University of Illinois Call-Back Rate and Employee Training Time Reduced by 50% in One Month

Quick Overview

Industry: Higher Education

Location: Chicago, USA

Team size: 10,000 - 100,000

" Helpjuice had the most intuitive and comprehensive search function of all evaluated similar solutions, and it was great that Helpjuice integrated with something team members already use. I love how user-friendly this is."- Paige Ottmar, University of Illinois

Industry: Higher Education

Location: Chicago, USA

Team size: 10,000 - 100,000

Higher Education

(10,000 - 100,000 people)

What's the purpose/goal of your KB?

Our purpose is for this to be a one-stop shop for our call center for any and all information that they would need. Before all the information was fragmented across Box, Outlook, Teams, and word-of-mouth, and much of it was outdated since information changed frequently. Theoretically, we wanted to send a new team member to the knowledge base and have that be their main source of information to get started and be successful at their job. This would improve the call center agent training and reduce training time for agents (and managers). 

Additionally, we wanted agents to have all the information they could possibly need at their fingertips so they can answer questions and do what needed to be done right when they were on the phone with a participant. Instead of having to call a participant back to answer a question, they're able to quickly search a keyword and be led right to the information they need (even if it's within a PDF). We often get complaints from participants that we are calling too much, so this would help to reduce those call volumes while improving the quality (which is important for study retention).

What solutions did you approach before you decided to go with Helpjuice?

We've tried multiple other solutions (admittedly not all of them fully implemented) before going with Helpjuice. The first one we tried was utilizing our institution's Box account and setting up a knowledge base that way. However, the search function was very lacking, it was hard to find information, and moving information between folders and documents took far too long. Additionally, adding/removing users from Box required institutional approval, which didn't make sense for an organization with new members joining often.

After that, we moved to try to set up a similar system in Teams. This was more flexible and user-friendly than Box but suffered a lot of the same issues, namely that the search feature wasn't great (though much better than Box). Also similarly to Box, it was hard to build off existing documents and some team members didn't feel comfortable working within Teams. Additionally, since we also use Teams for chatting, some members felt overwhelmed by the constant pinging and would therefore mute it (missing all the benefits).

Lastly, as I described before, some team members were just exclusively sending information via email, often with up to 50 emails a day if multiple changes were made. This didn't work for obvious reasons, and it led to a lot of overwhelmed team members (especially new one who were not used to this style).

Why did you decide to use Helpjuice?

We looked at a few other knowledge base options but quickly decided on Helpjuice for a few main reasons. For one, they had very competitive pricing. We are an academic institution that relies primarily on grant funding, so we have to be careful with our budgeting. The different tiered pricing models of Helpjuice provided a lot of flexibility for us to choose a plan that met our needs and our budgets. 

Additionally, a major pro of Helpjuice for us was that it integrated with Microsoft Teams. We primarily use Teams right now as a source of information and as a communication channel in our research studies. I've learned from experience that my team does best with using new processes if it integrates with a current process, so it was great that Helpjuice integrated with something team members already use. As new information is often shared via Teams chat, it was nice that we could click a button and turn a message into an article. 

Lastly, another item that was very important was having a robust, Google-like search feature. After trying out different search functions on knowledge base systems, Helpjuice had the most intuitive and comprehensive search function.

What's your favorite Helpjuice feature?

As I mentioned above, I love the Helpjuice search feature. It manages to find all the relevant articles without me having to tag or associate keywords with each page. Often our call center agents are searching for one small piece of information that can require a lot of sifting, so it's great that they can quickly hone in on what they need. This was the #1 must-have for us when looking at providers for a knowledge base because otherwise, the call center agents wouldn't find this valuable enough to actually use it.

Additionally, another feature that I love is that I can include multiple different types of media. We have a lot of training documents that are in PDF or video form, and I was very nervous that I would have to directly type them into the knowledge base. However, now I can just directly insert the PDF or the embedded video into our site so it preserves the original formatting and reduces the amount of work it takes to include new information. As I will be transitioning the maintenance of this over to another team member who can have a hard time with technology, I love how user-friendly this is.

What problem are/were you looking to solve with Helpjuice?

One of our departments functions as a research call center (calling and following up with participants for research studies), and we often have research studies changing processes, new team members coming onboard, and many other moving parts of the study that must be monitored on a weekly if not daily basis. Previously when study changes were made, team members were made aware via email. This often led to more than 20 new emails being sent out a day, and it was hard for team members to keep track of what the "source of truth" was or find the most recent information. Additionally, when an agent didn't know the answer to a question while on the phone with a participant, they often had to hang up the phone, find the information (either buried in emails or located within a slide deck), and call them back.

Especially now that we will be bringing additional new team members onto the study, we needed a central repository of information for onboarding, training, and updates of information that was all in one place. Before we kept on repeating in-person training, which used a lot of manager time up with no added benefit. We also ideally wanted to remove emails entirely so team members are only receiving updates via Helpjuice. We also wanted to reduce participant callbacks by 50% by making sure we selected a system that allowed easy searches for agents while they were active on the phone. This helped to reduce time and improve the participant experience.

What kind of an impact has Helpjuice had?

We just implemented our knowledge base in the last month, but so far this has reduced our employee onboarding and training time by over 3 weeks as we did not have to wait for managers to have the ability to schedule live training sessions with agents. This has reduced our training time from 6 weeks to 3 weeks (50% reduction overall), making sure that we can appropriately staff our research call center to recruit and enroll participants in research studies. Especially now when we are enrolling many participants in a large national study, this has been extremely helpful. 

The knowledge base has also reduced our participant call-back rate by 30% so far, as agents are able to search for information on the fly as opposed to needing to hang up, find the information, and call the participant back. This has reduced the average number of calls to complete a participant contact from 1.3 calls to 1.1 calls, meaning that an agent is able to complete more participant calls in one day since each participant requires fewer calls overall. Additionally, in call listening exercises, we've noted that participants have expressed how pleased they are in their interactions with agents who are able to answer their questions promptly and are more likely to stay retained in the study (as opposed to withdrawing).

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