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Case Study

6 smart ways the Gecko platform helps Western Kentucky University with student engagement

Western Kentucky University are using Gecko to create engaging experiences for prospective students - even without a CRM!

6 smart ways the Gecko platform helps Western Kentucky University with student engagement

Western Kentucky University are a great example of a Gecko customer that are using our technology as a whole student engagement platform. They don’t use just one technology, they use a number of modules to drive engagement across multiple touchpoints.

With live chat, forms, text and email campaigns, and on-campus events modules all part of their student engagement toolkit, they’re taking a multi-faceted approach that enables them to work smarter and deliver an enhanced student experience. Here’s their story…

Anna Kerr, WKU
Gecko
“I believe the best systems are the ones you hardly think about, and that's Gecko. It’s one of the smoothest systems I’ve ever used.”
Gecko
Anna Kerr
Strategic Marketing Manager at DELO, WKU

Supporting non-traditional learners

Gecko works with a specific function within Western Kentucky University, which is the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach, known as DELO. The best way to describe what they do is to say that they market to, recruit, and provide support services for all non-traditional students. Anna Kerr, Strategic Marketing Manager at DELO, explains more…

“We support non-traditional students, such as adult learners, dual-credit students, students who are considering summer and winter sessions, cohort programs, and students interested in online learning courses.”

6 smart ways Gecko helps DELO engage more students

1) Meets students where they are

If you want to drive real, authentic student engagement at your school then meeting students where they are, on the platforms they’re using, is critical.

What DELO have found is that their target demographic all have different preferences in terms of the communication channels they want to use. This isn’t an issue for DELO, however. Using Gecko, they can easily flex between a range of different channels so that students can get in touch in the way that feels most comfortable for them. Anna explains more…

“With our audience of non-traditional students, there are varying levels of ability with technology. Some people want to talk on the phone, some want to text, some people only want to email, and some people just have a quick question they need answered on the chat. It’s important for us to be able to meet the student at their communication preference.”

2) Flexible communication, all in one place

One feature DELO really like about Gecko is that all of those different communication channels pull into one place. Using the live chat module, they can communicate with prospects using different communication channels, but it’s all in one system. This means flexibility for staff and students.

Anna explains, “If people fill in a form to find out more information, they’ll be added to an email communication campaign. And if they reply to those emails those replies will also come into the live chat conversations, along with the website chats and the text messages.

It also means they can quickly switch platforms. “We find that prospective students like to switch between platforms, so they might start off chatting on our website and then they ask us to text them, which our team can easily do.”

Western Kentucky University

3) No more manual processes

DELO are big advocates of Gecko forms and they’ve found that the way the forms are designed in Gecko works a lot better for them. Specifically, Gecko forms remove a lot of the time-consuming manual processes that used to take up a lot of their time.

“In our old system, I would have over 300 forms to manage and if I had one update to a form, I would have to go through and update every form. The way that the forms are designed in Gecko, I can select a field and then create a new link for that based on those fields. That’s what caught my attention for exploring Gecko.

“When I first talked to [Gecko CEO and Founder] Matt at a conference a few years ago, it was about the calling system. But then when I learned about the forms, I knew that they would fit our needs better than what we had.”

Anna Kerr, WKU
Gecko
“Gecko acts like a CRM in many ways. It has the communication capabilities to start the lifecycle with inquiries, events and landing pages but it isn’t weighed down with the huge application process and integrations required of a traditional admissions CRM.”
Gecko
Anna Kerr
Strategic Marketing Manager, DELO, WKU

4) They can manage data, without a CRM

DELO isn’t an admissions office, and once the students they’re marketing to and recruiting apply they’re then handed over to the admissions team. They therefore they don’t need a CRM, but they appreciate the fact that Gecko operates like a CRM in many ways.

“Gecko does act like a CRM in many ways. It has the communication capabilities to start the lifecycle with inquiries, events and landing pages. However, it isn’t weighed down with the huge application process and integrations required of a traditional admissions CRM.”

5) Templates that save time

Gecko has a drag and drop email builder as part of the text and email campaigns module, and that enables Western Kentucky University to create marketing campaigns quickly and easily – all while making sure that everything remains aligned with their brand.

“The email templates in Gecko are great. The email designer is much better than other ones we’ve used. That saves our team a lot of time. The way the broadcast are set up, we’re able to manage the reporting and contacts easily.”

western kentucky university

6) Responsive customer service

One final thing that Western Kentucky University really appreciate about Gecko is the level of customer support they receive. Not every platform can say that, and WKU really like the fact that they can start live chat conversations with the Gecko team.

  • No need to raise tickets

“My favourite part about working with Gecko is the support that Gecko provides. The fact that users can live chat and ask the team a question is great. When I’ve used other platforms, you had to put in a ticket and it could sometimes take up to two weeks to get an answer. That’s if they answered! With Gecko, I can just hit contact support and start a live chat and usually someone from the team gets back within 5-10 minutes.”

  • Chat messages go to email

“I also love that live chat conversations automatically can go right to my email if I don’t stay on chat. You may forget that you’re sitting there talking to somebody on chat, because ten people walk in the office or emails come in that you must deal with. But I know that it’s going to go straight to my email, and I can pick it up from there.”

  • A team of experts on-hand

“The support that Gecko provides is invaluable. And it’s not just me, it’s for the whole team. I still get people coming to me and asking questions, but it’s not really my job to problem solve the technology for the team anymore. If I can’t solve it in five minutes, we contact support at Gecko, because there’s a team of experts right there.”

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Western Kentucky University