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Founded in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia’s first university and is regularly ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2018).
The Student Accommodation Services team at the University of Sydney provides future and current students with guidance and advice on accommodation in Sydney, whether they are looking to join a residential college, live in a self-catered accommodation on campus, or set up a shared house off campus. The team of 35 also manages 1500 beds across nine facilities within three campuses in New South Wales, Australia.
Prior to Freshdesk, the Student Accommodation Services team used departmental specific inboxes for all student queries. Each email received was then manually distributed to specific staff members to attend to. As the University increased its accommodation offering from 500 to 1500 beds, the team had little visibility on tracking, ownership, status and resolution of their incoming emails.
The search for an email ticketing system was initiated by the Head of Student Accommodation Services. Dr. Alex Seng, Business Systems Analyst at the University of Sydney, recalls what the team were looking for in their ideal email ticketing system: "All we wanted to know was how many emails we have received, and how long it took us to resolve an issue raised with each email. So that’s how we started with Freshdesk. "
While some departments within the university were entrenched into competing solutions such as ServiceNow, Alex’s team found Freshdesk to be intuitive to use and scalable to meet their ever growing needs. A week’s trial was all that was needed to convince the team that Freshdesk was indeed the step in the right direction.
The Student Accommodation Services team experienced almost instant improvements to their workflows after the transition to Freshdesk. The integration with emails and automation using carefully defined Dispatch’r rules allowed all the incoming emails to be converted into tickets and were assigned accordingly to the right individuals. In the odd case of re-routing, reassigning tickets became quick and easy. Leveraging Freshdesk’s additional automation capabilities such as Observer and Supervisor rules, allowed the team to automate repetitive tasks, such as ticket status changes, that resulted in improved efficiency.
The Student Accommodation Services team also adopted Freshdesk’s self-service capabilities rapidly. A customized knowledge base was established as the first point of contact for any students seeking more information about accommodation offerings in Sydney. This helped current students to find answers to their queries without even raising a ticket, while providing useful information for future students.
The team also began to track customer satisfaction through the CSAT surveys, where each resolved ticket could be graded as “Awesome”, “Just OK”, or “Not Good”. In the event that a resolved ticket received a below average rating, additional staff members were automatically added as Watchers to the ticket, prompting further investigations. This helped to ensure that every ticket and thereby every student’s query was resolved to utmost satisfaction.
Freshdesk has facilitated a more structured and disciplined response system for the Student Accommodation Services team at the University of Sydney. The solution had also helped assign accountability to tickets and ensure proper and timely resolution of students’ queries.
Prior to Freshdesk, it was not possible for the team to measure any statistics due to the limitations of the shared inbox. However, after using Freshdesk, the team is able to respond back to tickets within 48 hours and measure performance.
Freshdesk’s reports and dashboards also allow the entire user data to be exported to an external system, and is then used by the University of Sydney to generate business intelligence reports.
“Freshdesk is easy to use, allows automation, and provides useful reporting.”
Business Systems Analyst
University of Sydney
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