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If you’re at a mid-sized institution (5-10,000 students), have oversight for your university’s call center, and believe that it’s a first-rate option, please get in touch. I’m doing research and planning to create one at my campus and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience. Thanks.

 

Michael Berman, CSU Channel Islands

michael.berman@csuci.edu

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.

Comments

We fit that bill I think. Happy to advise. 

Regards,
Brian Miller
VP of ITS / CIO
Davenport University 
616-732-1195 (desk)
616-821-2618 (cell)

On Aug 14, 2013, at 18:21, "Berman, Michael" <michael.berman@csuci.edu> wrote:

If you’re at a mid-sized institution (5-10,000 students), have oversight for your university’s call center, and believe that it’s a first-rate option, please get in touch. I’m doing research and planning to create one at my campus and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience. Thanks.

 

Michael Berman, CSU Channel Islands

michael.berman@csuci.edu

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.

Michael,

The research into this area is greatly appreciated - particularly if it will be made available to the larger EDUCAUSE community.  However, it may help if you provide some additional desired parameters as to the configuration, staffing model and scope of "call centers" as they vary greatly among our campuses.  Perhaps an initial survey can help identify the types of call centers employed and from there you can delve into the specifics that make them "first-rate."  Some of the questions that come to mind:

- Call Center Scope - We have a technical support center that handles IT related calls.  We also have a campus operator who handles all general (non- IT) calls but only to ensure they make it to the appropriate department for resolution.  There are many models out there where the call center directly handles other calls such as as student registration questions, program questions, payments, etc.  I would  think that a true "call center" would do more than just answer what would be considered the traditional "help desk" calls.

- Support Level - Some call centers are 24x7x365 while others run M-F from 8 am to 5 pm (this is reported in the EDUCAUSE CDS).  Some cover one campus while others cover multiple campuses within one state or in multiple states.  Still others handle online students across the state, nation and all over the world - even if they are smaller institutions. 

- Staffing Model - We have a help desk that is primarily run by students serving a headcount population of about 5,500 students (UG, Graduate, professional development, online, etc.).  I would put their results and performance up against comparable models and I believe they would compare quite well.  However, a model that uses full time certified staff would have different results and expectations and a fully outsourced model may have other performance metrics and expectations.

- Measurement Metrics - Do you track call statistics such as wait time, abandon rate, first contact resolution rate? Are there options for post-call surveys or annual customer surveys that track how the community served views the performance of the call center?  If I am telling you I have a first-rate call center then I also need some metrics to support that claim and show a process for continuous improvement through community engagement and feedback.  Admittedly, we are not 100% there yet on our campus but we are well on our way.

- Student/Customer Mix - Residential UG, Graduate, Professional Development and online students all have different needs and put different stresses on a call center or help desk.  A well running call center that serves the needs of 5000 residential students may not meet the needs of an institution serving the same number of non-residential graduate or a high percentage of online students. If you have a combination of these (which we do) then that adds a degree of complexity to the solution and requires a greater degree of flexibility in the model used.

I think a well running call center (help desk) is critical to the effective operation of an IT organization.  I see this as so important that many years in Ohio we started having an annual Help Desk Summit for our private institutions where we bring together help desk managers and staff to share experiences and best practices (why privates only? - thought here is that the smaller and more resource constrained private institutions typically have to handle things differently than the state institutions with much larger student population and greater assets to drawn on but I would see similar challenges for the smaller public institutions). This groups also participates in a listserv to share information as well as participate in the valuable lists provided by EDUCAUSE.  

If you wold like some additional thoughts and perhaps some help with a survey please let me know.  This is an important initiative and there are lots of experiences to draw on and. A deeper dive here could help many of us improve our call center/help desk operations.

