Universities may soon be facing significant budget cuts as news of the Chancellors plans emerge to cut another £450 million from the Higher Education pot. This means that efficiently interacting with students will take on a much greater significance for Universities across the UK. Our team of solution experts have some tips for Higher Education Institutions to improve interactions with students, for the benefit of both student satisfaction and the institution.
Your institution faces extreme changes in contact demand with high peaks around the clearing period and quieter periods once students are settled into their academic year.
Challenges arise when interactions are not tracked or reported on, giving departments little information as to the level of demand they have previously faced and are likely to face in the future. The peaks in demand during clearing will have a large impact on student services and also affect the IT and Telecoms support function.
Our Solution Architects suggest a single, unified contact dashboard that reports on all interactions and channels, to give your contact centre supervisor's visibility of the demand the contact centre is facing, in real-time. Learn how your supervisors can regain control of the contact centre.
Legacy call management systems
Many educational institutions have legacy call management systems (ACD) that are unable to delivering a quality multi-channel student experience. You may have traditional telephone systems or have already made the move to VoIP telephony or even Microsoft Skype for Business. Is your solution able to produce a holistic view of the student journey or efficiently distribute the multiple media contact methods as demand rises?
Possibly you have a team answering the phone and another responding to emails. If email is managed in Outlook then there is no automated way to assign, report and improve customer interactions. Customer service on other channels such as web chat and social media would add more challenges.
We suggest a different approach; consider a contact handling system that can prioritise and manage all contact in a universal queue by type and media channel (e.g. applications, complaints) as well as support your switchboard call handling function.
Quality management is improved as calls and on screen interacts are recorded and a clear audit trail is available for all contact. This highlights areas for targeted training, and improves customer service and staff morale.
Confirm any investment functionality
Our Solution Architects recommend you should look at the following aspects. Can your proposed solution?
Accommodate a flexible licencing model, to, for instance, expand your team during 'Clearing' to process applications and answer queries, without having to pay costly additional licence fees
- Single user interfaces for Agent, Supervisor and Administration
- Click to dial from a directory - controllable via mouse click, keyboard or touchscreen
- Skills based route multimedia contacts using advanced contact distribution
- Real time and historical reports supporting performance monitoring
- Support for centralised and multi-location contact handling, including remote and homeworking
- A range of resilience and deployment options
- Location and device independence,
Implementing these simple but powerful tips will help your institution to deliver excellent cost effective customer service to your students all year round while effectively managing the changes in demand.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog to learn how your institution can improve resource management and agent evaluation to deliver exceptional customer service across all channels and interactions.