Our customers are thrilled with the level of service.
Growing rapidly to meet student needs
The University of Lincoln opened its doors to students in 2001. Just 10 years later, the university currently employs 1,200 faculty and staff. More than 10,000 students study a wide range of disciplines at the university’s £180 million modern campus. Economists estimate that the university has created at least 3,000 new jobs within Lincoln and that it generates more than £250 million per year for the local economy.
University IT staff renews focus on communication
In an age of budget cuts, colleges and universities in the United Kingdom are looking for cost-effective ways to distinguish themselves. The University of Lincoln recently launched an initiative to provide better service to students, but realized its antiquated help desk software didn’t facilitate the kind of communication the IT staff wanted to provide.
“In the past, when people would call us for help, we didn’t always give them a case number or follow up with them,” says Tara Howard, Project Manager, University of Lincoln. “We solved our customer’s problems, but our help desk software didn’t let us do things like send automatic status updates. People had to chase us down for information. We knew we could do better.”
User-friendly help desk software supports people-centered philosophy
Early in its search for a new system, the university stumbled across Zendesk and began a free trial. Zendesk delivered everything the IT staff was looking for.
“Of all the products we considered, Zendesk really caught our eye,” Howard recalls. “It was easy to set up and use, and it seemed like the perfect catalyst for launching our new people-centered approach to support.”
But the university took a collaborative approach to its Zendesk implementation. IT staff waited to go-live until after they had asked their 20 top internal clients from across campus to evaluate the new service program and provide feedback.
“Our focus group loved the solution,” says Howard. “And since we’ve gone live, pretty much everyone else has loved Zendesk too.”
Zendesk Android app frees agents from the office, boosts productivity
Today, the University of Lincoln’s 44 IT staff rely on Zendesk to field support tickets from students, faculty, and staff. Another 20 users in the Estates department use Zendesk to collect support requests on problems related to the university’s physical properties. Zendesk’s automated email notifications, or triggers, keep these clients informed throughout the support process.
“Our number-one goal is to communicate with our internal clients,” says Howard. “We’ve configured Zendesk to email clients when their request is received, when their support ticket is assigned to an agent, when the issue is resolved, and at other key stages in the ticket lifecycle.”
The university’s agents are saving time by using Zendesk macros, or standard responses to frequently asked questions. Agents are also using the Zendesk Android app to respond to tickets in a timely manner, while on the go.
“We bought our IT technicians smartphones specifically so they can respond to support requests from anywhere,” Howard explains. “They can now move freely across our campus sites solving problems, rather than having to return to the main office to get their next ticket. They’re much more efficient and productive this way.”
In the next phase of its implementation, the University of Lincoln will integrate Zendesk with Twitter and GetSatisfaction. The IT staff is also considering putting QR codes on posters around campus, giving students and staff who have camera phones another way to submit tickets.
“Zendesk is the catalyst for our new approach to communication,” Howard concludes. “Judging by the feedback, our campus community is thrilled with the level of service they’re receiving. Agents love the system because it’s so easy to use.”