Thanks 

Curtis   

Curtis White
Vice President, Information Technology
Ashland University
Ph: 419.289.5777
Cell: 419.606.3582
Skype: cltrwhite


The EDUCAUSE Core Data Service (CDS) does indeed report on Help Desk hours, which were open an average of 83 hours a week in reporting institutions in 2012. That's up two hours a week from 2011 (in a matched comparison), with only community colleges and BA liberal arts colleges reporting no added hours. Hours vary by Carnegie classification, with doctoral extensive institutions reporting the most hours for help desks per week — 106 — and BA general colleges the least — 68. ECAR just published a nice overview by Sue Workman and Cathy O'Bryan of Indiana University of some of the key Help Desk metrics from CDS, including data on support for mobile IT. ECAR subscribers may download the report at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ecar_so/erb/ERB1308.pdf The CDS also tracks Help Desk Institute customer satisfaction score on five dimensions for institutions that use this standard set of key performance indicators. You can delve into the CDS data yourself if you've contributed to the Core Data Service: http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/research/core-data-ser... Or you can avail yourself of it starting in December by completing the CDS survey, which is open for contributions until September 13. From July 30 - September 13, EDUCAUSE is offering trial access to select CDS data dashboards to institutions that are eligible CDS participants but did not complete last year's survey. If you're unsure whether you're eligible, I encourage you to contact Leah Lang of EDUCAUSE: llang@educause.edu. Sincerely, Susan Susan Grajek Vice President Data, Research, and Analytics EDUCAUSE Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good 1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20036 direct: 202.331.5350 | main: 202.872.4200 | educause.edu From: Curtis White > Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:50 AM To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > Subject: Re: [CIO] University Call Centers Michael, The research into this area is greatly appreciated - particularly if it will be made available to the larger EDUCAUSE community. However, it may help if you provide some additional desired parameters as to the configuration, staffing model and scope of "call centers" as they vary greatly among our campuses. Perhaps an initial survey can help identify the types of call centers employed and from there you can delve into the specifics that make them "first-rate." Some of the questions that come to mind: - Call Center Scope - We have a technical support center that handles IT related calls. We also have a campus operator who handles all general (non- IT) calls but only to ensure they make it to the appropriate department for resolution. There are many models out there where the call center directly handles other calls such as as student registration questions, program questions, payments, etc. I would think that a true "call center" would do more than just answer what would be considered the traditional "help desk" calls. - Support Level - Some call centers are 24x7x365 while others run M-F from 8 am to 5 pm (this is reported in the EDUCAUSE CDS). Some cover one campus while others cover multiple campuses within one state or in multiple states. Still others handle online students across the state, nation and all over the world - even if they are smaller institutions. - Staffing Model - We have a help desk that is primarily run by students serving a headcount population of about 5,500 students (UG, Graduate, professional development, online, etc.). I would put their results and performance up against comparable models and I believe they would compare quite well. However, a model that uses full time certified staff would have different results and expectations and a fully outsourced model may have other performance metrics and expectations. - Measurement Metrics - Do you track call statistics such as wait time, abandon rate, first contact resolution rate? Are there options for post-call surveys or annual customer surveys that track how the community served views the performance of the call center? If I am telling you I have a first-rate call center then I also need some metrics to support that claim and show a process for continuous improvement through community engagement and feedback. Admittedly, we are not 100% there yet on our campus but we are well on our way. - Student/Customer Mix - Residential UG, Graduate, Professional Development and online students all have different needs and put different stresses on a call center or help desk. A well running call center that serves the needs of 5000 residential students may not meet the needs of an institution serving the same number of non-residential graduate or a high percentage of online students. If you have a combination of these (which we do) then that adds a degree of complexity to the solution and requires a greater degree of flexibility in the model used. I think a well running call center (help desk) is critical to the effective operation of an IT organization. I see this as so important that many years in Ohio we started having an annual Help Desk Summit for our private institutions where we bring together help desk managers and staff to share experiences and best practices (why privates only? - thought here is that the smaller and more resource constrained private institutions typically have to handle things differently than the state institutions with much larger student population and greater assets to drawn on but I would see similar challenges for the smaller public institutions). This groups also participates in a listserv to share information as well as participate in the valuable lists provided by EDUCAUSE. If you wold like some additional thoughts and perhaps some help with a survey please let me know. This is an important initiative and there are lots of experiences to draw on and. A deeper dive here could help many of us improve our call center/help desk operations. Thanks Curtis Curtis White Vice President, Information Technology Ashland University www.ashland.edu Ph: 419.289.5777 Cell: 419.606.3582 Skype: cltrwhite

