Category Archives: Higher Education

How Multi Channel Contact Centre & Secure Payment Solutions Can Help the Education Sector

The way in which people interact with companies and businesses has shifted over recent years, everyone used to call traditional call centres and remain on hold for seemingly long periods of time. In an age where the iPhone wasn’t the norm and Twitter and Facebook were just getting started there were a lot fewer recognised channels for customer support. SMS and live chat hadn’t taken off yet for customer support use and Twitter had not yet become the social platform it has today where one bad tweet from someone with a lot of following can potentially cause havoc for a brand. All you really had was your landline to ring a call centre number and hope you got the answer you wanted or to send an email and hope for a reply, however, now that is not the case.

But it’s not only businesses, brands and charities etc. the way in which people want to interact with every institution is changing, even the education sector. People want to be able to tweet a university a simple question or to leave a comment on Facebook and expect an answer quickly in addition to receiving great service when making contact on traditional channels such as telephone and email. Higher education institutions are starting to have to operate as businesses, with high tuition fees pushing the education sector into a more competitive commercial direction, universities are starting to have to win over students very much like businesses would clients.

Multi-channel contact centre solutions allow schools, colleges and universities to make the most of all new opportunities afforded to them and engage effectively with past, present and future students, faculty and the further community while remaining completely cost effective. These solutions can also aid with events such as the clearing period and periods of fundraising/donations.


The clearing process had an overhaul for 2016, with the cap on student numbers being lifted it allowed universities to actively recruit potential students and offer as many places as they wanted provided they had the space and resources for them, it allowed universities to become selective. It not only benefitted universities, clearing began to be used in a different way. Instead of students using clearing to scramble for a place at another university because they didn’t get their predicted grades, students were going through clearing to get a place at a better university, or get a place on a different course if they had changed their mind.

During the clearing period universities see a flood of enquiries from students from multiple channels, often they are unable to manage every enquiry and so many students are left without answers and go elsewhere. A multi-channel contact centre solution can help universities to scale up and expand their communications to allow them to not only tackle all of the enquiries that they receive but also to do it efficiently.

Multi-channel allows you to streamline all of your channels and manage everything – voice, email, SMS, live chat and social media – from one central location. You will also never miss an enquiry, the innovative queuing system sorts and deals with all messages chronologically while assigning enquiries to individuals so no one is left wondering if an enquiry has already been dealt with.

Fundraising & Alumni Donations

Alumni donations form a large part of further education finance, in 2012 alumni donations reached an incredible £800m with expectations to rise, and it did. In the 2015-2016 term donations from alumni in the UK to higher education institutes reached a record high of £1.06bn, smashing the £1bn mark that has never been surpassed before. As a further education institution how can you maximise you alumni donations? Those looking to donate are more likely to complete a donation if they’re on the line with a real person so they know their donation is reaching the right place.

When dealing with alumni donations it is essential to use a secure telephone payment system, because you’re processing a payment you must be PCI DSS compliant. A solution like our Secure Assist guides volunteers and staff through the donation process while maintaining the vital level of security required when it comes to payments, Secure Assist allows secure payments to be taken over the telephone, SMS and online payment portals. It is also entirely flexible to ensure the most cost effective solution, with complete adaptability to a range of different applications such as accommodation, fines and food just to name a few.

For more information about our multi-channel contact centre solutions or if you want to discuss Secure Assist and how they can help your education institution, get in touch with our team on 01223 427700 or email

University clearing is important to both parties

Welcome to C3’s Industry Insight blog series inspired by articles and comment on the web.

In this blog, Martin Kirkup analyses the two-way street of University Clearing.

Now with the end of their exams and summer officially arrived it can be tough for students to keep track of all the different universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) deadlines that they need to keep to in order to start their university education.

For students wanting to apply to universities to study in 2016, June 30th marks the deadline for UCAS applications – from July 1st, any student applications received are automatically entered into the Clearing process.

Continue reading University clearing is important to both parties

UCISA 16 Discussions Dominated by Transition Challenges

Thank you to everyone who visited our stand at last month’s UCISA 16 Conference in Manchester.

The event was well attended and the C3 stand saw considerable traffic with many interesting conversations with contacts old and new.

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Out of our discussion one major theme emerged; the transition from TDM to SIP. By all accounts this is gathering momentum and offers considerable rewards for higher education institutions, however many universities and colleges are finding that this transition is taking longer than expected.

Continue reading UCISA 16 Discussions Dominated by Transition Challenges

C3’s customer engagement software

The clearing process is more pressurised than ever before with Universities looking to fill their last percentage of course places in order to secure fee income.  Many institutions are hoping that clearing will become less of a frenetic last chance saloon and more of a measured late application process, but these are still late applications that need to be dealt with promptly and professionally with competition among institutions fierce.

Continue reading C3’s customer engagement software

C3 to attend UCISA Edinburgh conference

C3 are pleased to be exhibiting at the annual UCISA Conference in March (EICC, Edinburgh 18-20 March) where we will be demonstrating applications from our Customer Engagement suite of products.

C3’s core platform and associated applications are all infrastructure agnostic, supporting TDM and SIP simultaneously. This means that leading edge technology can be deployed on legacy infrastructure (extending the life of the PBX) and simply migrated across to the IP network, with no disruption to end user services. Continue reading C3 to attend UCISA Edinburgh conference