Setting up a university call center for your university admissions office
Building a two-way relationship between an institution and a prospective student is a huge influencer in the university decision making process. As a marketer or Admissions counsellor, you can’t influence the aesthetics of the building itself, the course content or the city, but you can influence the experience a prospective student has at the building, how they interact with the course beforehand and how they see the city.
More and more institutions are choosing to shape relationships with prospective students by injecting call campaigns into their engagement strategy. Call campaigns are a great way to speak to prospective students about the matters that are important to them, here’s our top tips on how to execute student call campaigns:
What’s the point?
Before you even think about the final student call, you need to work out who the student is and why they would be interested. A university call center without focus and context is worse than having no call center at all.
Before you start planning, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the objective of your campaign?
- Who will you target?
- Why do you want to target these people?
- What are all the possible outcomes?
- Who is the best person to speak to this target market and why?
Messaging shapes content
Once you’ve defined the purpose of your university’s call center, it’s time to start thinking about the questions that will be asked during the call and the possible outcomes that will arise as a result.
If you’re focusing on connecting current students with prospective students to help ease the moving to university process, you may want to include fewer, open questions. If your call is targeted towards registering students on Open Day, you may want to include a higher number of specific questions e.g. name, the course of interest, where they were travelling from.
Join the dots
The student call itself is the easy part, joining all of the dots to get the call right requires a little bit more work. Follow these four steps, to ensure that you run a smoothly operated call center:
- Transfer your questions into a call script
- Define how the prospects will arrive in the system
- Build the campaign in talk
The people aspect
Now you have the messaging and the logistics in place it is time to start working with your callers to ensure they thrive when it comes to the call itself. Split your training into two parts:
Providing a training session on how to use the system and everyone’s account is set-up and in working order. It is always handy to provide some documentation on how to use the system, where to click, how to end a call etc, as a point of reference for the callers on-the-day.
A call script is great for ensuring you capture all the appropriate information, but the execution of the script is key. Arrange short training sessions to practice tone of voice and execution to ensure that your callers are prepared for every eventuality.
We could have done better
Running a new project for the first time will always be a steep learning curve for everyone involved. Use dashboards to keep track of your completed calls, length of time and overall outcomes and use this information to shape future campaigns.
Is there one caller that stands out from the crowd? Use VOIP technology to record calls (with the student’s permission) and use these recordings as a best practice guide for new callers.