How Missouri State Advisors save 20h a week with a scheduling software
What could you be doing if you weren’t spending time scheduling meetings? Advisors at Missouri State University explain the real-world benefits they see using scheduling software for higher education.
7 min read
Reduction in staff handling appointments
Hours saved per week for the whole team
No-shows reduced to virtually zero
“When we implemented YouCanBook.me, I had a full staff booking advising appointments. Pretty quickly, I went from six students down to two. Now the phone hardly ever rings. It really helps with efficiency.”
How they use it:
Advisors at Missouri State University use the extra time they save using YouCanBook.me to see more students, develop new projects and provide a better advising service.
Customized booking forms
Customized calendar entries
Brittany Wise College of Health & Human Services Student Success & Advisement Center
Advisors are the backbone of university life.
They’re there for new students, old students, non-traditional and confused students.
Advisors help in times of challenge, support in times of need, and are often the only place a student can turn.
So where do advisors turn when they need help?
For several departments at Missouri State University, the answer is scheduling software for higher education and YouCanBook.me.
For Brittany Wise, in the Psychology Department, using YouCanBook.me meant significant efficiencies in student staffing.
“YouCanBook.me was a game-changer. We save up to 20 hours a week because there was a lot of back and forth and a lot of calling. It's really made our office more efficient - almost to the point of obsolete.
“We had six people, but then went down to two because there just wasn't as much of a need. Not as many people are calling to book appointments.”
For Angela Plank, who both teaches in and coordinates Undergraduate Advisement in the Biology Department, using YouCanBook.me means she’s spending more time with students and less time scheduling them.
“Before, it would just be constant back and forth emails, and I have tons of students I'm doing that with. I have freed up hours within my week.
“What can I do now? I can see more students! I can see more in a shorter period. It's made such a huge difference because I'm not spending as much time booking appointments.”
And for Jaime Ross, Director of Adult Student Services, using YCBM has meant her team can work on innovative new projects to help students.
“It really took a lot of the administrative back and forth off our plates. And that freed up time to allow us to pursue other initiatives that we had kind of put on the back burner because our time was being eaten up with the redundant efforts of trying to schedule.”
“Office hours are a thing of the past. Now, you need to be booking appointments. I'm not leaving a whole hour open when no one's going to show up. My students and I are both happier when they use my booking site.” Angela Plank, Department of Biology, Missouri State University
These powerful examples of how scheduling software for higher education can make meaningful differences to your day-to-day work came about because Jaime was looking for ways to improve the student experience.
“Years ago, I attended a national conference on academic advising. One of the presenters talked about online scheduling. Because we work with adult and non-traditional students, we were really aware that, often, they're working during the period that we’re open. We wanted to make sure that students were able to book an appointment with us even in the middle of the night.”
It didn’t take long for the team to see the benefits.
“We added SMS text messaging, which adult students really love! Our number of no shows virtually went down to zero because of the reminders we send out before our appointments and because students can reschedule themselves. We don’t have to have any part in it.”
For Jaime’s team, removing the back and forth of scheduling (and rescheduling) the 400-500 students an advisor typically sees each academic year meant they were able to work on different projects. It also meant they were able to pivot to online learning almost instantly when the pandemic hit in 2020.
“I used to talk all the time about this amazing YouCanBook.me that we were using. A lot of people were interested but kind of hesitant to jump in and change their processes.
“Then COVID hit and the university leadership held a meeting asking us how we were going to transition to remote work. I said, ‘We’re already done. I just clicked a button.”
That got people’s attention.
“We literally took the “in-person” option off of our booking page, leaving Zoom, phone, email, and we were done. That was our transition.”
Immediately, colleagues around the university wanted to know more about YouCanBook.me’s scheduling software for higher education.
Jaime was asked to take on the job of getting anyone who needed to meet with students connected. They now have 15 different centers on campus using YouCanBook.me.
“It was definitely interesting. Each center used it a little bit differently for different purposes. Some realized they could use it for intra-office meetings with faculty members, as well as for students.
“I was amazed at how easy it was. I was just bracing myself, anticipating that I would get a load of calls because I knew people were really wary of change. But they really took to it.
“And they have all told me the same thing: ‘I don't know how I did what I did before using this. Nothing but just solid praise about how changing their booking process to YouCanBook.me has been a game-changer for them.”
Powerful features flexible enough for different needs
So what are the features that are making such an impact for these advisors and their colleagues across Missouri State?
A lot of departments use Appointment Types to set out different options for students. The feature gives students clarity about what they can expect and how long their meeting will be.
“Appointment types help us make things really straightforward for the student”, says Brittany. “Different pages offer different options depending on what is required.”
“They know just by looking at their calendar, ‘I’m meeting with a transfer student at 12, and I’m meeting with a veteran student at 2’. At a glance, they can pull the necessary information to cover the topics that those specific students need.
