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Lesley University is a private higher-ed institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, well known for its education, fine arts, expressive therapy and creative writing programs. Established in 1909 with the goal of training kindergarten teachers, it gained the authority to issue baccalaureate degrees in 1944. It has subsequently added majors in the fields of management, counseling, human services, global studies, and art therapy. In 1981, Lesley College merged with the Art Institute of Boston to form Lesley University.
Lesley has over 7,000 students on its roster across three campuses. The University offers more than 20 undergraduate majors and over 90 Bachelor’s, Master’s certificates and PhD programs, both online and offline. Lesley is one of the largest providers of graduate programs for educators, and has graduated twice as many more teachers than any other private institution in New England.
Lesley University has over 600 employees, with the current student to faculty ratio at 11:1. Lesley University takes pride in preparing socially responsible graduates with the knowledge, skills, and the empathy needed for a more just and sustainable world.
With around 7,000 students on the roll, the administration at Lesley was finding it difficult to manage all the incoming requests. Issues reported ranged from password resets and WiFi troubleshooting to tier one tech problems.
Lesley University had also outsourced its support to a third-party, which operated call centers from three different places, which had ushered in a new set of problems. Students found it difficult to understand support agents because of the agents’ accents. Co-ordination between the University and the agents was difficult due to geographical constraints. Due to lack of an easy way to access campus related data, agents took a long time to respond with the right answers and students spent much of their time on hold.
Despite several training sessions and induction programs to include them, the agents did not fit into Lesley’s culture and hence had difficulty in understanding intricacies about the campus and in connecting with the students while solving their problems.
By 2013, the gap between the external support staff and the students had widened further. So, the administrators decided to bring support in-house, and get students to answer tech support questions, as it would not only improve the quality of support, but also reduce costs. While searching for a suitable solution, Lesley University came across Freshdesk. Having seen Freshdesk’s robust multichannel support, powerful knowledge base features, and the availability of iOS and Android apps, they decided to switch.
“We were blown away when we saw Freshdesk. The combination of social, email, knowledge base, mobile, and gamification all together is what sealed the deal for us.”
Director, Technology Support Services
Freshdesk’s user interface was so easy to use that students didn’t require any special training to get started. The built-in knowledge base ensured that agents attending to the issue had all the information they needed to resolve issues quickly. This was crucial since the students were psychology, art and teaching majors and needed some assistance themselves to get up to speed with resolving tech issues.
In order to reduce turnover among its dozen-strong team of student employees, Lesley administrators leveraged Freshdesk's game mechanics to set up custom ‘Quests’. Challenges like ‘close ten tickets and receive X positive ratings in a week’ have helped students stay motivated, and compete with their friends to complete tasks.
Previously, even though Lesley University’s network downtimes were pretty low, students were quick to get on to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Now, the team gets alerted about these issues pretty quickly from Freshdesk’s ‘Social’ tab and can attend to them before others start retweeting. The administration is able to let students provide support over Twitter without actually sharing their Twitter credentials with every new recruit.
Since moving to the platform a year and a half ago, the University has been able to provide stellar campus support, consistently receiving a 95% satisfaction rate (or more) from users.
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