5 Tips to Improve the Application Process

The best way to keep your relationship on a positive note with anyone is communication. That’s really what it’s all about, so why not with your association management software? We don’t just mean communication in the traditional sense of back and forth dialogue, but by letting applicants know ahead of time what is required. By doing this you have communicated to them what they need to know and BAM…no misunderstanding, hopefully. Other than the typical reduce the amount of clicks and pages the applicant must go through, here is a list of other tips!

5 Tips to Improve the Application Process for Applicants AND Staff:

Communicating requirements right away

What’s more annoying than filling out a form and finding out at the end that you weren’t even eligible for it to successfully go through because you were missing one of the requirements mentioned later on? Barely anything. Let your applicants know ahead of time about important requirements on the first page of the application by mentioning:

  • Payments needed
  • Required transcripts
  • Certifications
  • any clauses or laws they need to know if violated
  • and any other important points

With these things already communicated ahead of time, you can filter out any people that are misunderstanding what the application is for. With early communication of the rules, the College staff doesn’t waste any time reviewing those “junk” applications and only spending time on qualified applicants. This tip is also beneficial for the applicant because they can save time by knowing what they need right away rather than having to start the process all over again. This also reduces any interaction with the College’s staff by giving them information ahead of time and answering any applicants’ questions before they are asked.

Make Applicants Worthy

This header might sound a little dramatic but in a way, the header is explaining what you would be essentially doing if you did this tip. In the application process, make a payment mandatory from the beginning to deter anyone that might be applying to the College for the wrong reasons. Again, this helps the staff focus their time on qualified applicants.

Status Updates

After a step in the application has been completed, giving applicants the ability to go back to their account after applying and seeing where they currently are in the process would help them feel knowledgeable and confident that they are headed into the right direction of licensure. Without status updates, applicants might be emailing or calling the College trying to find out where they are in the process. Providing applicants with feedback allows them to know what changes they need to make. Staff can also give them specific instructions on what to do next. Looking each person up could be time consuming, so providing these updates is beneficial to both the applicant and the College staff.

Email Templates

Sending applicants an email immediately after they apply to let them know their application has been received and is pending for review will let the applicant know they have filled it out correctly and they have nothing to do but relax and wait for approval. Emails are also beneficial for reminders to applicants about any materials that are being waited for, such as certifications, transcripts, etc. Using email templates, as mentioned in a previous blog post, are great because they allow custom emails to be sent to one or many people right away, with a message already composed and ready to go. Regarding the status updates tip previously mentioned, you can make email templates for missing requirements and instructions for the next steps to take.

Application Templates

Application templates are very important when it comes to making a smoother application process…especially for the regulatory body. It’ll help you with keeping your data organized and categorized and eliminates any paper applications, which can be a pain to enter into computers. You can create different application templates for different types of applicants:

  • Student
  • Domestic
  • International

Application templates create consistency and transparency in the application process.

Using the tips above, applicants pretty much become self-sufficient, with exception to few unavoidable complications. If you have any tips to add to our list, feel free to mention them in our comments below!

If you are interested in procuring new association management or license management software for your association or College, please use our Software Procurement Checklist. You can use it to compare any AMS with equal criteria for easier assessment. Finding the perfect software just got a lot easier!