This time of the year has college administrators hopping. Countless applications are being processed and acceptance or rejection letters are being sent to expectant high school freshmen. Phone lines are flooded with expectant students or their parents who are calling to ask questions or check on their application status.
The administrative teams are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of calls from families and students during this time, even at the most respected and organized schools. Still, hopeful students and their families expect to be able to communicate quickly with a real person, but this isn’t often the case. Long hold times are the norm, which is frustrating for callers as well as those who are answering the phones.
In fact, one college partnered with us after they calculated that students were on hold for an average of 45 minutes! Our virtual receptionists at Voice Link reduced that time to just 11 seconds, much to the relief of the callers and the administrative staff.
In order to keep communications clear and accurate, virtual receptionists at an answering service must be properly trained to handle matters related to college students and staff. They must be trained to fully understand and adhere to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect student confidentiality and the school’s liability.
Because the virtual receptionists answer with the name of the college and act as an extension of the administrative staff, callers aren’t usually aware they’re not speaking to someone off-campus. Operators are also able to remotely access student records and can tell a student about what’s missing for admissions or financial aid.
Automated, Instant Messaging
An answering service that’s equipped to handle express messaging will keep students and staff informed of emergency alerts, important instructions to follow, and all updates. Should a natural disaster or other emergency occur at any time of the day or night, a mass message can be sent to all students and staff instantly.
Express messaging is also useful for sending students and staff non-urgent reminders about more routine matters, such as campus events or financial aid deadlines. With just one click, administrators reach students instantly through text, email, or automated calls to keep them safe, informed, and connected.
Aside from answering calls, the virtual receptionists at an answering service can also help with other tasks, such as scheduling college campus visits or taking reservations for seminars or workshops.
How calls are managed reflects on the reputation of a school. Day or night, outsourcing a college’s administrative calls ensures that prospective and current students and their families are attended to promptly and professionally, 24/7. This frees up the college staff’s time and attention to process applications, manage student records, and attend to walk-in visitors.
The professional agents 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.