Hosted solution enables increased offers during clearing

University of Hertfordshire gains the ability to answer more calls and smarter processing to increase offers and improve the student experience.

The challenge

University of Hertfordshire is a campus-based university with a student community of over 30,000 mainly studying UK-based programmes across three campuses. One of the busiest interaction challenges for any university is clearing, where universities get to fill up any vacant spots on their courses.

Answering clearing calls effectively

The enormity of tackling clearing in 2020, during Covid, meant that Hertfordshire needed to find a solution handle clearing with remote workers, instead of the usual team of “Networkers” seconded from other departments to sit in designated rooms to handle clearing calls, with decision makers rota-ed to be on hand. And they had to find a way to handle the same volume of calls remotely, so deployed Liberty Converse, our omnichannel contact centre solution, as a temporary clearing solution.

“The reporting dashboards are light-years ahead of what we had in the past. We can better keep on top of call volumes and understand trends with insights. It doesn’t reduce the demand, but it helps us to manage the demand better and delivers a smoother customer journey. It gives a greater impression of the University for prospective students, as the individuals who are triaging and managing queries on the course have better capacity to help callers effectively.”

Mark Partridge

Head of Student Information Service and Student Records and Enrolment, University of Hertfordshire

The solution

Integrating with the in-house clearing system

It’s easy to connect Liberty Converse with a huge range of systems – from enterprise platforms to bespoke home-grown applications. A developer at the University built an application to integrate Converse and their in-house clearing system. This identifies students through the application process, so when a student phones, Converse recognises the student’s number and populates the agent’s screen with their information.

The student’s name, email address, phone number, UCAS number and points are all pulled into Converse and pre-populated. This offers a valuable time-saving to the agents, who don’t have to toggle between two systems. They are free to concentrate on the conversation and seamlessly handle the student’s query.

“We’ve found Converse to be exactly what it said on the tin. It’s been really intuitive and simple to use. The support during the build and deployment was positive and the Netcall team was nimble, making changes that we asked for and giving timely feedback.”

Mark Partridge

Head of Student Information Service and Student Records and Enrolment, University of Hertfordshire

The result

  • Networkers could work from home or their normal desk at work
  • Being able to return to normal work increased productivity
  • Removing location restriction allowed more staff to work on clearing calls
  • Call volume reporting via the Converse supervisor dashboard
  • Ability to act on real-time management information and manage volume effectively
  • Getting to calls faster with more information at agent fingertips
  • Student calls handled faster with same friendly, helpful service
  • Converse deployed as business-as-usual solution, using more features like the softphone
  • Deployed in the cloud to provide optimum resilience

What’s next

Hertfordshire is always exploring ideas to achieve efficiency savings or to create happier students. While most interactions into the contact centre are voice calls, they aim to integrate email interactions into Converse, enabling the same team to handle the enquiry. They are looking into online forms and live chat to open up new more supportive and accessible channel options for students.



reporting and management information

Reduced avoidable demand

by proactively managing calls


with in-house systems

Answer more calls and process smarter

See how our omnichannel contact centre solution can work for your university as a clearing or a business as usual solution

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