Making changes during busy times
Researched ways to improve communications
Proven results in student engagement
Improved department collaboration
Understanding students needs
The University needed to look at ways to improve communication for both staff and students with minimal cost. First steps they took was to analyse feedback from students and research solutions that would meet their expectations. During the digital StarRez conference held in June 2020, they learned about the collaboration with TAWK.to which offered the instant chat service within StarRez. After researching the company in terms of ethics, responsibility, and sustainability, they arranged a virtual meeting with a TAWK.to representative in early July 2020 before the implementation of the TAWK.to software. To address the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there was a requirement to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) as introducing a new technology affects the freedom rights of individuals.
Once TAWK.to went live
Following implementation, the queries flooded in. They offer the service between 10am – 4pm meaning staff are always available to answer the chats. On their busiest week the team received 31,531 visits to PortalX and had a total of 616 chats. Once the service was established, they simplified the process even more by adding shortcut answers to common questions. This meant the team had a stock of responses that would be consistent and quickly available when dealing with queries.
"Covid hit and we were inundated with calls. I attended StarRez Connect virtually last year and we heard about Tawk.to chat. Implementation was easy and has been great. Calls have reduced and we have happier students"
Elaine McDermott - the University of Sheffield
The staff love the whisper feature used for when they can reach out to other staff members for help on queries without even being in the same office. If need be, the team can transfer chats amongst themselves if someone else was more specialised in a particular query. The use of chosen avatars for the staff also gives that personal touch for students.
TAWK.to has improved efficiency and productivity for both staff and students and the team has seen a reduction in emails and calls since implementation. As well as improving communications, there is an additional benefit in that its developed in collaboration within their department. The more they use the instant chat software, the more other teams get involved as they recognise its positive impact on the accommodation office. If you want to know how TAWK.to can help increase engagement in your communities, get in touch with the team today.