How the University of Central Oklahoma revolutionized their Student Services and IT support with Anthology

By using Anthology’s IT Help Desk and One Stop solutions to augment their team, UCO increased the efficiency of their support services, improved student satisfaction, and saw retention growth as a result.

An education powerhouse from Oklahoma

Located just north of Oklahoma City, University of Central Oklahoma is a four-year public institution that has driven excellence in higher education for more than 130 years. UCO currently supports around 13,000 students, spanning 119 undergraduate areas and 80 graduate programs.

About

University of Central Oklahoma

Institution type: Four-year public

Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Organization size: 13,000

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Support services were struggling to match the growing volume of student inquiries

While IT support and Student Services have distinct challenges, there is a common barrier to success that UCO and many other institutions have experienced: lack of resources. With student inquiries growing in volume and complexity, it can be difficult to sufficiently scale a team to provide timely, accurate responses. 

At UCO, the impact of the pandemic meant that the situation had become critical. In the case of Student Services, they had a team of just four staff looking after around 13,000 learners – and students were required to wait up to an hour just to get through on the phone. The IT support team was similarly facing huge challenges to provide the level of service that students expect. 

While they faced a common challenge, the IT and Student Services teams were also operating in a completely siloed fashion, with different ways of working and approaches to measuring success. UCO needed a partner that could not only improve student support across the board, but also work closely in partnership to get important departments and stakeholders on the same page.

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UCO needed a tailored approach built out of the unique needs of their students

Having made the decision to partner for service, UCO went to market with a clear set of priorities. As well as an overall improvement in support access and responsiveness for students, they also had a need to expand support to 24/7, create a ticketing flow for their Student Support offices, and improve the experience for their overworked in-house support team.  

Following a competitive process, Anthology’s IT Help Desk and One Stop solutions were chosen to provide a holistic support offering for the UCO community. As well as addressing the above concerns, the Anthology team also reviewed existing data on the nature of student and faculty inquiries to ensure that the new service structure addressed the greatest areas of need. Both the Help Desk and One Stop services were implemented in a period of just two and a half months. 

Lastly, the partnership was designed to be driven by data. The Anthology team have provided a consistent view of performance across IT and Student Services, and met regularly with the team at UCO to review results and look at opportunities to optimize further.

“The partnership with Anthology’s One Stop solution has been nothing short of extraordinary. Our Enrollment offices were overwhelmed with phone calls and students were not happy with our customer service. However, since partnering with Anthology, the average call wait time is significantly reduced. In addition, students are excited to get answers to their questions 24/7, 365 days a year. Anthology is handling the majority of incoming calls, which allows our staff to focus on other responsibilities. Office morale is growing, and we’ve noticed a decrease in staff turnover since the implementation.”

Christopher A. Lynch, Vice President, Enrollment and Student Services

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A completely new support experience - for students and staff alike

The first year of the partnership has delivered outstanding results, providing a far more responsive and effective service for students: 

  • Over 53,000 incidents managed between IT Help Desk and One Stop
  • Average speed of answer – which was previously up to an hour – reduced by as much as 96% for IT Help Desk and 93% for One Stop
  • Over 5,000 hours saved for UCO front line staff across both areas of support
  • Improvement in student satisfaction, with leadership at UCO having noted a significant decrease in complaints versus previous years

Crucially, the above results have also driven improved retention metrics, with data showing retention was 1.5% higher for students in the Anthology-assisted group – driving $214,000 of incremental tuition revenue in the first semester alone!

However, it isn’t just students who have benefited from the implementation of Anthology’s IT Help Desk and One Stop solutions. The 24/7 coverage which Anthology provides has hugely benefitted UCO's frontline staff, allowing them to regain balance in their working schedule and focus on the highest areas of student need. Furthermore, the IT and Student Services teams now work much more closely together than they ever have before, with Anthology’s transparent approach to data helping to align all support staff around common goals and measures of success.

Ready to add extra scale and effectiveness to your support services? Visit our Support and Retention Services page to find out more.