Personalizing the student learning experience

To boost its student experience while also aiming to become more mobile and flexible, WGU transitioned from the Genesys PureConnect™ application to the Genesys Cloud™ platform. The switch allowed WGU agents to work remotely more easily, gave its DevOps team more control to make changes and enabled them to leverage the robust API layer to customize and build onto the solution. Additionally, the seamless integration with Salesforce improved staff efficiency.

Ability to coach at the desk or work from home

Savings on carrier telephony and external support

Better control of DevOps and service quality

20% improvement in call response times

Productivity gains through tighter integration

We want every student to feel their learning experience has been personally designed for them. Genesys Cloud gives us the perfect platform to do that.

Adam Davis

Vice President of Operations

Western Governors University

Leading online education provider Western Governors University (WGU) came up with an innovative way to ensure more working adults have access to higher education. Today, with 3,000 faculty members and more than 100,000 students throughout all US states, WGU removes the boundaries of time and place so students can find meaningful opportunities to change their lives and the lives of their families.

Unlike conventional universities, the WGU education model uses a holistic care and support network with regular personal interaction. A close bond is formed from Day One. In addition to access to a team of course instructors, students are assigned a faculty mentor who acts as a coach and stays with them until they complete their studies. Often, the first time they meet in person is at the awards ceremony on graduation day.

Gaining extra cloud benefits

Contact center transformation lies at the heart of the unique WGU model. Superior reach, efficient enrollment and administration, and collaborative competency-based education put WGU in a standout position. That evolution began with a standard on-premises system. A switch to a cloud contact center with the Genesys PureConnect application boosted the user experience. The next innovation came with migrating to the Genesys Cloud platform, with its exposed APIs, microservices-hardened resilience and regular updates.

“Genesys offered the chance to build the experiences we always wanted,” said Adam Davis, Director of Operations at WGU. “Now, with Genesys Cloud, students can call one number and be routed straight to their mentor or instructor. Or, if they’re not available, they can be routed to the next-best-placed staff member. So, maintaining student connections during times like vacations or sabbaticals is easy.”

Those calls run over the internet using Genesys Cloud Voice, which enables the university to improve stability and escape the hassle and expense of carrier voice services.

Adam Davis and Darin Graves of WGU

Innovating further with APIs

The university is now more self-sufficient in other ways, too. “We don’t need to buy anywhere near as much external support,” added Davis. “We’re in full control and can execute faster by making simple configuration changes or tapping into the platform’s API layer.”

For example, at a recent hackathon, WGU developers leveraged the native Amazon Web Services architecture in the Genesys Cloud system to run call recordings, convert them to text, search for keywords and uncover targeted data for a financial aid awareness campaign. The entire process was completely automated.

The APIs also made it simple for WGU to integrate Salesforce with the Genesys Cloud platform. Once the WGU teams aligned on the project, integration was a snap. Improvements in ease of use and staff efficiency made the Salesforce integration a big win for the team.

Personalizing learning and focusing on students

Thanks to snappier integration, WGU staff don’t waste time toggling between applications and screens. For example, staff has better visibility of what’s happening with students in their queues and can use multiple tools like click-to-dial — without leaving Salesforce. Instead of being tied to a terminal, supervisors walk around with iPads and sit alongside colleagues, coaching and solving problems as they occur. Staff also can work from home — all they need is an internet connection.

“We want every student to feel their learning experience has been personally designed for them,” said Davis. “That means making it very easy to connect with mentors, advisors, faculty — whoever they need to talk to. Genesys Cloud gives us the perfect platform to do that.”

Expanding creativity into omnichannel and AI

WGU has already seen a positive impact on service levels. Within financial services, over 80% of calls are answered within 30 seconds, compared to around 60% before. This happens through better queue monitoring and by enabling staff to quickly switch between phone and email.

We don’t need to buy anywhere near as much external support. We’re in full control and can execute faster by making simple configuration changes or tapping into the platform’s API layer.

Adam Davis

Vice President of Operations

Western Governors University

Workforce optimization is another example. “A supervisor felt there might be a better way to rearrange her team’s lunch breaks, instead of using Genesys Cloud-produced schedules,” said Davis. “We saw an immediate drop in KPI performance. So now we trust the machine.”

Looking ahead, the university plans to extend the Genesys Cloud platform, onboarding 1,000 agents from other departments, plus another 1,400 new users from its mentor and faculty communities. Channels will also expand with the integration of email, text and chat, along with possible introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) automation for basic transactional tasks.

At a glance

Industry: Education

Location: US

Company size: 3,064 users

Challenges

  • Enable personalized, student-centered learning
  • Improve service creation and experience

Additional resources

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