“So, from a preparation standpoint, having that information just at your fingertips has been super helpful for these advisors.”
“I think a lot of people would be surprised at how much of their day they spend setting up appointments. If your day is at all appointment driven, this is the way to go.” Angela Plank, Department of Biology, Missouri State University
“Prior to YouCanBook.me, I didn't have anyone else helping me set my appointments because I asked a lot of questions to make sure they weren't booking with the wrong person, or for the wrong amount of time. I needed to filter those students out myself.
“But now the questions are on my booking page. That guides students into giving me the information I need. YouCanBook.me does all that for me.”
Conditional statements is a powerful feature that sits perfectly alongside Appointment Types and bespoke questions on the booking form. They allow you to send different emails based on which meeting was chosen, or how a question was answered.
“Faculty are amazed at the conditional statements and what they can do with them”, says Jaime. “They know if a student answers a certain way they can direct their response accordingly. A lot of us use it to send a different email depending on if it’s a Zoom meeting or in-person. The ones that are using it are using it in amazing ways.”
“I would highly recommend it. It has been such a time saver and it’s so easy to use. One of the prime things for my line of work is being able to get students in when they need somebody. And it’s not just looking at my calendar, but looking at team members’ calendars as well.” Brittany Wise, College of Health & Human Services Student Success & Advisement Center
Working within a team of advisors and student staff means everyone will have different availability. YouCanBook.me offers a number of ways to easily show diverse schedules without adding extra steps for students.
Brittany’s team of student workers is a good example.
“I have one team member who doesn't do 30-minute meetings. Her meetings are always an hour. YouCanBook.me works really well for us because I can still have 30 minutes and she can have an hour but we can send that team page. So I really like the flexibility.”
Jaime’s team saw no-shows reduced to almost zero after they implemented the reminder SMS messages. But hers wasn’t the only department to see that.
“Reminders have decreased no shows all across campus”, says Jaime. “That's what I keep hearing: the ability for students to reschedule and for it to be effortless and for them to do it on their own has been a game-changer for sure.”
💡Pro Tip: No need to reinvent the notifications wheel! Take a look at our education-specific email templates covering best practices for Faculty, Advising & Admissions teams.
Improving the student experience campus-wide
Many students have come to expect technology to assist every aspect of their lives. They often don’t comment about online scheduling. But they would if it wasn’t available!
For other students, education scheduling software has helped remove obstacles to them asking for help.
“We've got some students who say they wouldn't have ever talked to us if we didn't offer this way of booking. It helps them be less anxious, knowing what kinds of questions they need to be prepared to answer beforehand. It removes a barrier for some students who would be in an anxiety-provoking situation.”
And what other departments are using YouCanBook.me at Missouri State?
“The Admissions department uses it for prospective students and parents that want to visit Missouri State and learn more about it”, says Jaime. “The counselors include their YouCanBook.me link in their email signature and all their communications. They're using it all the time now.”
“Then there’s the Financial aid team. All of them can be booked with YouCanBook.me.
And the Veteran Student Center.
And advisors in the College of Business and the College of Education, which are two of our biggest colleges at Missouri State. And we've got pockets of faculty in different colleges.”
YouCanBook.me is a game-changer for Advising teams
Flexibility, customization, and dramatic time savings are the key drivers for YouCanBook.me users at Missouri State, who are finding new uses for it all the time.
Angela says: “I can't say enough good things about it. It has made a huge difference in my professional life.”
People Also Ask
Does scheduling software work for higher education Advising departments?
Scheduling software can be a great solution for any higher education department. YouCanBook.me offers flexibility and customization so each department can create a booking experience that works best for them and their students.
For university advisors, offering online bookings makes it easier for students to make and keep their appointments.
Advisors using YouCanBook.me love that it removes all the admin of scheduling meetings with hundreds of students each year. They use it to meet current students, prospective students, transfer students and nontraditional students.
For higher education teams, scheduling software needs to be flexible, customizable and easy to use.
To maximize your investment, you want to select a higher education scheduling software that will work across all departments and all kinds of teams. YouCanBook.me offers 1-1 bookings, group bookings and team booking pages.
You can use it to schedule students or resources. It offers multiple reminder options and can be easily updated to show departmental logos and colors.
Most importantly, it is the easiest way for students to make online bookings. It’s available 24/7 and eliminates all the admin around scheduling meetings with students.
How can I reduce the back and forth of booking students?
For university advising teams, who have to meet with hundreds of students every year, scheduling those appointments can take up a significant amount of their time.
YouCanBook.me’s 30% Education discount means it’s great value, too. Students love being able to book meetings online because it’s available when they are.
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Missouri State University is a public university with more than 20,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded in 1905, Missouri State is located in Springfield, Missouri in the US.
Kate was an early YouCanBookMe employee and loved supporting our Customers for almost a decade. She's now focused on spreading the word about online scheduling, how to improve productivity, and the Oxford comma.
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