South Africa

First response time from 87% to


Increase in positive feedback by



The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) is the region’s leading provider of training in the fields of applied psychology, counselling, coaching and human resource management. With over 20 years of experience, SACAP offers a wide range of qualifications across various study plans from its campuses in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Online.

Keeping Pace with Mounting Student Conversation Volumes

Delivering a seamless journey to all students who reach out has always been an integral part of SACAP’s ethos. In an effort to streamline its incumbent email support system, SACAP tried centralising the addresses of all student-facing departments and managing interactions with a shared inbox. However, with student volumes growing at an average rate of 36% year-on-year, the teams quickly encountered the limitations of this system and faced many roadblocks to delivering the student experience they aimed for.

As the volume of communication continued to mount, mails would either slip through the cracks without being responded to or have multiple agents provide disparate responses to a single query. The shared inbox email system also did not allow for dashboarding or reporting. Without this, SACAP was not able to track the nature, urgency and resolution time of a query or even who was working on it. This not only rendered it impossible to derive insights that allowed SACAP to make the best use of the system, but also failed to establish clear accountability among the agents.

Building a Transformative Service System

Business Process Manager, Karina Coetzee was tasked with championing SACAP’s migration from its combined inbox email system to a more effective solution that echoed its commitment to being deeply student-centric. Google research and an employee’s prior positive experience helped Karina zero in on Freshdesk and usher in a unified helpdesk system that truly worked. With its easy guides, prompts and round-the-clock support, Karina was able to roll out Freshdesk to a pilot team within a week and subsequently brought in agents from other student facing departments including admin, student services, finance, sales and program coordination.  

The Freshdesk integration proved revelatory for Karina and her team. She stated, “Before using Freshdesk, we always assumed that we were getting back to students within our SLA. When we implemented Freshdesk, we discovered that we were only meeting this 80% of the time. This led to a huge drive of internal improvements. After a brief few months of consistently exceeding our SLAs, discussions started to evolve into shortening the SLAs, which ultimately improves the students experience.”

Delighting Students at Every Turn

Freshdesk revolutionized the way SACAP’s agents functioned. By clearly assigning tickets to agents, setting priorities and automating escalations, the team effectively established responsibility, accountability, and departmental and managerial transparency. The team was also able to foster real-time collaboration with the ability to loop in colleagues from right within tickets to chat, discuss and benefit from varied experiences without having to find them at hallways. Other features that SACAP leveraged include:

  • Tagging the nature of inquiry for a quick bird’s eye view of insights on frequently repeated queries during specific periods
  • Collusion detection to view who tickets are being worked on by to prevent duplication and inefficiencies
  • Adding notes to tickets and students, thereby providing greater context and adding layers to enable richer interactions
  • Deep dives into custom reports to help monitor the team’s performance and deliver insights on their capacity across a variety of parameters
  • Customized canned responses that allow agents to significantly cut down the time taken to respond to similar queries

SACAP successfully established a streamlined, efficient and collaborative system with motivated and empowered agents having impactful, seamless conversations with their students.  

Paving the way for greater collaboration

Going forward, SACAP plans to intensify its internal collaboration and inter-departmental communication with Freshconnect. They are also keen to add another degree of personalization and ease to student interactions by exploring Freshchat (now Freshdesk Messaging).

“As a company, we are focused on continuously improving our student experience. Freshdesk has formed an integral part of this strategy, providing us with the tools we needed to effectively measure and assess service delivery. In less than a year, we have managed to significantly increase responsiveness, actively monitor student satisfaction and our staff are re-energized by their own improved productivity.”

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Karina Coetzee

Business Process Manager

The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP)