Reduction in paper forms for requests
Knowledge articles created to reduce calls to customer service team
Views of knowledge articles by students and staff in just a few weeks
Delivering consistent digital experience to students and staff
In a highly competitive education sector, delivering amazing student experiences gives a university the edge to attract more students than its industry peers. Technological advancement also impacts how students assess university education and experiences. For example, the initial touchpoint with the university for prospective students—especially international students—is crucial. Making it easy and intuitive for them to navigate the university’s services and digital landscape can influence their final decision on whether they choose Western Sydney University (WSU).
As part of its digital transformation strategy, WSU wanted to roll out an enterprise service management program to seamlessly provide a full array of services to both students and staff via multiple channels, such as phone, chat, and mobile, instead of emails. Its goal is to fulfill student expectations and deliver consistent user experiences. “A successful Enterprise Service Management platform is instrumental to improving our service at Western Sydney University. ServiceNow has been at the heart of this,” says Peter Pickering, Vice President, Division of Finance and Resources at WSU.
Over the past decade, WSU had already used ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) to standardize and consolidate IT service requests. To further transform the university to a service-oriented organization, WSU implemented three service portals with ServiceNow Customer Service Management to provide a single, connected platform for students, staff, and external parties to access over 300 services around academic, teaching, research, support for placements, finance, procurement, real estate facilities, and building management for campuses.
“Staff and students are really the beating heart of what we’re doing here on services. With ServiceNow Customer Service Management, we have re-engineered and simplified the way we deliver services to enhance the user experience,” says Kerry Holling, Chief Information and Digital Officer at WSU.
Improving operational efficiency and staff productivity
Through Knowledge Management within the Customer Service Management solution, WSU has developed over 18 knowledge databases and the number is increasing as the university adds more services. It also created over 2,500 knowledge articles and enabled students and staff members to quickly browse services and knowledge articles and find the answers related to their requests instead of calling the customer service team.
With integration into Adobe, Ellucian (an ERP system for education), Microsoft, and Blackboard (a learning management system), WSU created another 400 knowledge articles related to these student management systems. In just a few weeks after launch, students and staff viewed these articles 10,000 times, minimizing the number of calls made to the customer service team.
Through ServiceNow’s automated workflows, staff no longer need to spend up to 15 minutes hunting for an email in their inbox to action an inquiry or request. It also means any inquiry will not be redirected to yet another group email, as was sometimes the case previously. Now, it takes just seconds to log a request via the service portal compared to four minutes or longer in the past, which sometimes involved the completion of paper forms. With the transition to decommissioning over 32 shared email addresses, this allows staff to easily track actions related to cases and resolve issues faster without going through 14 separate touch points. Digitalized workflows also helped WSU reduce paper forms by up to 80% and save time on signing and scanning requests. And in the age of COVID and remote working and learning, the impact of digitizing workflows goes far beyond the time savings.
When deciding on ServiceNow Customer Service Management, Peter Tow, Executive Director of Strategic Project Implementation and Improvement, and Head of Enterprise Service Management, WSU, says the university undertook a strategic review of potential solutions: “Having an extensive history and familiarity with ServiceNow, they understood what our best practices were and gave us a high degree of comfort to achieve a desired business outcome.”
Vice President, Division of Finance and Resources
Digital transformation accelerated with ServiceNow
When COVID-19 hit Australia, the university lost most of its revenue from overseas students. At the same time, the pandemic required faster digital transformation and created new priorities: the ability to ensure students and staff had easy access to key services from anywhere. Peter explains: “Suddenly the whole organization needed to pivot to be online for almost all of its service delivery.”
To address these challenges, WSU’s Office of People (HR) leverages ServiceNow HR Service Delivery to provide HR and workplace health and safety services. The ServiceNow platform gives WSU the flexibility to quickly create new processes and respond to changing health guidelines.
“When it became critical to show proof of COVID vaccination, we were able to adapt one of our services within two weeks and roll that out. Now, students who are working with people on placements can be authorized and confirmed they are safe for the people they’re working with. That’s a really big regulatory requirement,” says Peter.
Peter explains that ServiceNow was seen as being able to provide a core platform for its Enterprise Service Management program: “Now we have the ability to automate a range of services to improve operational efficiency. In about 12 months, we have processed 65,000 cases via the ServiceNow platform, including 4,500 cases aligned to Customer Service Management and 4,500 cases to HR Service Delivery.”
With the full implementation of ServiceNow Customer Service Management and HR Service Delivery in the pipeline, the enterprise service management program will continue to help WSU to deliver better services to students and staff and save on avoidable costs. “Once the program is fully embedded with ServiceNow, we expect to achieve up to 5% in cost savings from the deployment. That alone is enough for the program to pay for itself,” says Kerry.
Kerry adds that the partnership developed between ServiceNow and WSU’s Information Technology and Digital Services unit (ITDS) has been key to the successful rollout: “ServiceNow has proven to be a terrific business partner. I’m delighted that we can rely on ServiceNow and be successful through our partnership.”
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