Infobip, in partnership with Floodgate, has deployed its full suite of omnichannel solutions to enable IIE Rosebank College to better manage large volumes of leads and effectively communicate with around 200 000 prospective students per year.
Infobip is a global cloud communication company for businesses and a leader in omnichannel customer engagement, while Floodgate is a digital communication strategy and solutions provider and member of the Infobip partner program. Floodgate, whose instant communication strategies aim to close the gap between marketing and sales, introduced IIE Rosebank College to Infobip in September 2020.
IIE Rosebank College is a private tertiary education institution that delivers affordable, quality tertiary education that leads to employment. The college generates interest among prospective students in several ways. The standard approach is through school presentations and the College uses this method to develop relationships with secondary schools and promote their courses to grade 12 learners. Learners who are interested in studying further after school express interest by completing a lead card. IIE Rosebank College student advisors call on these interested parties to consult with them regarding their career interest and help them enroll with IIE Rosebank College.
The institution’s website is also a key lead generator. Directing traffic to its website allows the college to better manage volumes. On the website, prospective students can browse, enquire, apply, register, live chat, WhatsApp and request a call back.
IIE Rosebank College communicates with about 200 000 prospective students every year. Therefore, it required the ability to process a high volume of leads at a low cost. Prior to 2016, the institution collected several leads from prospective students via lead cards that were manually completed with pen and paper, at school presentations. These lead cards would then be manually captured into the CRM system, before the sales process could begin. The major drawback with this process was that the manual collection and capturing of leads was slow. As a result, lead cards would remain uncaptured for weeks and often presented quality issues as human error was responsible for inaccurate data capturing. Hence, the two major challenges were time and quality, both of which affected conversation and conversion rates. In need of a solution to digitally transform this process, Floodgate and Infobip collaborated to assist IIE Rosebank College with getting leads into its CRM system faster and with a higher level of accuracy, while allowing the institution to consult with interested parties timeously.
Using technology was an obvious consideration, but the institution needed a technology that was accessible to its target audience. In 2016, smartphone penetration in South Africa was around 36%, and 94% of adult South Africans used a cellphone of some kind. Thus, the requirement was to deploy a technology that worked on both smartphones and feature phones. This led the institution to investigate the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform as an option. The college subsequently conducted a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate all the potential costs and revenues that it might generate from marginal improvements in the process.
In 2016, IIE Rosebank College engaged Floodgate based on industry recommendations. Floodgate initially digitized its manual lead capture to enable real-time delivery of leads into the CRM system by using USSD. At this stage, the institution was also using different communication channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Live Chat and WhatsApp, in isolation. This made it difficult to manage chats and measure performance.
At the same time, mobile phone penetration grew in South Africa and users became more familiar with communication platforms such as WhatsApp. IIE Rosebank College’s needs as a client of Floodgate also changed as it now needed a solution that could support and enhance its customers’ user experience. Initially, the college sought to enhance its contact center offering to allow its agents to log on remotely, from any device, amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The first phase of the project included the deployment of Infobip’s Conversations cloud-based contact center solution, with a requirement to integrate IIE Rosebank College’s existing WhatsApp platform. However, the project scope was extended over a three-month period to deploy Infobip’s full product suite.
The second phase saw the implementation of Infobip’s Answers chatbot solution to allow Floodgate to deploy a chatbot on the platform. The extended project also saw the implementation of additional channels, such as Infobip’s Facebook Messenger and Live Chat solutions.
Currently, IIE Rosebank College uses the Infobip Conversations module to manage WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Live Chat conversations between its call center agents and prospective students. Infobip’s Answers module runs the Facebook Messenger and Live Chat bot. Floodgate has deployed a webhook in Conversations to run the college’s third-party chatbot for the WhatsApp channel.Infobip’s People module stores the contact information of all leads received. The college is currently preparing to leverage the Moments module for promotional messages and broadcasts to enhance the customer journey, and is also considering the Survey module as a future addition.
By implementing the Infobip omnichannel offering, all channels were combined into one platform. The queuing system has made it easier to manage chats and the institution now had better visibility of agent performance. The multichannel communication capability on the Infobip platform stood out from competitors, and the chatbot is helping the college to cope with high volumes in periods of concentrated demand during the enrollment period. The Infobip solution consolidates WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Live Webchat onto one platform, which has allowed IIE Rosebank College to better manage multiple points of entry in one portal.
At this stage, IIE Rosebank College has been on the Infobip platform for 10 months, and has been able to better manage high volumes of leads, which it has been able to convert effectively into sales. In addition, the queuing system made it easier to see which prospective students still needed to be responded to and this has enabled the institutions to better manage expectations. In the meantime, all prospects can get basic information by using the chatbot. Although the system is clearly powerful, Floodgate is only now beginning to develop the reporting to measure performance accurately.