Netcall | Customer Story

Hosted solution increases University offers made during clearing


  • 37% increase in number of calls answered 
  • Less than 10 seconds waiting time 
  • 15% more offers made 
  • 92% lower abandonment rate 
  • 3x more agents on the front line 
  • Great student experience and feedback

Long call queue leads to courses not being filled

Competition between universities to fill places is fierce — and clearing is vital function of ensuring available places on courses are filled.  

Sheffield Hallam always strives for excellence and, in 2014, acknowledged their clearing solution was not delivering the required results. Their call waiting times were often too long, leading to high rates of call abandonment. 

The infrastructure capacity in place was restricted to only 30 agents on the front line. This restricted the volume of calls which could be handled, making it difficult to keep up with demand. 

Reduce call waiting, reduce stress on students

The University needed a solution to bring down waiting times significantly. In turn, this reduces the stress on students calling in at an already anxious time. The management team also needed a full view and control of the situation, in real-time, so they could respond quickly to changes in demand.

Netcall’s hosted solution, Liberty Converse, enabled increased inbound lines and improved infrastructure capacity for the clearing period. The solution was a fully scalable option and was highly cost effective. 

As a hosted system, it allowed Sheffield Hallam to implement a robust contingency plan, which could be replicated at another site or location if there were a disaster or emergency evacuation. 

When we started working with Netcall in early 2015 to maximise our clearing operation, we had very firm ideas about what we wanted and how we wanted to achieve it. Throughout, Netcall has been very supportive and worked alongside us every step of the way. Netcall successfully helped us to develop and implement a new system that other companies in the industry had said couldn’t be done!

Hosted solution enhances caller experience

Call wait time was dramatically reduced. The average was now under 10 seconds, over a 99% reduction. Students can get through to a front-line staff member quickly to answer their questions. Also, because the levels of frustration and disappointment were lowered, the calls were easier for agents to handle. 

The call abandonment rate nose-dived, reducing call hang-ups by a huge 92%. If students did abandon their call for any reason, they were called back using CLI reports – so, no callers were missed. 

Real-time queue management

Where delays built up or average handling times were creeping up, management were able to moderate the queues and utilise additional resource. This is because realtime data was now able to be displayed on user-friendly dashboards. This was a game-changer.

Effectively increased agent capacity

Previously, phone lines were used to both queue and answer calls which limited call answering availability. With Netcall’s solution, the resilience and scalability of the hosted calls meant that all available phone lines could be used to answer calls. It amounted to a 37% increase in the number of calls answered. 

Increased offers made

Caller experience was transformed.  Clearing was much more manageable for staff to handle all calls and manage the peaks. The university was able to fill a massive 15% more places on courses for the academic year due to the faster, more effective management of clearing calls.  

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