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5 Reasons Higher Learning Institutes Adopt Cloud Contact Center Software

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 11:15
Higher Education Contact Center

It’s no secret that the Cloud reigns supreme in the contact center arena. In recent years, a vast majority of enterprises have adopted some kind of hybrid or exclusively cloud-based strategy. Enterprise contact centers continue to use the power of the cloud to implement advanced technologies, utilize the latest software offerings and improve efficiencies across the enterprise or organization.

According to Neal A. Raisman, from The Business of Higher Education, research indicates that 72% of students who do not re-enroll give customer service as the reason. This is one of the reasons why institutes of higher learning are also choosing to adopt cloud contact centers. Implementing these services enables students to connect quickly - and in a variety of ways - with the correct person that can better-handle their need. Following, we examine 5 other reasons why the higher education deployment of enterprise cloud contact center software is steadily increasing.

1. Flexibility and Scalability

Universities and other institutions of higher learning are continually changing their bandwidth needs – expanding them during the fall and winter semesters and potentially decreasing the amount when there are fewer students enrolled during spring and summer semesters.

Additionally, students reaching out to alumni for mentoring and financial support - through calling and social media campaigns - may require bursts of bandwidth usage. During other time periods, a cloud contact center solution can be adapted to optimize student recruitment efforts or maximize ticket admission sales.  Implementing a cloud-based infrastructure gives the organization the ability to scale behind-the-scenes equipment and software to current needs.

2. Streamlined Administrative Processing

Enterprise cloud contact centers can be beneficial in reducing call volume to administrative staff in many university departmental functions including admissions, registration and records, financial aid and continuing education. As appropriate, the facility can use automated directory assistance, provide answers to typical questions using Interactive Voice Scripting (IVR) and offer additional resources to handle user issues, such as email contacts and web addresses.

To reduce caller frustrations and wait times, universities can deploy queue announcements with wait times and call position, provide alternatives for call handling and reroute calls to alternate departments. On the back end, contact center and workforce management software enables administrators to modify staffing needs as appropriate, depending on the reporting information provided by the system.  

3. More Efficient Support Services

Contact center solutions allow for more efficient handling of student and staff issues that can arise in areas like student housing, IT services, special event promotion, food services and so on. Utilizing a product that combines omnichannel communication pathways - voice, video, web, chat and email - staff members are able to be more attentive to callers while still handling other job responsibilities. Other job tasks can be automated with features like recorded promotional messages, self-service web apps and emailed inquiries for issues that are not time sensitive.  

IT help desks are a vital part of any campus as they provide support for computers, network access, AV services and resource scheduling. Depending on levels of available staffing, contact center features can assist with these tasks by queuing callers and routing calls to the correct support personnel. Again, an IVR can reduce the number of calls pushed through the system by providing information regarding system outages and addressing frequently asked questions like how to reset passwords or access the university’s wireless network. Callback options can also be setup so that callers don’t have to wait on hold. And cloud-based contact center options can enable remote support as calls can route to an IP-enabled softphone or forwarded to a support staff member’s cell phone.

Campus health services can also benefit from pieces of an enterprise cloud contact center, using an automated attendant for appointment scheduling, reminders, cancellations, and an IVR that includes treatments and remedies for common ailments. Telephone counseling with remote access capabilities can also be a great feature for campus doctors and nurses.

4. Monitoring and Security

Organizations like colleges and universities that run 24 x 7 need to have a communications infrastructure that they can count on. Using contact center software like West Cloud Contact Center CE, administrators can take advantage of tools such as advanced analytics, reporting, workforce management, quality assurance and monitoring and routing capabilities.

These tools guarantee that the system will stay up and running in the configured capacity and continue to meet student, teacher and staffing demands. For improved situation handling, campus security can use screen pop-ups provided through contact center software to quickly ascertain critical information about a caller such as their location and emergency contact information.

5. Other Reasons to Deploy an Enterprise Contact Center Solution

There are many other reasons why the use of enterprise contact center software in higher education continues to increase. Multimedia capabilities allow students to choose how to interface with campus departments, based on their preference, whether it’s via phone, email or web chat. Also, the library can use these features to send out automatic responses and overdue reminders through a variety of channels. The facility can also provide access to resources and answer questions through contact center-provided interfaces.

Another attractive feature offered with contact center software solutions is the tracking of contact center statistics like: the number of calls in queue; call wait times; and the total number of agents handling calls. Armed with this information, agents and managers can make changes to ensure optimal call handling. Finally, outbound contact center capabilities can help improve the effectiveness of fund raising campaigns.  They do so by improving efficiencies and the accuracy of dialing and calling processes, with fewer misdialed numbers. Allowing agents to see call pop-ups of previous donor information can also help them to more appropriately engage each contact.

Many working entities in a university structure can find themselves benefiting from an enterprise contact center. Cloud contact center software can provide flexibility and scalability for a university’s communications solution, streamline administrative processes, provide more efficient support services, offer monitoring and security and provide a host of other benefits to improve campus life and operations.

Like any business, institutes of higher learning also want to run like a well-oiled machine, operating with the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. Help educate your institute on all the reasons why implementing an enterprise contact center solution + partnering with a cloud contact services provider = continuing communications success in the years to come!

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