The implementation of Siemens Enterprise Communications’ OpenScape Contact Center has enabled the University to more effectively handle the increased volume of calls during the recent UK student clearing process and the enhanced intelligence of the system improves first call resolution and, therefore, the overall student experience.
UCAS results day in 2012 saw the contact centre receive 6433 calls – a 97 per cent increase in inbound calls from usual levels. The OpenScape Contact Center flexibly scales to the required 80 agents, including a proportion of students who were contracted to support the clearing process, and has the capacity to support 180 simultaneous calls. Real-time reporting enables the contact centre management team to allocate staff and students resources dynamically and quickly identify peak call times.
Agents work through a simple, graphical drag-and-drop interface that puts the relevant information at their fingertips. Such clear and instant access to information results in higher levels of first call resolution. In addition to solving resourcing requirements, employing current students in the contact centre during the clearing process provided applicants with unique insight and first-hand experience of the university.
An effective clearing process and system provides benefits to both students and the university. It is crucial that students are allocated places as quickly as is possible, while the university must ensure that it meets government quotas in order to secure funding in an ever more competitive market. With overall student numbers declining, universities are competing harder than ever to secure students.
Paul Butler, Head of Information Systems at the University of Greenwich, says: “For a number of students, the clearing process is the first experience they have with our university. Competition is fierce so it is crucial to engage with as many prospective students as possible and provide them with the right information at the right time. OpenScape Contact Center enables us to do this effectively thanks to the insight it provides into the calls we receive. As a consequence, we are better placed to deal with the spikes in demand that we experience during the intensive clearing period. In previous years it has been a challenge dealing with and resourcing the unpredictable nature of the call volumes, but now I am confident that we have the right team, the right supplier and the right technology in place.”
George Aristidou, Sales Director, Public Sector, Siemens Enterprise Communications, says: “This is a significant project to deliver a reliable and scalable communications infrastructure. The clearing process is critical. It is essential that there are systems in place that enable smooth and effective applications. Calls must be effectively and efficiently handled as potential students need to know as quickly as possible whether or not they have secured a place.
“Having enjoyed a successful 2012 clearing process, the University of Greenwich is planning to further enhance its implement two additional contact centres and an interactive voice response system to further enhance the system for the 2013 clearing period.”