19 May 2015
Resourcing Education with Web Chat Software
Earlier this month we showed you how web chat software allows you to scale your student-facing needs up or down at a fraction of the cost of a phone or email operator. Our dedicated University Coordinators spend a lot of time talking to universities, and if there’s one thing they have learnt, it’s that resources are tight.
This is especially true for the impending June-Sept period. In this blog we attempt to address some of your concerns regarding web chat software resourcing, but please feel free to contact us directly if we miss anything.
In our experience the biggest hurdle in any new implementation is cost. Firstly, it’s important to remember that there are a wide variety of providers and that you should shop around to find the best functionality vs cost balance. Click4Assistance is the longest-standing live chat software provider in the UK with a lot of hands-on experience in delivering live chat solution to academic institutions throughout Britain. Over the years we have learnt to understand the needs of the education sector and have tailored our solution accordingly. As a result, and unlike some of our competitors, we don’t tie you into a long contract. Our rolling monthly subscription means you can pilot the solution and cancel without any penalty. You can also add or remove additional licenses through the software itself so you are always in full control of your subscription plan.
Hand-in-hand with costs is the concern that you may have to hire a dedicated resource to perform chats.
Hiring additional team members (or at least having all hands on deck) is a must for peak times like A-level results day and can be costly if you rely solely on phone operators, but live chat software is not a communication channel that demands a full-time resource. Your admissions and accommodations officers will have more time to respond over live chat than they would over the phone and can perform other tasks if the student is taking too long to reply.
The Website chat widget will only take up all of a team member’s time when they engage with two, three or even more students all at the same time. This means that if a member of your team is dedicated to live chat they can be twice, three-times or even more productive than if they stayed on the phone. If your university invests in live chat software it can actually reduce the burden on your phone support by diverting enquiries to more efficient live chat operators. It’s not uncommon for institutions to be able to reduce their dedicated phone support once more students become familiar with the web chat option.
If cost or resourcing is not an issue, universities often wonder how much time it will take for their team to become familiar and comfortable with the software.
Ironically, the proliferation of instant messaging applications on smartphones has made web chat softwarea more familiar environment than most phone systems. Our UK team is a quick phone call away, or we can visit your university and provide training on how to use the software.
Still have reservations? Don’t keep them to yourself. Speak to one of our experienced University Coordinators and make an informed decision about web chat software. Call us today on 0845 123 5871, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or start a chat with us.