How Virtual Receptionists Help Colleges Beyond Answering Calls
Several years ago a college administrator turned to Voice Link of Columbus, Inc., because the administrative staff was failing to keep up with calls within a reasonable timeframe. In fact, the average hold time for callers had reached 45 minutes!
While the administrative staff knew this was unacceptable, it’s also understandable how calls were getting so backed up, especially during the school’s busiest times, like now. This is the time when prospective students are calling to check on their application status or financial aid options, and administrators are overwhelmed with the volume of work that needs to be done as well as the volume of calls to answer.
The solution was quick and easy, and the results were immediate. The virtual receptionists at Voice Link reduced the school’s hold time to 11 seconds. Needless to say, the administrative staff members at the college were greatly relieved. Not to mention, they were now free to focus on their daily tasks without constant interruptions from ringing phones.
This college’s experience is proof that call answering is certainly one of the biggest benefits of partnering with an answering service. However, the professionally trained virtual receptionists are also able to help colleges and universities in many other ways, such as:
- Remotely view a student’s records and application status to inform a student about their status or what information is still needed.
- Confidentially inform a student or parent about financial aid or tuition status adhering to FERPA regulations.
- Answer frequently asked questions regarding admissions, financial aid, and housing.
- Direct callers to the proper department or staff person they need to speak to.
- Schedule college campus visits.
- Take reservations for campus events, community classes, or seminars.
- Take orders for school-related items like apparel, textbooks, or cap and gowns.
- Send automated, instant express messages to all students, or a select group of students.
All of these tasks add up to a significant amount of time saved for the administrative staff as well as for students and their families. Meanwhile, callers aren’t even usually aware that they’re speaking with a virtual receptionist rather than a receptionist on campus. By answering calls with the name of the college or university, the virtual receptionists become an extension of the school’s staff.
Callers are able to talk to a live person, 24/7. Even during academic breaks, holidays, after-hours and weekends, students and parents are still able to get answers to their questions or be reassured that their information has been forwarded to the appropriate college staff member for easy follow-up. All calls are documented and recorded as well, and college administrators always have access to review them.
How your calls are managed reflects on the reputation of any higher education institution, and contributes to the peace of mind of the students and staff. The professional virtual receptionists 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.