The University of South Florida supports an 800 percent IT increase by turning to RightNow.
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IT support has become a critical issue for universities, which are offering a greater range of computing resources to students, faculty, parent organizations, and even alumni. For many, access to admissions and academic departments, online academic databases like Lexis Nexus, and alumni information is now entirely Web-based. The University of South Florida (USF), with a student body of 42,000, is no exception.
USF has seen its IT services and demands explode over the past few years. Besides university computer centers, the Academic Computing Help Center (ACHC) also answers questions pertaining to a student's private PC. Increased student enrollment, greater demand for computer access, and more strain on the university's IT services required that changes be made. USF's proprietary system couldn't be based on the Web. Operating on a fixed academic budget, USF selected RightNow Service as its strategic CRM platform, owing to the application's quick installation, ease-of-use, and price. USF completed the implementation and went live in fewer than 48 hours.
"The implementation was unbelievable," says Merri Schaffner, manager of USF's ACHC. "I sent out the info about the implementation the first week of August, and by that Friday everybody was up and running. RightNow Service has really enabled us to improve the quality, speed, and efficiency of our support for all the students."
By implementing RightNow Service as its CRM platform, the University of South Florida has
been able to handle an eightfold increase in support volume without increasing support staff head count;
improved customer service and support time resolution;
implemented a Web-based CRM platform capable of dealing with a high support staff turnover rate.
RightNow Service has provided Schaffner and the help center with an integrated interface for managing support interactions across phone, email, Web, and chat channels--helpful with a technically savvy student population.
"The chat has gone over very well. We can help one of our graduate students studying overseas in India with computer problems without him/her having to pick up the phone," Schaffner says.
All customer information and technical problems are now stored in a knowledge base to allow support staff to record and track technical problems or customer inquiries. ServiceT has been used for everything from students at satellite campuses renewing books from the main campus library to university clubs, groups, and facility posting announcements on the university's Web site.
The software's ease-of-use is particularly important to USF. With its help desk staffed by students, none of whom work more than 20 hours a week, shift changes and turnover rates are high. Most important, the implementation and subsequent rollout was so successful, USF was able to handle an eightfold increase in support volume--from 5,000 annually to 40,000 in the past four years--without increasing staff head count.
"The software is incredibly intuitive," Schaffner says. "There is absolutely no way we could have been up and running and continue to maintain our support functions if ServiceT wasn't as easy for the students to use."
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