Aren’t you familiar with a lovely consultative voice saying “Press 1 for Admission related queries”, “Press 2 for Placement-related queries” “Press 3 for….”
How contended will a parent/student feel immediately after his X / XII results when anxiety is in full gear to get a seat in an institute of repute. Even at midnight, they are able to resolve your queries using this support service, aren’t you?
Let’s take this a step forward.
How about using this service system deeply in Education & Enrollment processes?
The idea definitely looks interesting!
Wanna know more?
Then this article is definitely for you.
Communication is an important part of the education business. The reason for this is with education, there are 2 varied stakeholders – the students and the parents. Institutes need to keep the communication open and transparent with the stakeholders involved especially during mission-critical times of enrolments.
This is where cloud telephony will come to your rescue.
About Cloud Telephony:
Several decades after Alexander Bell invented the telephone, it is still one of the best-performing business channels for lead generation and customer engagement. The phone, like so many other things, has moved to the cloud. It’s now possible for businesses to have complex and infinitely responsive phone or voice workflows without installing a single piece of hardware, thanks to Cloud Telephony.
Cloud telephony provides facility to maintain and manage the entire communications infrastructure in the cloud while business telephones, smartphones, tablets, and computers let users access these services from wherever they are located.
Unlike old PBX telephony, this technology doesn’t require a dedicated hardware to be installed at user premises. Its web application interface has a specific set of commands to perform predefined actions (playing voice file, Music on Hold, send Auto reply SMS. Record etc). This lets you analyze calls for better communication.
Using Cloud telephony for your educational institute allows you to make and receive multiple calls & SMSes simultaneously, without having to invest in any additional infrastructure. Services like IVR, call conferencing, call recording, bulk SMS, call analysis etc. are only some of the many features cloud telephony has to offer.
Fig 1: Features of cloud telephony
IVR stands for “Interactive Voice Response”. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system technology that interacts with the callers, gathers the required information and routes the calls to the particular appropriate recipient. A combination of IVR integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System could be deadly in terms of providing service.
With call conferencing service you can host & add voice to your business or sales meeting from anywhere with an ideal combination of functionalities & features. Call recording is another important function in cloud technology that can help you in recording calls from your prospects to monitor performance, monitor quality, resolve disputes and improve efficiency.
Bulk SMS is another feature of cloud telephony especially one of the most important requirements for an academic institution is to be able to convey information regularly to all the patrons. Be it communicating schedules or changes in them to students, updating parents about the progress of their wards, coordinating between employees or connecting multiple campuses on the same platform – dispensing information is crucial. Naturally, a service like SMS fits the bill and is one of the widely sought after services by educational institutions.
Call analytics can help you get key metrics, understand performance and optimize your operations. Businesses can get detailed reports with data including call volumes, the number of calls missed, agent productivity, duration of calls, and a lot more.
Fig 2: Representation of the average $ saved per minute due to the adoption of IVR system
Ideal Scenario & impact of cloud telephony in the education sector
In an educational institute perspective, if you have a website to promote your institute and courses, there’s a neat ‘click to call’ feature you can implement, to engage students, once they arrive at your page. All you have to do is introduce a widget on your website and implement a ‘Call Now’ button for prospective students to click on. This button is usually attached to a short form in which the prospect has to fill a few details such as his or her name and telephone number
When the site visitor clicks on the button, the cloud telephony system will automatically call an agent that works for you and simultaneously connect to the student’s phone number and then bridge both calls. In case you don’t have multiple agents to handle multiple calls, you can also configure the system to call the student’s phone and play a recorded message promising to have an agent call back later.
Fig 3: The typical flow for a Click-to-Call system
If you don’t have a website, that’s no problem either. You can promote your institute offline by listing a phone number and encouraging prospective students to give you a missed call. When the student gives a missed call to the listed number, the system will again connect simultaneously with the prospect and an agent and then connect the two of them. The missed call mechanic is great for students to get in touch when they want to register themselves or get more information.
By ensuring that prospective students can reach you or an agent easily, to get relevant information that they require, you demonstrate how important they are to you. This also reflects to some extent the level of attention they will receive when they enroll in your institute.
This is taking Enrollments via cloud telephony to the next level
Fig 4: Major Benefits of using a cloud telephony
Benefits of Cloud Telephony in accelerating enrollments :
1. Never miss a lead
Get a virtual number and never miss a lead. Even track your marketing campaign and keep the database of conversation with your customers. Receive call even after working hours and generate more revenue.
2. Simplify communication
Cloud telephony can simplify your business communication. You don’t need complex EPBX lines for daily business calls. Instead of managing multiple systems. You can manage one system for all your communication needs.
3. Easy to set up
Compare to any other Call management system, Cloud telephony is very easy to set up. It does not require any infrastructure and telecom lines. All the setup is on a cloud so you can access it from anywhere regardless of location and time
Cloud telephony saves up to 80% of cost compare to any other communication medium. You can utilize this cost into other ventures of business.
5. Get a global presence
By using Virtual number your business gets a global presence and it can be reachable to clients across the globe. You can expand your business communication globally without any extra cost for communication.
6. Avail professional image
A virtual number can get your business a professional look without any expensive types of equipment. Imagine customer calling you and gets to hear a welcome tone of company anthem.
7. One number for many uses
Cloud telephony can be your one-stop solution. You don’t need to publish different numbers for each department. One number can be used with multiple extensions easily.
8. Manage calls on the go
Monitor and manage all your business calls with available equipment, regardless of location and time.
9. Highly scalable
Easily manage large incoming traffic and extend your business without any further cost. You can always increase or decrease your call volume.
10. Increase productivity
Productivity can be increased instantly by cloud telephony as you can record, monitor and analyze call performance and agent performances. All the data is stored in the smart dashboard for future analysis and cost measurement.
Fig 5: How secure is cloud telephony
Image courtesy: complexit
The scope of Cloud Telephony in other Educational functionalities:
Apart from assisting the institute and the admission counselors in the Enrollment process, IVR could also be used in a number of other processes of an institute:
1. Providing information about fee installments paid/due status of the student.
2. Informing the student about attendance status for any day, week, month or an entire year.
3. Providing information about the marks and percentages scored in any particular subject or marks scored in the entire exam or the rank in any test or exam.
4. On calling the IVR system can also provide the data related to the timetable for the week.
5. The test schedule and test syllabus can also be conveyed to the student if he calls on the IVR service number.
6. Apart from the students, the IVR can also provide information such as vacancies for faculty, if any to the caller.
7. Any important announcements for parents like dates for parents-teachers meetings or any other messages could also be conveyed through IVR system.
Phew! Those were quite a lot of functionalities that could be eased by adopting cloud telephony, right?
Use this as a smart investment and make the most of it by adopting the technology today!!
ExtraaEdge is a data-science backed cloud-based Admissions & Marketing Automation software for the education industry. We are the category leaders when it comes to understanding education marketing & technology that powers educational enterprises. This blog is an effort to share our learnings from the Industry and help education marketeers, admissions counselors and all associated stake holders of education enterprises learn and grow together.