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Digital Student Engagement: 5 Costly Impacts of Falling Behind

What are the costly impacts of falling behind in digital student engagement?

Falling behind in digital student engagement can have several negative consequences. It can lead to lower retention rates as traditional communication channels fail to provide personalized and efficient support. Student satisfaction decreases due to the limitations of phone calls and emails, while live chat support offers fast and convenient assistance. Financially, institutions may face higher operating costs and revenue loss from inefficient communication methods. Missed opportunities for recruitment also arise from outdated strategies, but live chat can improve recruitment efforts by providing personalized service. Lastly, meeting accessibility standards is a challenge, but live chat, with its customizable features and real-time communication, helps address the needs of students with disabilities.

Table of Contents

This article explores the repercussions of lagging behind in digital student engagement, with a particular focus on five costly impacts.

As traditional communication methods prove less effective in engaging with Generation Z students, the need for alternative, more personalized approaches becomes apparent.

By examining the consequences of falling behind in digital student engagement, this article aims to provide a research-driven analysis of the negative outcomes institutions may face, including reduced retention rates, decreased student satisfaction, financial implications, missed recruitment opportunities, and failure to meet accessibility standards.

Additionally, the article underscores the importance of staying competitive in the digital age and highlights the potential benefits of implementing live chat support as a cost-effective and efficient solution.

Impact on Retention Rates

The lack of personalized and efficient support through traditional communication channels, such as phone calls and email, can negatively impact retention rates among students. Retention challenges are a significant concern for higher education institutions as they strive to promote academic success and ensure student engagement.

Research suggests that early intervention and the provision of support services are crucial in addressing these challenges. However, the limitations of traditional communication channels hinder the effectiveness of these strategies.

Studies have shown that students expect personalized support that understands their unique needs and treats them as individuals. By implementing more efficient and personalized communication channels, such as live chat, institutions can improve retention rates by providing timely and tailored support to students.

This early intervention can enhance student engagement and overall academic success.

Decreased Student Satisfaction

Decreased student satisfaction can be attributed to the limitations of traditional communication channels such as phone calls and email. These channels often result in a negative student experience due to a lack of personalization, communication barriers, customer dissatisfaction, and slow response times.

Research shows that many Gen Z students dislike making phone calls, and email response times can be slow and unpopular. These barriers to engagement limit the ability of prospective and current students to connect with universities effectively.

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In contrast, live chat support provides fast and convenient assistance, enabling personalized service and understanding of unique needs. Agents have access to all student information during live chat, leading to improved customer satisfaction. Moreover, live chat is more cost-effective compared to phone support, lowering operating costs and boosting productivity.

Overall, implementing live chat as a communication channel can address the limitations of traditional channels, resulting in increased student satisfaction.

Financial Consequences for Institutions

Financial consequences for institutions arise from the limitations of traditional communication channels, such as phone calls and email, which can result in increased operating costs, decreased productivity, and potential loss of revenue.

Budget constraints and the need for cost management make it crucial for institutions to find efficient and cost-effective communication solutions. The table below highlights the financial implications of falling behind in digital student engagement:

Financial ImplicationsDescription
Increased operating costsPhone support leads to higher operating costs compared to digital channels.
Decreased productivityLengthy calls, transfers, and aging technology can decrease productivity.
Potential loss of revenueInefficient communication channels may result in missed opportunities and revenue loss.
Financial strain and budget constraintsTraditional channels can strain budgets, making it challenging to allocate resources.

To mitigate these risks, institutions need to invest in digital student support, such as live chat and chatbots, to reduce operating costs, improve productivity, and avoid potential revenue loss. By implementing these solutions, institutions can effectively manage their budget constraints and ensure financial stability.

Missed Opportunities for Recruitment

Missed opportunities for recruitment can arise from the limitations of traditional communication channels, hindering institutions’ ability to effectively engage with prospective students and potentially impacting their enrollment numbers.

