28 April 2015
Access for All with Web Chat Software
There are a number of features included in web chat software that can improve the university’s online accessibility and boost the productivity of your recruitment and outreach office. We have already touched on the notion of live chat creating a more accessible university, but this is a topic worth examining in greater depth.
For example, discrimination against applicants with disabilities can be avoided by examining your programme’s application procedures. Application materials need to be compliant with current disability-related laws and available in a variety of formats. University accommodation and facilities also need to be suitably equipped. But how else can your student recruitment office make their service more widely available?
A student’s initial contact is vital to their experience of the university, more so if they suffer from a disability that affects communication. For some individuals web chat software is the only means of conducting a real-time conversation. If your university is serious about accessibility, then live chat provides an ideal platform for communication.
Not only does web chat software enhance accessibility for disabled students, it is also a strong channel through which to share information about your university’s accessibility programmes.
Many universities provide financial support and special consideration for students who meet their eligibility criteria. These questions are usually handled via a phone conversation, but the complex nature of university programmes means that the student usually has to wait for further information to be sent to them via email or direct mail. As mentioned in our March blog, file transfer is a feature exclusive to live chat that is perfect for sending information while still in active correspondence with the student. Sharing digital rather than hard copies of documents is also less demanding on the budget of the university’s recruitment office; allowing them to divert resources to other efforts.
Besides enhancing accessibility and maximising the use of office resources, web chat software includes advanced chat routing which replicates the switchboard functionality present in phone systems. For example, if a visitor to your university’s website wishes to find out more about postgraduate courses and initiates a chat from the respective page, you don’t want them to be put through to an Undergraduate Recruitment Officer. With web chat software you can configure chats to be allocated dependent on where the chat button was selected. This ability saves emails and calls bouncing from one member of your team to the other, it also ensures that your recruitment officers are not posed questions that would be better addressed to the accommodations or admissions team. Click4Assistance web chat software can also be configured to ask the website visitor which department they wish to speak to and then route them accordingly.
If you’re a decision maker within the university and involved in recruitment, marketing or outreach, then consider joining the University of Liverpool, Glyndwr University, Southampton Solent University and other major UK institutions, by adding live chat software to your website. Enjoy enhanced accessibility by contacting one of our University Coordinators today on 0845 123 5871, emailing us via firstname.lastname@example.org or start a chat.