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Is Web Self Service Right for Your Educational Institution?

Is Web Self Service Right for Your Educational Institution?

Ratings: (0)|Views: 748|Likes:
1
Is Web Self-Service
Right for You?
Published by IntelliResponse
5 Tell-Tale Signs That Your School – And
Your Students – Are Ready For Next
Generation Web Self-Service
IR Knowledge Seri es
“Self-Service”
–adjective
of, for, or pertaining to something designed to be used
or enjoyed without the aid of an attendant.
“Next Generation Web Self-Service”
–adjective
of, for or pertaining to technology designed to allow
web visitors to receive ANSWERS to their questions over
the desktop, mobile and social web, without requiring
any interaction with a representative of an institution
or organization.
Is Web Self-Service Right for You? 2
• Customer Satisfaction
• The ability to provide 24 x 7 access
to information
• Enhancements to the online experience
• Improved loyalty toward your institution
• Reduction in operating costs that result
when students are forced to seek answers
via calls and emails to your staff
But how do you know when you and your
school are ready for this next generation of web
self-service? Where do you begin, in terms of
diagnosing whether or not it makes sense for you
to explore a web self-service strategy for
your institution?
Read on to find out…
To help you better understand
whether or not your school and
students would benefit from
deploying next generation selfservice,
we’ve pulled together
our knowledge of industry best
practices, leading research, and our
own analysis of online questions
posed to institutions by millions of
students across North America.
From this, we’ve compiled five
telltale signs that your school
and your students (current
and prospective) are poised to
benefit from next generation
web self-service.
Located at the forefront of today’s increasingly
web-savvy population is the modern student. When
students seek information these days, whether
from a company or an educational institution,
they begin with the Internet. Today’s students are
interacting with, evaluating and comparing schools
often without setting foot on a campus or having a
single human conversation.
Therefore, the experience students have when on
your school’s web site (and other online channels
where your institution may have a presence, such
as social media sites or mobile devices) is often
the first and perhaps only opportunity to provide
the satisfaction that will drive students’ key
education decisions.
Despite this truth, frustration and inefficiency
abounds online. Students, on the whole, are
frustrated with the experiences they encounter
when visiting school web-sites. This dissatisfaction
creates an increased number of phone calls and
emails to your admissions staff, and creates
costly one-on-one interactions to answer the most
rudimentary questions.
For many institutions, the “answer” to making the
online experience smoother and more efficient
for students includes deploying the latest multichannel
self-service tools now available. Often
described as answer agents, virtual assistants or
“smart FAQ’s”, this new breed of technology, when
delivered effectively – has significant impact on
critical factors like:
Is Web Self-Service Right for You? 3
Telltale Sign #1:
The primary service features on your web
site are FAQ and help pages and/or a site
search tool.
Due to the sheer depth and breadth of information
that is posted on a school’s web-site – including
everything from admissions requirements to
scholarship application procedures to campus maps
– traditional online answer tools like FAQ pages,
“help” and “search” technologies have become
antiquated resources. They are simply no longer
effective at giving students the information they
need in the form of ANSWERS to their questions.
It’s interesting to note that these tools also fall
short en masse in virtually every industry, including
commercial web sites. According to technology
research group Forrester, “Help sections, frequently
asked questions (FAQs), and site search often fall
short of customers’ expectations.” 1
Take the typical FAQ page as an example, and
c
1
Is Web Self-Service
Right for You?
Published by IntelliResponse
5 Tell-Tale Signs That Your School – And
Your Students – Are Ready For Next
Generation Web Self-Service
IR Knowledge Seri es
“Self-Service”
–adjective
of, for, or pertaining to something designed to be used
or enjoyed without the aid of an attendant.
“Next Generation Web Self-Service”
–adjective
of, for or pertaining to technology designed to allow
web visitors to receive ANSWERS to their questions over
the desktop, mobile and social web, without requiring
any interaction with a representative of an institution
or organization.
Is Web Self-Service Right for You? 2
• Customer Satisfaction
• The ability to provide 24 x 7 access
to information
• Enhancements to the online experience
• Improved loyalty toward your institution
• Reduction in operating costs that result
when students are forced to seek answers
via calls and emails to your staff
But how do you know when you and your
school are ready for this next generation of web
self-service? Where do you begin, in terms of
diagnosing whether or not it makes sense for you
to explore a web self-service strategy for
your institution?
Read on to find out…
To help you better understand
whether or not your school and
students would benefit from
deploying next generation selfservice,
we’ve pulled together
our knowledge of industry best
practices, leading research, and our
own analysis of online questions
posed to institutions by millions of
students across North America.
From this, we’ve compiled five
telltale signs that your school
and your students (current
and prospective) are poised to
benefit from next generation
web self-service.
Located at the forefront of today’s increasingly
web-savvy population is the modern student. When
students seek information these days, whether
from a company or an educational institution,
they begin with the Internet. Today’s students are
interacting with, evaluating and comparing schools
often without setting foot on a campus or having a
single human conversation.
Therefore, the experience students have when on
your school’s web site (and other online channels
where your institution may have a presence, such
as social media sites or mobile devices) is often
the first and perhaps only opportunity to provide
the satisfaction that will drive students’ key
education decisions.
Despite this truth, frustration and inefficiency
abounds online. Students, on the whole, are
frustrated with the experiences they encounter
when visiting school web-sites. This dissatisfaction
creates an increased number of phone calls and
emails to your admissions staff, and creates
costly one-on-one interactions to answer the most
rudimentary questions.
For many institutions, the “answer” to making the
online experience smoother and more efficient
for students includes deploying the latest multichannel
self-service tools now available. Often
described as answer agents, virtual assistants or
“smart FAQ’s”, this new breed of technology, when
delivered effectively – has significant impact on
critical factors like:
Is Web Self-Service Right for You? 3
Telltale Sign #1:
The primary service features on your web
site are FAQ and help pages and/or a site
search tool.
Due to the sheer depth and breadth of information
that is posted on a school’s web-site – including
everything from admissions requirements to
scholarship application procedures to campus maps
– traditional online answer tools like FAQ pages,
“help” and “search” technologies have become
antiquated resources. They are simply no longer
effective at giving students the information they
need in the form of ANSWERS to their questions.
It’s interesting to note that these tools also fall
short en masse in virtually every industry, including
commercial web sites. According to technology
research group Forrester, “Help sections, frequently
asked questions (FAQs), and site search often fall
short of customers’ expectations.” 1
Take the typical FAQ page as an example, and
c

