College campuses are once again humming with students for another academic year. As students settle into dorms and classes, staff and administrators are working overtime to answer questions and solve problems. Needless to say, their phones are ringing off the hook.
It’s a common scenario, regardless of the size of the college, and to cope many colleges rely on a multi-branch phone tree voicemail system in an attempt to direct callers to the right department. The problem with this is that it a) costs the caller a lot of unnecessary time, and b) often fails. And for callers who choose to remain on hold rather than go through the prompts and leave a voicemail, the wait time can be horrendous. One college had an average wait time of 45 minutes!
A better solution is for a college to partner with a live answering service that has experience working with colleges and universities. For less than the cost of hiring another on-campus receptionist, a college would have several professionally trained, friendly receptionists ready to answer each call quickly, 24 hours a day.
Some of the benefits a live answering service provides for colleges include:
- All calls are answered by a live person, during specific hours or 24/7.
- Operators answer with the name of the college and act as an extension of the staff.
- Instant, mass messages can be sent to the whole student body in the event of an emergency.
- Instant, mass messages can also be sent for routine matters, and to smaller groups.
- Operators have remote access to the college’s system and students’ records so can answer caller’s questions about what needs to be completed for admissions or graduation.
- Receptionists can answer questions regarding financial aid, admissions, registrar, housing, and bursar.
- Receptionists are trained to adhere to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations.
- Callers questions are answered immediately or their information is forwarded to the appropriate college staff member for direct follow-up.
- All calls are documented and recorded.
- Full disaster recovery and contingency plans backed up through multiple networked facilities.
In addition, an answering service can also schedule campus tours for prospective students or schedule review meetings for current students and professors. In fact, there are numerous ways a live answering service can help college administrators and the student body stay connected, supported, and safe. If there’s a task that needs to be done, a live answering service receptionist can probably help get it done.Partnering with a live answering service that’s trained to support higher education institutions ensures that prospective and current students are attended to promptly and professionally, 24/7. Meanwhile, administrators are freed up to process applications and student records and attend to walk-in visitors. They’re no longer left scrambling to keep up while callers are left on hold for up to 45 minutes.
Speaking of that college that had an on-hold average of 45-minutes … Once they partnered with Voice Link of Columbus, Inc., that hold time was reduced to 11 seconds. See how we did it here.
The professional call representatives at Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. have been rigorously trained on FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations and can provide live answering services that exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.