University Makes Switch to Outsourced Call Center
The New School made the switch to a new central calling system this month, forwarding all phone calls to the university’s central number to a commercial call center. The change comes after past complaints brought forth by students, parents and faculty regarding inadequacies in the previous calling system.
The new central call center represents a major change brought forth by President David Van Zandt’s service initiative. Contact center employees from the company Technisource will now answer school-related questions on the spot from their location in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
According to Peter Taback, assistant vice president of communications, the university used to distribute calls to the university throughout various parts of the school. It prevented the school from having a centralized response to questions and concerns, while also limiting coordination between departments that received the calls.
“The new system will not only better help students immediately with their questions, but will also allow greater feedback to the student contact center for further corrections with the call system,” Taback said.
The university is also looking into the future with the new call center, as it is the first step in further upgrades still to come.
“The long-term goal for the center is to be the first point of response for Enrollment Operations, the registrar’s office, Admissions and Student Financial Services, which together address hundreds of student inquiries each week,” Taback added.
Van Zandt said the new system will allow for faster answers to student questions while also streamlining the way the university provides information. He pinpointed Student Financial Services as one department at the university that will benefit from the change.
“Students need to know where to go, not get pushed around between places,” Van Zandt said. “I always believe that if somebody understands the explanation to why this [financial aid] is not possible, they are less likely to walk away feeling like they were not well served.”
In addition to the new call center, Van Zandt plans on moving all of the student service points to one building, making them easier to access for students and faculty. He said this will further consolidate and centralize communication at the university, building upon the new student contact center.
Taback said the new call center has created more student jobs, despite the professionals at Technisource dealing with inquiries that were previously handled by university students. Positions in departments like the admissions office and the Welcome Center, where students can communicate with prospective students via media technology and phone calls, have more than doubled.