The following benefits of contact-center technology for student admissions are discussed:
- Outbound communications efficiency through program-of-interest call routing
- Fast information-gathering to resolve incomplete applications
- Organized tracking of interactions with applicants
- Improved collaboration among admissions team members
- Fast resolution to inbound contacts from student applicants
- Appointment scheduling coordination for team members and applicants
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In the educational sector, the time it takes to complete your admissions process and communicate a decision to a prospective student often makes the difference in enrollment. Students typically apply to multiple schools. If your process is relatively slow, it makes a bad impression and allows competing schools to get their offers in front of students first.
How contact center technology speeds your admissions
Given the importance of efficiency, everything you can do to trim the time from application to decision is beneficial. A powerful technological infrastructure is foundational to streamlining your process. The following is a look at some of the most common ways contact center technology speeds your admissions.
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1. Program-of-interest call routing
The more time your support team spends handling issues and questions, the less time team members have to review applications. Cutting waste and inefficiency in the communications process helps alleviate this problem.
One way to expedite support is to eliminate unnecessary steps on a prospect call. Program-of-interest call routing means that a prospect gets right to a team member with expertise in the applicant’s desired program. This means the call is handled and resolved much more quickly. The applicant is satisfied, and your representative has time to put into other contacts or in the application review process.
2. Information-gathering from prospects
Applicants sometimes submit incomplete paperwork that requires follow-up. This scenario means your team needs to reach out to the prospect to gather more information.
Contact-center technology makes it easier to organize the information-gathering process and documents of information received. Applications get finalized, which reduces a bottleneck in your system. Your team is able to efficiently review applications and communicate a decision as quickly as possible.
3. Effective contact tracking
The combination of information submitted in the initial application and additional details gathered by your representatives makes contact tracking important. You need a system that allows for simple, cross-platform documentation of applicant details.
When your team has a cross-platform, cloud-based solution for organizing applicant details, you avoid oversights and redundancy. Details are immediately added during contacts, which safeguards against oversights. Holistic access means your agents can see what information is held and what information is needed.
4. Admissions team collaboration
Contact center technology helps with interactions between reps and students and enhances collaboration within your admissions teams. Your team can hold meetings, gather and share details from the meetings, and ensure consistency throughout the process.
Agents can interact with each other at any time across multiple communication methods. This capability means team members in dispersed work locations can utilize their preferred channel.
5. Fast responses to prospect questions
In addition to outgoing calls to resolve incomplete applications, your admissions team receives contacts from prospects. These questions come before, during, and after the application process. Fast response times to these calls project a good image to potential students and contribute to process efficiency.
The right tech infrastructure enables cross-channel, live responses on-demand, enabling your applicants to use the channel they prefer at any point in time. Skills-based call routing, in which callers respond to questions upfront, results in transfers to the agent most equipped to handle the particular inquiry.
6. Schedule coordination for appointments
Some admissions processes include interviews or appointments with applicants. These meetings may take place on campus or virtually. It takes time to schedule them and book all admissions team members.
Your contact center technology enables easier coordination of schedules among team members. You can see the schedules of agents to find universally open times. It is also easy to integrate communication processes with the applicant and between reps, so everyone knows about the meeting. In some cases, automatic email or text messaging distribution is set up so that the details of planned meetings go out immediately after times and places are established.
7. Keep your contact center on campus
Some colleges and universities outsource contact center management to third parties instead of handling contacts internally. They do so because it seems to be the more cost-effective approach to handling outbound and inbound communication with prospects.
However, external contact centers do not have the direct connection to students that you want. They also typically represent various client companies, which means their agents may have limited experience with college admissions communication.
With a powerful tech infrastructure, you can maintain local admissions contacts while achieving cost efficiencies. An on-site contact center means better brand representation and better opportunities to build good relationships with potential students.
Additional benefits of an on-site contact center include:
- 24/7 around-the-clock access: A combination of live agents and off-hours AI-driven chatbots allows you to resolve student questions any time of day or night.
- More time for personalization: With better efficiencies in admissions communication, team members have more time to personalize engagement.
- Better control: It is always easier to control your operations internally than through outsourced entities. A direct contact center puts you in charge of your admissions and communication.
Let RingCentral streamline your student admissions process
If your school struggles with delays or inefficiencies in its admissions process, investing in contact center technology is an important first step to remedying the problem. Leveraging contact center technology can significantly reduce your total timeline from application to decision, enhance collaboration among admissions staff, and improve your image with applicants and potential students.
The RingCentral for Education system is a comprehensive, cloud-based solution that offers seamless cross-channel communications. It also enables skills-based call routing, features best-in-class security, optimizes collaboration among admissions team members, and makes communication easier and more efficient with prospective students.
See how it works for your admissions department today.
Originally published May 03, 2022