Call Centres in distance education<br />Useful to an educational institution in many ways, ranging from simple provision of information to prospective students, to fundraising , collection of survey data, and even provision of instructional services.<br />In distance education in particular, the call centre concept can be an effective communication tool, enabling the institution to provide an improve service to students in many areas, including instruction. <br /><ul><li>When couple with customer relationship software, a call centre can become a powerful tool in the development and maintenance of the student-university relationship, and provide a critical link to the university for an often isolated learner.</li></li></ul><li>Organizational Strategy and Call Centres<br /> Experience has shown that information technology is an increasingly important potential contributor to an organization’s productivity, and that organizations experience maximum value when information technology investments are strategically driven. <br /><ul><li>Call Centres provide a link between the industry and the population it serves.
Call Centres can be a sound strategic asset for an organization, because they can strengthen customer relationships, and enable an organization to learn more about it customers, to serve them better.
As distance delivery Universities become more competitive, they are adopting a student-as-customer strategy.
Call Centres can be developed internally or can be outsourced.</li></li></ul><li>Customer/ Student Service and Retention<br />Call Centre services to students engaged in e-learning require that staff that can resolve diagnostic issues as well as being able to work with students as a tutor to work through course content issues as they arise.<br />Good service to students requires a single contact point.<br />Call Centre staff should be able to provide good service not only technical but with course content information as well.<br />
Management Information and Student/Customer Feedback<br />Customer service organizations require easy access to accurate, consistent information in order to answer customers’ questions.<br />Managing data allows quick and accurate dissemination of data, which leads to more efficient operations.<br /><ul><li>Instructional designer can use software to track incoming queries. The data collected can provide information to instructors about a course. Adjustment to course materials online can be made to improve student success.
Collecting data can be a form of feedback to the call centre. Showing consistencies in calls which allows for improvements to be made.</li></li></ul><li>Call Centre consolidation<br />Consolidation provides better access to organizational information for call centre agents, it’s customers and overall improved satisfaction from all.<br /><ul><li>Consolidation can cut equipment cost.
Reduction of management staff which can save money.
Provides consistent answers to students and allows for one place to call which can impact student retention.</li></li></ul><li>Critical Success Factors for Call Centres<br />For Call Centres to be successful and productive in any organization or in education, a number of critical success factors must be in place:<br />
Overcoming Barriers to Call Centre Implementation in Delivery<br />
References<br />Anderson, T., & ebrary, I. (2008). The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Edmonton: AU Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/matsu/Doc?id=10290419<br />