Mail Services
Old mail rooms were fairly passive systems; the mail came in and students checked their mailboxes or waited in line to see if they’d received a package. Today, this sort of process is concerning to students, seeing as most are accustomed to receiving real-time alerts regarding packages and deliveries—alerts, communication, and thorough tracking features are now facets of most mail services. To put it frankly: the bar has been raised.
In which case, how can universities improve their mail services? Below you’ll find a few ideas.
ID Badge Integration and Automated Notifications
When a carrier brings in a package, university mail room workers scan the package’s barcode to see for whom it is intended. By integrating student ID badges into the university’s database and mail room system, you can make both the delivery and pickup processes seamless. This not only creates a chain of custody but also alerts the recipient by email or text that their package has arrived. If they desire, mail rooms can modify notifications to contain other relevant information such as who received it, the pickup location, and the type of mail.
The percentage of student’s annual online purchases has grown exorbitantly over the past decade. Now, an increasing amount of young people not only shop online for sundry goods, but for groceries and medicines as well. Most mail rooms are not able to handle the overwhelming deluge of packages that are continuously arriving. They have neither the storage space nor the staff to handle incoming bulk mail adequately. As a result, picking up a package can be a massive time-drain thanks to long lines at the service window and limited pickup hours. Adding parcel lockers is an easy way to expedite this process.
Smart-lockers such as those offered by Parcel Pending make it easy and convenient to pick up a package at any time. The lockers integrate with the university’s mail tracking system, providing alerts when the package arrives. Once they have been informed, students simply scan, open, and go. This cuts mailroom processing time, therefore, increasing university staff member efficiency. The lockers can fit just about any package and are refrigerated, which makes them ideal for groceries or medicines. Whether you want indoor or outdoor lockers, both options are safe, secure, cost effective, and can be externally customized to whatever look the university desires.
Modern university mail services not only need to update the way they receive mail but the way they send it as well. These days, students prefer integration and one-stop shopping. In response to student demand, many universities choose to update their mail room by turning it into an all-in-one service center that allows students to ship via whatever carrier they desire without having to go off campus. This includes selling related supplies or offering services such as the staff packing and sending the item on the student’s behalf.
Students rarely have printers in their dorm rooms. As a result, they regularly need a place to fulfill their printing needs. While libraries typically have printers, such machines are often obsolete and in minimal supply. By integrating smart printers and mobile printing, students can send their documents to the mailroom printers wherever, whenever. This service simplifies the everyday for the student and generates revenue for the university.
- A student sends in the document that requires printing
- The database scans their ID and draws money from their account
- The smart machines print the document
- Students retrieve documents at their convenience by simply entering a code or their ID at the self-service kiosks.
To make this service even more attractive, mail room printing can allow for the printing of posters, presentation boards, and banners—a feat rarely provided by the traditional printing services of a university.
Improving Your Mail Room
There are simple steps you can take to upgrade your university mailroom and better improve your college campus experience. Small changes such as those listed above can lead to improved student and staff happiness, increased mail room efficiency, and a full optimization of the mailing service.