Curtis – lots of great thoughts and question and these are exactly the type of issues that I’m hoping to get some good input on.

 

We have an IT “Help Desk” now, but we are planning to consolidate it with what used to be called the “Campus Operator”. I am still developing my vision of what this should look like, but goals include much improved metrics. While I do not expect the call center to be able to answer every type of question (Financial Aid issues, for example, require expertise that we’re not likely to have there) I want it to track time to resolution so that we know how long it takes callers (particularly students) to get answers to their questions – and we want to assure that someone does get back to them to attempt a resolution.

 

Also, even though I call it a “call” center, I want to support other modes of communication including walk-ins, IM, social media, and SMS.

 

Michael

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Curtis White
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 1:51 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] University Call Centers

 

Michael,

 

The research into this area is greatly appreciated - particularly if it will be made available to the larger EDUCAUSE community.  However, it may help if you provide some additional desired parameters as to the configuration, staffing model and scope of "call centers" as they vary greatly among our campuses.  Perhaps an initial survey can help identify the types of call centers employed and from there you can delve into the specifics that make them "first-rate."  Some of the questions that come to mind:

 

- Call Center Scope - We have a technical support center that handles IT related calls.  We also have a campus operator who handles all general (non- IT) calls but only to ensure they make it to the appropriate department for resolution.  There are many models out there where the call center directly handles other calls such as as student registration questions, program questions, payments, etc.  I would  think that a true "call center" would do more than just answer what would be considered the traditional "help desk" calls.

 

- Support Level - Some call centers are 24x7x365 while others run M-F from 8 am to 5 pm (this is reported in the EDUCAUSE CDS).  Some cover one campus while others cover multiple campuses within one state or in multiple states.  Still others handle online students across the state, nation and all over the world - even if they are smaller institutions. 

 

- Staffing Model - We have a help desk that is primarily run by students serving a headcount population of about 5,500 students (UG, Graduate, professional development, online, etc.).  I would put their results and performance up against comparable models and I believe they would compare quite well.  However, a model that uses full time certified staff would have different results and expectations and a fully outsourced model may have other performance metrics and expectations.

 

- Measurement Metrics - Do you track call statistics such as wait time, abandon rate, first contact resolution rate? Are there options for post-call surveys or annual customer surveys that track how the community served views the performance of the call center?  If I am telling you I have a first-rate call center then I also need some metrics to support that claim and show a process for continuous improvement through community engagement and feedback.  Admittedly, we are not 100% there yet on our campus but we are well on our way.

 

- Student/Customer Mix - Residential UG, Graduate, Professional Development and online students all have different needs and put different stresses on a call center or help desk.  A well running call center that serves the needs of 5000 residential students may not meet the needs of an institution serving the same number of non-residential graduate or a high percentage of online students. If you have a combination of these (which we do) then that adds a degree of complexity to the solution and requires a greater degree of flexibility in the model used.

 

I think a well running call center (help desk) is critical to the effective operation of an IT organization.  I see this as so important that many years in Ohio we started having an annual Help Desk Summit for our private institutions where we bring together help desk managers and staff to share experiences and best practices (why privates only? - thought here is that the smaller and more resource constrained private institutions typically have to handle things differently than the state institutions with much larger student population and greater assets to drawn on but I would see similar challenges for the smaller public institutions). This groups also participates in a listserv to share information as well as participate in the valuable lists provided by EDUCAUSE.  

