It’s now October, and at this point incoming Freshman at the University of Southern California are settling into their first semester and getting familiar with student life—giving the card office a moment to catch their breath from all the hustle and bustle of issuing student IDs and beginning the Credential LifeCycle for incoming students.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to the University of Southern California Assistant Customer Service Manager William Bourlier to discuss how USC was able to engage parents and students with a more direct delivery of information. Learn how the university reached 90%+ of the incoming undergraduate class utilizing online photo submission while leveraging an orientation program for new students. He’ll share USC’s catalyst for executing this marketing campaign, what challenges they faced and final results.
Q: What was the main motivation for developing a university-wide initiative for improving the distribution of the USC Card ID?
A: Our main objective for improving the distribution of the USCard was to enhance the Trojan Experience while increasing the visibility of the campus card office. We also wanted to develop a partnership with Orientation Programs to have a more active role in the 19 new student orientation programs at USC.
Q: How did the idea come about for the USCard Services marketing campaign & strategy?
A: The idea for this marketing campaign came from a university-wide initiative to provide a highly individualized, truly memorable and transformative customer service experience for our students and their families. Prior to implementing the campaign, we issued both a student ID and family card during new student freshman orientations but were dissatisfied with the participation of students submitting images online and the way ID cards are distributed during new student orientations. In addition, we wanted a more active role in the orientation program to build USCard and ID card awareness.
Q: Can you share with us how USC uses their credential program to engage students?
A: USCard Services began an email and postcard marketing program to reach new students attending one of USC’s 19 new student orientation programs. Student ID cards were distributed with an information-filled postcard at the Student Services Expo, where students becoming part of the Trojan family were celebrated with Instagram posts. A lucky freshman was awarded a USC backpack during each of the freshman orientation’s Instagram raffle.
Q: What elements of the marketing campaign are you most proud of?
A: The overall program improvement of ID card delivery, packaging and ID card awareness were significant. Our online image submittal and ID card distribution increased from 60% to 94% within a year. Credit Card Deposits increased 8% from the prior year and cash deposits increased by 40%. We also saw attendance at our Student Services Expo increased dramatically. Parents and students were more engaged in the service fair and parents felt more involved as part of the Trojan Family.