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Higher education continues to evolve as more and more students choose online programs instead of traditional campus experiences. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 59 percent of higher education students were enrolled in remote learning courses in the fall of 2021. The trend toward hybrid and remote learning presents a growing challenge for college administrators, who must support students wherever they are — whether in person or online — and whenever they need it (which may be around the clock).

IT Teams Struggle to Keep Up with Remote Learning

The rapid shift towards remote learning means that institutions — and their IT teams — must rapidly adopt technology to enable remote learning, but many have found this to be a significant challenge. Higher education IT budgets are consistently on the chopping block, making it difficult to keep up with current technology trends that make it easy to communicate with students.

As IT teams seek additional funding, they face many obstacles, including the perception held by 50 percent of institutional leaders that IT departments drive costs, not revenue. Leaders often fail to recognize how much IT departments influence student retention by enabling support. In addition to lobbying for budgets to improve the existing technology, IT teams need to justify all the resources required to deploy and maintain these assets. A study by McKinsey & Company points to a lack of funding and deployment resources as well as a reluctance to take on the planning, labor, and expenses as the top reasons why higher education institutions don’t adopt new technology.

Despite these hurdles, IT teams must ensure that the school’s technology adequately serves the student body. One solution is for IT teams to invest in a cloud based contact center solution, which can enable advanced student communication and support capabilities without breaking the bank. A contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution is easy to afford with subscription pricing, is quick to implement using existing devices and connectivity, and is simple to manage. More importantly, it can significantly improve internal and external communications and collaboration.

A CCaaS platform can also centralize communications across campus departments (for example, financial aid, student affairs, etc.) and communications channels such as email, social media, and webchat onto one platform. These omnichannel capabilities allow more customized and efficient support for students and more comprehensive reporting for stakeholders.

Small-Scale Changes Can Have an Immediate Impact

Higher education institutions are usually risk-averse and struggle to innovate, especially compared to students who readily embrace new experiences and technology.

IT teams struggling to gain endorsement for a technology overhaul should consider starting on a smaller scale with a communications solution that offers an immediate impact while also gaining support from leaders for broader digital transformation initiatives.

Implementing a modern contact center solution is a simple way to bring student support and communications into the current era. A CCaaS platform is easy to implement with no strain on IT resources to get up and running. With features like customizable campaigns, scripting tools, and advanced call routing, CCaaS platforms are easy-to-use, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-leverage for optimized student support on and off campus.

The Best Support for Student Support

A CCaaS solution like GoContact can significantly impact student communications and support with little effort or spending required. With low deployment barriers, contact center technology is the easiest way to modernize college communications.

Contact us to learn more about how GoContact can help provide students with support on and off campus.

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