A Leading Land-Grant Research University Overcomes Manual Processes with SUMO Scheduler
Facing the Challenge of Outdated Systems
Higher education has long struggled with obstacles related to digital transformation. Traditionally, universities have used a mix of platforms to aim for student support, including outdated manual systems and disparate tools. And today, it comes time for a change.
The University of Kentucky, a leading land-grant research institution, stated that many students didn’t receive the support they needed and had to make multiple phone calls to schedule an appointment with a coach. Frequently, students would be unable to reach their coach of choice, having them miss out entirely or attempt to make an appointment. This caused frustration among students and academic coaches.
University leadership issued an initiative to bring as many platforms as possible into their Salesforce as they were using a mixed bag of systems in the past: paper forms and emails for referrals, Outlook calendar for scheduling appointments, and yet another platform for signups.
The problem was that the recruitment and appointment-making process was time-consuming, tedious, and errors were often made due to the manual input of information into a third-party system from various sources. This created an extremely inefficient process for coaches and students. Additionally, appointment data had to be cleaned since students were having to manually register for accounts with their ID numbers, which led to duplicates and a consistent mess in an effort to keep the existing platform clean.
An Integrated Platform for Instant Appointment Booking
In response, Academic Coaching Team decided to recruit SUMO because its adaptive omnichannel scheduler has proven to eliminate many of the existing challenges they faced, especially having to use multiple tools that couldn’t be properly integrated with Salesforce.
SUMO didn’t disappoint. In record time, the implementation team established student accounts in Salesforce and installed a native platform that allowed students and coaches to book multiple appointments and receive instant email confirmations and reminders. To implement this feature in their existing system, they had to custom code and pay for a software developer. This integration process alone saved them substantial time and money!
SUMO’s ability to automatically link student-specific information in a single platform, with the option to include additional fields for IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses is exactly what they needed. Additionally, a fully branded and customized scheduling flow quickly and efficiently connected students with appropriate advisors via calendar connector and Outlook integration.
Bridging The Gap Between Students and Coaches
With the introduction of SUMO, students can now use their standard school credentials to quickly schedule appointments with their advisors and receive instant confirmations and customized appointment reminders via email. And the best part is that the new scheduling solution allowed the university team to easily leverage native Salesforce providing full transparency into each account.
The ability to pass contact ID into SUMO’s Online Scheduler via a single sign-on system (SSO) inside Salesforce eliminated the constant manual cleaning process that was previously needed to keep records organized. Now, advisors and admins are spending more time focusing on working with students and less time performing tedious manual tasks.
Connecting students to advisors within a unified solution eliminated the need to switch between multiple platforms to book follow-up appointments. Administrators were amazed by how much time they are now able to save, which resulted in more time for meeting with students. Student scheduling was greatly simplified, which wasn’t the case before SUMO. What a success! With improved appointment flow, student scheduling experience was streamlined and challenges with the booking process quickly became the thing of the past.