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The Challenge 

Students living on campus will often have questions or need advice about their accommodation, and may message support teams or pop into reception areas to get help from staff. 


Our client, a Russell Group university, were looking at new digital methods to improve how students did this for the upcoming academic year.

Their aims were to; 

  • Identify chat solutions for students in halls of residence

  • Add value to the student experience

  • Adopt a system that was easy and effective for students and staff to use


With COVID-19 appearing during the planning phase of the project, an additional objective was to

  • Introduce socially distant ways of engaging with the Student Accommodation team, to reduce some of the footfall to reception areas


However, the University saw this as an opportunity for rapid student improvement and to bring forward plans to find the right digital-first enquiry management system. They appointed Neon Caffeine to; 

  • Gain stakeholder feedback to inform the approach

  • Outline options available 

  • Make recommendations

Our Approach

We undertook stakeholder interviews to understand the current systems in place, the processes behind how different responses and resolutions were made and what integrations were required to ensure a seamless student experience. 

This led us to;

  • Identifying a framework that the options needed to satisfy

  • Outlining three options and how they stacked up against the requirements

  • Making recommendations that would suit the time, budget, need of the project


Our recommendation was to choose the option that would;

  • Allow students choice of social platforms to use to communicate with Residences

  • Provide sophisticated management and reporting

  • Allow for quick set up, with training offered online

  • Not rely heavily on resources from other departments


The University are now putting this system in place, populating FAQs into it, and triaging queries to different members of the team.

In the client's words

We knew we wanted to integrate a digital-first tool and with the added challenge of the pandemic, we saw this as an opportunity to find the right tool that would help students and our team. By finding a system that allows students to contact us with whatever social platform they’re using, we know that they feel supported 24/7.


We can also ensure consistent advice and support is given – often automatically with some of the simple questions, allowing us to focus our time on students’ more complex enquiries.

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