Marquette University is a higher education institution in Wisconsin with nearly 12,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff. The university prioritizes its commitment to providing students and faculty with comprehensive communication tools, and upgraded to Skype for Business 2015 from Lync 2013.
Marquette used a competing contact center product but was disappointed with the poor quality of its Skype for Business integration. The product Marquette used previously was a third-party ACD, which could work with a variety of telephony products. However, this non-native integration with Skype for Business made the product unstable and made some features work poorly. In addition, Marquette was dissatisfied with the unresponsive customer support offered by the previous product.
Marquette Central is the University’s primary contact center for registrar, financial aid and bursar information. Having this line of communication open at all times is critically important, as it is the central point of contact between the University and its students, as well as the parents of students. The University also uses contact center software in a variety of other cases, ranging from external customer service to internal support, including for its:
- Help desk
- Student health services
- School of Dentistry
- Student housing
- Athletic ticketing and game auto-attendant
Native Integration Improves Reliability
Marquette chose Clarity Connect primarily for its native integration with Skype for Business, in order to reduce complexity and make it easier for the IT department to support the contact center.
Clarity Connect significantly improved the reliability and availability of the contact centers at Marquette. “It’s a big relief not having to worry about our phone system working,” said Dan Smith, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Marquette. “Since implementing Clarity Connect, we have been very happy with its performance and functionality.”
“Clarity Connect’s native approach to Skype for Business is a key factor for its success,” said Victor Martinez, Windows Lead at Marquette. “It essentially acts as an ACD add-on and has Skype for Business handle all the VOIP and media. That deep connection makes a big difference in the stability of the product and maintenance required, because the system is less complex and has fewer trunks.”
Marquette found the support provided by the Clarity Connect team to be very helpful, and was a big improvement over their previous provider, which had ongoing issues with dropped calls throughout the lifetime of their old ACD product that were never entirely resolved.
“I’m very happy with the support for Clarity Connect all around – from the ticketing system, to the engagement of the people, to the quality of fixes,” said Victor. “I was actually surprised to find out how quickly they implemented fixes for some of the issues that popped up.”
Moving to Clarity Connect has also improved the feature functionality experienced by Marquette. In some cases, it unexpectedly solved problems in ways that weren’t anticipated.
“A lot of people have mentioned how valuable they find the reporting from Clarity Connect,” said Victor. “The ability to search for activity on calls, sessions, and other criteria is great.”
Staff management, calendaring and self-service
Previously, scheduling changes needed to be made by the IT department on the back end. But with Clarity Connect’s self-service options, students and other agents can manage their schedules themselves. Clarity Connect’s robust calendaring functionality also improves the efficiency of managing call center hours.
“The amount of time I spend managing hours has been dramatically reduced,” said Vince Janovicz, Help Desk Manager at Marquette. “And now I can schedule the calendar well in advance, by myself, and don’t need to set a reminder to change it later. If there’s a snow day or other event, I can easily close shop or change the auto-greeting remotely.”
Among the unexpected benefits of using Clarity Connect, Marquette can now manage its mobile, on-call workforce more efficiently. Previously, Marquette rotated a pager among a group of managers that were on call. With Clarity Connect, IT can easily denote the manager on call and escalate calls to that manager’s mobile phone instead.
Quality assurance and training
Marquette found that using the intuitive Skype for Business interface made it very easy to train and monitor new agents – particularly if those agents are students. “It’s very easy for new agents to learn how to use Clarity Connect,” said Vince. “Whether they have used an ACD in the past or not, it’s a trivial task at best. And when I monitor agents, I can easily do so in silent mode or whisper-join to coach the agent.”