The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) working in partnership with Vodafone UK handled more than 16,000 calls on this year’s A-level results day (Thursday 17 August). In preparation for what is the busiest day of its year, UCAS, which manages the application process for British universities, expanded its number of contact centre agents six-fold and put in place a new cloud-based contact centre service allowing calls to be managed effectively no matter what the volume.
The new system, delivered by Vodafone on its fixed network and in partnership with Content Guru, also enabled UCAS to integrate call routing with its email, web chat, SMS and social media platforms, meaning students could get the advice they needed in the way that suits them best on one of the most important days in the academic calendar.
Previously, UCAS had to install temporary hardware to deal with the call volumes it experienced around clearing – the process which supports students to find a university place following their A-level results – and the other customer contact channels, such as web chat, weren’t integrated into its central CRM system. By bringing together its systems into a single, centrally managed environment, UCAS is able to enhance support to students across all communications channels by increasing the efficiency and productivity of its team.*
The new contact centre service offers the flexibility to scale up capacity during UCAS’s seasonal call spikes such as during clearing in August and the submission of personal statements in January. This, combined with dynamic cloud capacity and smart call routing allows UCAS to be confident it can cope with the volume of enquiries, no matter how busy it gets.
Andy Irving, head of technology services management at UCAS said: “A level results day is incredibly important for aspiring students up and down the country and they all rightly expect UCAS to do a professional and effective job of managing the process of confirmation and clearing.
“We are committed to delivering the right advice and support in a timely fashion through our call centre and so we need a communications partner which understands the impact of A-level results day on individuals and the economy.
“Vodafone has provided us with a system, network and service that has meant we were able to help thousands of students on this year’s results day and they have been a reliable technology partner through this busy time.”
Phil Mottram, Enterprise Director for Vodafone UK said: “With no room for error on the biggest day of many young people’s lives, UCAS needed to be able to trust its service providers to deliver the upmost levels of resilience and performance, allowing it to support school leavers in their next steps. In a world where there is increasing pressure to be well-placed for responding to the unexpected, it’s never been more important for businesses to ensure they’re armed with the latest technologies. We’re proud to be able to help UCAS successfully deliver a reliable service to students when it matters most.”
*Last week’s A-level results day saw:
16,036 applicant calls answered
3,892 social media enquiries