ChallengeThousands of calls per month supported by a basic telephony system that offered no voicemail service or forwarding capabilities when the lines were busy
SolutionVonage Contact Center (formerly NewVoiceMedia)
ResultsVonage Contact Center handled the calls easily, and dramatically improved relations between the Debt Recovery team and students. Queries are resolved more efficiently and payments are taken with no delays
Easy Answers Instead of Long Waits for Callers
With more than 25,000 students, located in the leafy suburbs of South West London, Kingston University is a popular choice for under and postgraduate studies. The University offers a range of exciting academic courses – all designed to provide students with greater career prospects and the ideal launchpad into their respective career choices.
At the core of the University, is a "Debt Recovery" team that manages a sales ledger of £100 million, and oversees the collection of all student fees. The team, led by Hope Merris, Kingston University's Credit Control Manager, fields an average of 6,000 calls per month from students, peaking to more than 12,000 during the month-long enrollment period each September.
In the past, using a basic telephony system – that provided no voicemail service nor any forwarding capabilities for calls when the lines were busy – the team struggled to answer calls in a timely manner, and incoming payments or queries were often missed. This ultimately became an untenable issue and alternative options to improve the situation needed to be considered.
Vonage Contact Center to the Rescue
Based on a recommendation from the University's Applicant Services department - that had been using Vonage Contact Center (VCC) very successfully - the Credit Control team chose VCC as its solution. With VCC, contact center technology is delivered as a service over the internet and provides an enterprise-class virtual call center solution for organizations of all sizes.
Deployed in just a week, VCC provided the team with a robust platform for handling large quantities of calls. The system included a voicemail and call routing service to other departments within the University. Calls are no longer dropped; when all lines are in use, callers are now greeted with a range of options to help resolve their queries. The system also prioritizes callers who want to make payments within the queuing system, converting a large number of these calls into successful payments.
Kingston University benefits from the Vonage Contact Center's call recording service, enabling staff to review phone conversations in the event of suspected abuse, disputes or fraudulent activity. In addition, tailored reports can also be generated, allowing management to monitor and analyze call trends, staff productivity and use of resources.
Dramatic improvements with Vonage Contact Center
Virtually overnight, the Vonage Contact Center solution dramatically improved relations between the Debt Recovery team and students, who are now able to resolve queries more efficiently, and take payments with no delays.
According to Hope Merris, the number of student complaints since the system's implementation has dropped by 80 percent. The team has noticed an additional benefit since they started using Vonage Contact Center - online payments have almost doubled, and there’s been an overall increase of 40 percent in incoming payments.
The VCC's call recording capability helps the team to resolve disputes or identify potential fraudulent activity relating to card payments. The system offers easy access to all calls so that they can be played back as needed. As a result, staff feel more empowered and confident in the way they engage with students on a daily basis.
In addition, the team can now access interactive reports, so that team members are better able to forecast busy periods and call patterns, and can more efficiently allocate staff resources. In fact, the reporting and recording capabilities of Vonage Contact Center are also being used by Kingston University's management to monitor staff productivity, and identify gaps for further training.