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Published by: IntelliResponse Systems Inc. on Sep 15, 2011
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1
Is Web Sel-ServiceRight or You?
Published by IntelliResponse
5 Tell-Tale Signs That Your School – AndYour Students – Are Ready For NextGeneration Web Self-Service
 
IR KNWG SRIS
“Self-Service”
–adjective 
of, for, or pertaining to something designed to be usedor enjoyed without the aid of an attendant.
“Next Generation Web Self-Service”
–adjective 
of, for or pertaining to technology designed to allow web visitors to receive ANSWERS to their questions overthe desktop, mobile and social web, without requiringany interaction with a representative of an institutionor organization.
 
2
Is Web Sel-Service Right or You?
Customer SatisfactionThe ability to provide 24 x 7 accessto informationEnhancements to the online experienceImproved loyalty toward your institutionReduction in operating costs that result  when students are forced to seek answers via calls and emails to your staff 
But how do you know when you and yourschool are ready for this next generation of webself-service? Where do you begin, in terms of diagnosing whether or not it makes sense for youto explore a web self-service strategy for your institution?Read on to nd out…
To help you better understandwhether or not your school andstudents would benet fromdeploying next generation self-service, we’ve pulled togetherour knowledge of industry bestpractices, leading research, and ourown analysis of online questionsposed to institutions by millions of students across North America.
From this, we’ve compiled fvetelltale signs that your schooland your students (currentand prospective) are poised tobeneft rom next generationweb sel-service.
ocated at the forefront of today’s increasinglyweb-savvy population is the modern student. Whenstudents seek information these days, whetherfrom a company or an educational institution,they
begin
with the Internet. Today’s students areinteracting with, evaluating and comparing schoolsoften without setting foot on a campus or having asingle human conversation.Therefore, the experience students have when onyour school’s web site (and other online channelswhere your institution may have a presence, suchas social media sites or mobile devices) is oftenthe rst and perhaps
only 
opportunity to providethe satisfaction that will drive students’ keyeducation decisions.espite this truth, frustration and inefciencyabounds online. Students, on the whole, arefrustrated with the experiences they encounterwhen visiting school web-sites. This dissatisfactioncreates an increased number of phone calls andemails to your admissions staff, and createscostly one-on-one interactions to answer the mostrudimentary questions.For many institutions, the “answer” to making theonline experience smoother and more efcientfor students includes deploying the latest multi-channel self-service tools now available. ftendescribed as answer agents, virtual assistants or“smart FAQ’s”, this new breed of technology, whendelivered effectively – has signicant impact oncritical factors like
:
 
3
Is Web Sel-Service Right or You?
Telltale Sign #1:
The primary service features on your website are FAQ and help pages and/or a sitesearch tool.
Due to the sheer depth and breadth of informationthat is posted on a school’s web-site – includingeverything from admissions requirements toscholarship application procedures to campus maps– traditional online answer tools like FAQ pages,“help” and “search” technologies have becomeantiquated resources. They are simply no longereffective at giving students the information they need in the form of ANSWERS to their questions.It’s interesting to note that these tools also fallshort en masse in virtually every industry, includingcommercial web sites. According to technology research group Forrester, “Help sections, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and site search often fallshort of customers’ expectations.”
1
 Take the typical FAQ page as an example, andconsider this dilemma:Even the most well-written and comprehensiveFAQ sections remain difcult to navigate due tothe sheer volume of information that is to be siftedthrough (and this assumes that you have, by somemiracle selected the absolute best list of FAQs forthe majority of your students to begin with). Even when the available mountains of data are drastically reduced after a keyword relevancy search, still,students are offered tens, hundreds or eventhousands of results to search through. Not exactly an ideal experience, nor does in provide for an easy  way for these students to get the “answers” they arelooking for. A more streamlined FAQ section, one that has beenheavily edited to reduce the volume of data, may beslightly easier to navigate, however, what is gainedin navigation ease is lost in the comprehensivenessand accuracy of available answers, leaving thestudent unsatised despite best efforts.Forrester points to self-service technologies asa means to provide a better user experienceonline, but explains that these technologies arenot yet widely used by many of the organizationsthat could most benet by their deployment.
2
 Though enhancing the student experience onlineis increasingly becoming a top priority for many schools, by and large, most institutions still rely onFAQ, help and site search as the primary delivery tools for their students’ online experience. As a result, the opportunity modern web self-service affords is not only the ability to enhancethe student experience online, but to also enjoy a competitive advantage, by becoming known asa school that provides this superior self-servicestudent experience ahead of its counterparts.

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