 

If you wold like some additional thoughts and perhaps some help with a survey please let me know.  This is an important initiative and there are lots of experiences to draw on and. A deeper dive here could help many of us improve our call center/help desk operations.

 

Thanks 

 

Curtis   


Curtis White

Vice President, Information Technology

Ashland University

Ph: 419.289.5777

Cell: 419.606.3582

Skype: cltrwhite

 


Hi Michael,
 
I'd love to share thoughts on this. At my former institution (LSU), we consolidated many different support inputs (different phones that didn't get answered regularly enough, too many individuals' e-mail addresses, etc.) and built a service catalog and knowledge base to create a one-stop support center. I'm trying to do the same thing at my new institution. I'm happy to set up a phonecall if you like.
 
Best, Dee
 
M. Dee Childs
Associate Provost and CIO
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL 35899 


 
Greetings!
 
At Indiana University there are two contact centers.  IU has a Support Center that handles technical support requests and a Call Center that handles a diverse set of functional requests. 
 
The IU Support Center provides Tier 1,  Tier 2 and Mission Critical technical support utilizing  phone, email, web, chat and walk-in access points.  The Support Center serves the ~110,000 faculty staff and students on the seven campuses of IU as well as the ~250,000 faculty staff and students on the 30 campuses of Ivy Tech Community Colleges within the state of Indiana.    This partnership (see:  Partnersourcing Your Service Blueprint, Educause Review online, Nov. 1, 2013  http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/partnersourcing-your-it-service-blueprint) leverages common systems, infrastructure, management and staff expertise in order to provide the campus communities with high quality support that meets the needs of higher education. This partnership provides efficiencies that ultimately benefit the taxpayers of IN and enable the institutional communities to have robust service around the clock.  It is an ongoing  effort.   IU and Ivy Tech closely collaborate and continuously  communicate to leverage the economy of scale that is obtained during less frequently called hours and areas of 'niche' staff expertise.
 
The IU Call Center provides 24X7X365 email and phone consultation for the following functional areas at IU:
        1.  Student Financial Aid Tier 1 support on the IU Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses *
        2.  AskIU: General information support for the faculty, staff and students of IU's seven campuses
        3.  IU Bloomington High School: Support for students and parents after hours
        3.  Directory services for all of IU's faculty and staff
        4.  Conference calling assistance and reservations
5.  Message center, radio paging and telephone answering for IU Medical Center, IU Health, IU Health University,  and Riley Hospitals (as well the VA hospital after hours, weekends and holidays)
        * Business hours only
 
Both IU contact centers share the same infrastructure systems and experienced leadership in order to provide high-value services as effectively and efficiently as possible.  Both contact centers utilize the "universal agent" model with the exception of Tier 2 in the Support Center and Student Financial Aid consulting in the Call Center.  In other words, all agents at the Tier 1 level answer all types of call for all institutions and campuses.  The Support Center has 35 full time staff and 60-80 hourly staff. The Support Center is tiered with 3 supervisors responsible for the  Tier 1, Tier 2 and Mission Critical teams.  The Call Center has 24 full time staff with 5-10 hourly staff and is also tiered with 2 supervisors for Tier 1 and Student Financial Aid teams. 
 
IU support depends heavily on its homegrown knowledge base (kb.iu.edu) to provide just-in-time assistance to campus community.  Additionally IU's knowledge base provides internal supporting documentation to the UITS organization including the Support Center and Call Center.  The cost of a single knowledge base 'consultation' is a mere $.047.  The cost of staff-based assistance ranges from $11 to $14 per contact.  This metric is powerful.
 
