Using blended call centre solutions in Higher Education helps to avoid the costs associated with student engagement and other communications.

Blended call centre solutions

Higher Education organisations, like all competitive businesses, are embracing technology to update their communications infrastructure and meet their students’ expectations.
This, of course, has to be done within budget. Having an integrated contact centre platform and interoperability with backend systems, allows you to blend operations and provides significant other benefits.

Why use blended call centre solutions with multichannel capabilities?

University customer service personnel handle all manner of contact, from clearing and student admissions to making appointments and answering enquiries about events.

This is against a backdrop of increasing numbers of young people applying to UK universities or higher education colleges for undergraduate studies this year (according to data published by UCAS*).

It’s frustrating when the lack of a connected, next-generation platform limits the standard of communications that can be provided to mobile-savvy students.

First point of inbound contact
Customer service agents are usually the first point of inbound contact and represent the face of their higher educational establishment, so it’s important communications go well. The contact these days can come in on any channel but whether it’s via phone, email, text, web chat etc. … agents have to be friendly, confident and efficient. It’s much easier to achieve this if all the channels are automated and integrated.

As well as needing to respond to multiple channels, inbound communications can often result in outbound contact and call-backs needing to be made.

Outbound contact is important too …
The focus shouldn’t be just on providing a smooth, multichannel inbound service but on making equally effective outbound contact. We’ve all experienced how annoying (and potentially damaging) it is when you can’t call someone back when required!

The way to avoid irritating and potentially losing your candidates is to integrate and blend inbound and outbound services. Having an automated, next generation contact centre platform will avoid the extra costs of having to manually look up and dial out to people and then do the follow-up tasks. It streamlines processes, improves consistency of response and reduces the risk of errors.

Blending inbound and outbound services
Now, agents can be coping with a high volume of traffic one day and be quiet the next. You don’t want to take on too many agents and you need to ensure resources are used to their maximum potential. Automating the contact centre will enable you to blend and achieve maximum productivity from your people. An example of blending is when, if inbound is quiet, agents can be switched to outbound; rostrvm can generate them work such as calls or emails that need to be made from the database.

Extensive real-time and historical management information provides instant feedback and planning data to use in order to calculate resource and performance requirements.
rostrvm also allows you to scale up and down according to traffic volumes.

Blended call centre solutions – summary of benefits
1. A blended contact centre approach enables proactive and reactive contact across different channels, answering and actioning diverse enquiries.
2. To reduce the risk of abandoned calls, a call-back facility on an Interactive Voice Response system allows the caller to leave their details so they can be called back at a later time. Or, instead of waiting to be answered in an inbound queue, they can choose to hang up but rostrvm will maintain their position and alert them when the agent is available.
3. It can be combined with CRM like MS Dynamics and Salesforce, as well as Knowledge Management Systems. This enables agents to view the full picture on peoples’ interactions and requirements and respond well.
4. An outbound, proactive contact capability system can be set to send automated communications, such as calls and texts, to shoulder some of the more straightforward contact centre workload. This allows customer service agents to focus on other tasks.

Blending inbound and outbound will help you meet your business objectives, manage performance and provide your students with the service they expect.

For further information contact Terry Gray on 07713 988535, or send in our contact form.

Source: UCAS July 2019.