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UMUC Centralizes Student Services with Salesforce

“We didn’t want students paying the price as our service teams took time to search through different systems for answers to their questions – answers that were often inconsistent,” explained Kevin Keeton, Director of Product Management at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). That’s a tall order when you’re the largest public university in the US. Providing an outstanding and positive student service experience to over 95,000 students in more than 25 countries can seem daunting – especially when trying to maintain a “One Global University” brand. After acknowledging the problems attributed to having multiple ticketing and knowledge base systems, no cross-departmental escalation, and no single system of engagement that integrated with their SIS, UMUC set a goal to create a centralized, single point of entry for anyone at the university to find important student data and knowledge.

Using the Salesforce Service Cloud, the school began integrating backend systems with Salesforce to obtain a 360O view of each student across 15 different departments. “It’s really allowed us to create a one-stop-shop for everything we do,” said Keeton. Information, such as prospect status, academic history, and activity history, is all tracked in Salesforce, giving faculty and staff a single source of truth when interacting with students. “All of our staff worldwide now has one place to view all student communications. For a university of our size, that’s huge,” explained Keeton.

Receiving over 60,000 inbound student cases per month, UMUC also recognized the importance of optimizing every interaction. Regardless of source, all of these cases are now logged and managed in Salesforce, providing cross-departmental visibility and escalation when necessary. Features like web-to-case allow students to create support cases directly from the school’s website, simultaneously generating a record in Salesforce for staff to follow up on. Using custom assignment rules, cases are also automatically routed to the appropriate team for efficient resolution. With Salesforce Knowledge, support staff can now easily find articles and provide consistent answers to students’ questions, improving the overall quality of service provided. Whether a military student abroad or a full-time student in the US asks a question, the school can now answer with a consistent and fast response.

Since migrating to Salesforce, UMUC has been able to increase first-time case resolution rates and create streamlined escalation processes. SLA’s are now maintained with accuracy because of the efficient service the school can provide. Looking ahead, UMUC plans to expand the use of Salesforce as it continues to grow. “The response since implementing Salesforce has been extremely positive,” said Keeton. “We’ve seen massive improvements in our processes and expect to see even more.”

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