Outdated recruitment strategies and ineffective communication methods contribute to this issue. Traditional channels such as phone calls and emails often lack personalized engagement and have limited outreach efforts. Research has shown that 60% of Gen Z students dislike making phone calls, and phone calls and long hold times create barriers to engagement. Email response times can be slow and unpopular, further limiting engagement.

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To address these challenges, institutions can adopt live chat as a more effective communication channel. Live chat provides the fast and convenient support that students want, enabling personalized service and understanding of their unique needs. By leveraging live chat, institutions can improve their recruitment efforts and enhance prospective students’ experience.

Inability to Meet Accessibility Standards

To address the issue of meeting accessibility standards, higher education institutions can implement live chat as a communication channel that complies with WCAG guidelines and offers customizable features to remove barriers to access.

Many institutions struggle to meet students’ accessibility needs, and live chat provides a solution. By being fully WCAG compliant, live chat ensures that students with disabilities can effectively engage in communication.

Customizable windows and buttons further enhance accessibility by allowing users to adjust the interface according to their needs.

Live chat also supports real-time communication, providing immediate support to students with speech or hearing impairments. Additionally, the inclusion of in-built video chat aids lip reading and signing for the visually impaired, further promoting inclusive communication.

Higher Support Costs and Lower Efficiency

The previous subtopic discussed the inability of many higher education institutions to meet accessibility standards. This current subtopic focuses on the higher support costs and lower efficiency associated with traditional communication channels.

Traditional channels such as phone calls and email support can result in high support costs due to lengthy calls, transfers, and outdated technology. These operational inefficiencies can drain resources and strain budget constraints.

Additionally, phone and email support can be time-consuming and often lead to low efficiency. Students may experience frustration and dissatisfaction with these channels, as they expect personalized and fast support.

However, live chat offers a more cost-effective solution, reducing support costs and increasing productivity. It allows agents to handle multiple chats simultaneously, respond quickly, and easily transfer chats between agents.

Implementing chatbots can further optimize support costs and improve efficiency.

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Negative Perception Among Gen Z Students

The negative perception among Gen Z students towards traditional communication channels has been observed, as they dislike making phone calls and find email response times slow and unpopular. This negative perception poses significant engagement challenges and leads to student dissatisfaction. A study conducted among Gen Z students revealed that 60% of them dislike making phone calls.

This aversion to phone calls creates a digital disconnect between these students and traditional communication channels. Additionally, email response times are often slow and unpopular among Gen Z students who expect quick and efficient communication.

To highlight the impact of this negative perception, the table below provides a comparison between traditional communication channels and the preferred digital communication method of live chat, which offers fast and convenient support that aligns with Gen Z students’ communication preferences.

Traditional Communication ChannelsLive Chat
Phone calls and long hold timesFast and convenient support
Slow and unpopular email responseQuick and efficient communication
Limited engagement opportunitiesPersonalized service and support

The negative perception among Gen Z students towards traditional communication channels highlights the need for higher education institutions to adapt to their communication preferences and implement digital solutions such as live chat to improve student engagement and satisfaction.

Competitive Disadvantage in the Digital Age

The negative perception among Gen Z students regarding traditional communication channels can lead to a competitive disadvantage in the digital age. Higher education institutions that fail to adapt to digital student engagement strategies risk falling behind and experiencing a digital disadvantage.

This digital gap can result in a technological disadvantage compared to institutions that effectively leverage digital channels for student support and engagement. The competitive disadvantage in the digital age can have costly impacts on institutions, including decreased student satisfaction, higher operating costs, reduced agent productivity, and failure to meet accessibility needs.

Institutions must recognize the importance of embracing digital platforms, such as live chat, to bridge the digital gap and remain competitive in today’s technologically advanced society.


In conclusion, falling behind in digital student engagement can have significant and costly impacts on educational institutions. The traditional communication channels of phone calls and emails are no longer effective in engaging with Gen Z students, leading to decreased student satisfaction and retention rates. Institutions may experience financial consequences and missed opportunities for recruitment as a result.

Furthermore, failing to meet accessibility standards can limit access to education for students with disabilities. By investing in live chat support, institutions can improve customer satisfaction, agent productivity, and overall competitiveness in the digital age.

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