Five9 Unveils Contact Center Solution for Higher Education Institutions

Five9 has unveiled Five9 OneStudent, a cloud-based contact center solution designed to transform student engagement, allowing higher education institutions to navigate and succeed amid challenges and swift shifts in student expectations.

“Student expectations have dramatically shifted. They want rapid answers to conversations that cross channels of their choice. Attention spans are brief. For example, prospective students won’t wait for an answer about financial aid from one institution when Google can provide other alternatives in one click. But many institutions are stuck with legacy systems, fierce departmental rivalries over IT budget dollars, and a student workforce manning the phones and chats that insists technology be easy to use,” said Jeff Woodland, Director of Industry Marketing, Five9.

Five9 OneStudent enables higher education institutions to connect with students through their preferred communication channels, including voice, SMS, chat, social media, video, and more. Additionally, it enhances advisor efficiency through omni-channel controls and seamless data integration, providing managers with a clearer view of their performance.

The solution also introduces greater flexibility and scalability across all contact centers by transitioning operations to the cloud.

“Omnichannel is very important to us because it allows our students to contact us on whichever channel they choose. They can switch between channels, and it goes to the same team of advisors. Since advisors are more efficient using Five9, they are able to connect with students on a personal level,” said Regent University, a Five9 customer.

The difficulties of managing student engagement  

Effectively managing student engagement, spanning from recruitment to alumni relations, presents a multifaceted challenge. Transitioning contact centers to the cloud offers IT departments greater agility in pursuing digital transformation by delegating maintenance responsibilities to the cloud provider. Centralizing all contact centers under the same cloud provider facilitates data normalization from student interactions, enhancing insight into each institution's specific challenges with student engagement.

Furthermore, the shift to the cloud opens up opportunities to leverage advanced technologies like AI. Generative AI, for instance, plays a role in student-advisor conversations, enabling institutions to enhance student engagement. This involves providing advisors with coaching cards based on real-time call content and summarizing conversations immediately afterward.

“What is really interesting about Higher Education institutions everywhere is how they will adapt Generative AI into their academics. There is a lot of debate on this topic. Yet, if decision makers see how it improves the efficiency and effectiveness of their student advisors, they might more quickly embrace it,” said Jeff Woodland.

Earlier this year, another company trying to boost student engagement was Element451, which released Bolt Copilot and BoltBot, the first generative AI technology for higher education.