AskACU team wins Staff Excellence Award

Published: Thursday 18th August 2016

Photo of AskACU team

Photo: (L to R) Whitney Smith, Joy Magee, Angela Forrester

The AskACU Project team has won the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Innovation Excellence for developing an overarching and consistent service model, for students and staff, by tailoring systems, processes and spaces that enable a multi-faceted approach.

The AskACU project has put the University at the forefront in terms of enhancing the student experience by providing a complete, end-to-end enquiry management system.

The project team includes Ms Joy Magee, Associate Director, Service Delivery; Ms Angela Forrester, Project Manager, AskACU; Ms Whitney Smith, Acting Manager, AskACU Service Operations and Ms Louise Norton, Senior Planning Manager, Infrastructure.

In an effort to improve customer service, the project team integrated IT and telephony capabilities and re-engineered processes and spaces to:

  • Provide a coordinated, streamlined, cohesive and consistent student experience;
  • Expand the suite of services and responsibilities undertaken by Student Centres to improve student conversion, retention and loyalty through a proactive customer care strategy; and
  • Provide a multi-functional service delivery platform to optimise service delivery in a technological and network domain.

The new system enables students to initiate queries and service requests either personally at specially designed AskACU service centres, by phone or through a variety of online platforms such as SMS, Live Chat, email and self-service.

The design and development of the new AskACU Centres reflects innovative thinking around service delivery such as removing physical barriers like counters, placing the service provider where the service recipient wants to be and co-­locating with other services such as Concierge Services, for the benefit of students.

Integrating a telephony system (for phone-based interactions) with ServiceNow (to manage and track student interactions through a multi-channel contact centre) has resulted in students being supported at any place, on any device, anywhere. Of special significance is the building of a knowledge-base to enable greater self-service capabilities.

Most university student and/or contact centres operate on similar templates, with relatively minor variations. The previous ACU Student Centre model sat within this status quo and while there was a strong service culture, obvious gaps in the structure and systems prevented optimal outcomes.

In line with the Service Matters Framework, this project identified an improvement opportunity based on an emerging theme of service excellence and provided the platform to move ACU to an integrated service delivery mode. It allows the opportunity to enhance service delivery and quality through the ability to measure outcomes.

AskACU provides a coordinated, streamlined, cohesive and consistent student experience and delivers superior client service through the use of dedicated Enquiry Management Technology. It is a key business strategy to attract and retain students and gain competitive advantage.