Within all contact centers there are many metrics that can be used to analyze work processes, staffing, forecasts, issues types, systems, etc.  There is a plethora of quantitative data that must be sifted based on the issue at hand.  IU has developed a homegrown dashboard for support that enables leadership to quickly gain a nuanced perspective into the situation.  For those that are interested an online webinar is available on this dashboard and how it is used strategically by IU management and leaders.  See:  http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/2012/2012/it-support-analytics-means-better-decisions
 
I'd be very happy to provide further information if desired.  Contact center leadership is critical to the success of higher education's community at large.  Responsibly leveraging enterprise services, expertise and scale can enable our constituents to have top notch service at competitive rates.
 
Sue
 
Sue B. Workman, Assoc. Vice President, Client Services and Support
Office of VP IT
Indiana University
Work: (812)855-0913  Cell: (812)325-3928
 
 
Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good
1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20036
direct: 202.331.5350 | main: 202.872.4200 | educause.edu<http://www.educause.edu/>
 
Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:50 AM
Subject: Re: [CIO] University Call Centers
 
Michael,
 
The research into this area is greatly appreciated - particularly if it will be made available to the larger EDUCAUSE community.  However, it may help if you provide some additional desired parameters as to the configuration, staffing model and scope of "call centers" as they vary greatly among our campuses.  Perhaps an initial survey can help identify the types of call centers employed and from there you can delve into the specifics that make them "first-rate."  Some of the questions that come to mind:
 
- Call Center Scope - We have a technical support center that handles IT related calls.  We also have a campus operator who handles all general (non- IT) calls but only to ensure they make it to the appropriate department for resolution.  There are many models out there where the call center directly handles other calls such as as student registration questions, program questions, payments, etc.  I would  think that a true "call center" would do more than just answer what would be considered the traditional "help desk" calls.
 
- Support Level - Some call centers are 24x7x365 while others run M-F from 8 am to 5 pm (this is reported in the EDUCAUSE CDS).  Some cover one campus while others cover multiple campuses within one state or in multiple states.  Still others handle online students across the state, nation and all over the world - even if they are smaller institutions.
 
- Staffing Model - We have a help desk that is primarily run by students serving a headcount population of about 5,500 students (UG, Graduate, professional development, online, etc.).  I would put their results and performance up against comparable models and I believe they would compare quite well.  However, a model that uses full time certified staff would have different results and expectations and a fully outsourced model may have other performance metrics and expectations.
 
- Measurement Metrics - Do you track call statistics such as wait time, abandon rate, first contact resolution rate? Are there options for post-call surveys or annual customer surveys that track how the community served views the performance of the call center?  If I am telling you I have a first-rate call center then I also need some metrics to support that claim and show a process for continuous improvement through community engagement and feedback.  Admittedly, we are not 100% there yet on our campus but we are well on our way.
 
- Student/Customer Mix - Residential UG, Graduate, Professional Development and online students all have different needs and put different stresses on a call center or help desk.  A well running call center that serves the needs of 5000 residential students may not meet the needs of an institution serving the same number of non-residential graduate or a high percentage of online students. If you have a combination of these (which we do) then that adds a degree of complexity to the solution and requires a greater degree of flexibility in the model used.
 
I think a well running call center (help desk) is critical to the effective operation of an IT organization.  I see this as so important that many years in Ohio we started having an annual Help Desk Summit for our private institutions where we bring together help desk managers and staff to share experiences and best practices (why privates only? - thought here is that the smaller and more resource constrained private institutions typically have to handle things differently than the state institutions with much larger student population and greater assets to drawn on but I would see similar challenges for the smaller public institutions). This groups also participates in a listserv to share information as well as participate in the valuable lists provided by EDUCAUSE.
 
If you wold like some additional thoughts and perhaps some help with a survey please let me know.  This is an important initiative and there are lots of experiences to draw on and. A deeper dive here could help many of us improve our call center/help desk operations.
 
Thanks
 
Curtis
 
Curtis White
Vice President, Information Technology
Ashland University
Ph: 419.289.5777
Cell: 419.606.3582
Skype: cltrwhite
 
 
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