“AskUS” launch marks new way of handling prospective student enquiries

Ask USA new, efficient and universal way of handling enquiries from prospective students has been introduced with a phased launch across the University.

The new ‘AskUS’ service means prospective students have an improved, seamless and consistent experience when they get in touch. Equally importantly, the new way of doing things will give staff in services and academic departments access to important data to shape the way they communicate with prospective students and boost conversion activity.

The decision to look at the way enquiries are currently handled was made after a University-wide audit of current processes. Three main barriers were identified:

  • We don’t know how many enquiries we get as an organisation
  • We don’t collect feedback on what prospective students think of our current service
  • We can’t track their communication history

The new service and supporting system - AskUS - bridges these gaps. Once fully launched, the majority of enquiries will be automatically sent to the Student Recruitment and Admissions team who will manage general enquiries and request information from, or hand on complex enquiries to relevant departments or services. There is also improved, more accessible FAQs for prospective students which can also be used by staff when building their responses to enquiries. A transparent record of previous enquiries will help staff provide a consistent and holistic response.

Staff from across central services and departments who handle prospective student enquiries have been working hard to design, build and introduce the new way of doing things since Summer 2017. Because of this hard work we are now in a position for all potential candidates to benefit from the new service from November.

Christina Edgar, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions said: “Offering prospective students an excellent experience while they consider Sheffield is paramount to our successful recruitment strategy. We already we have talented, expert staff who go the extra mile and now we have a resilient system and process to support them.”

Structure of the new service:

Ask Us

To support staff who will be using the system the following resources are available:

  • ‘First look’ Demo video: PSE AskUS Overview (5 mins)
  • New Staff Access: Following go-live, SRA will be providing training and access for those that couldn’t make the previous dates or are new to their role. Visit Recruitment Matters to sign up.
  • Training guides: User guides for different roles and elements of the new system are available here.
  • AskUS Drop In: The next open session for staff to meet the team behind AskUS is on 7 November 10.30 - 11.30am, G08 - Classroom 5, 38 Mappin Street. If you or colleagues have any questions about email harvesting or the new service please do drop in.

Staff support: If you have any questions or need additional support please email sra@sheffield.ac.uk

If you’d like to read more about the development of the new prospective student enquiry service, visit our Google Site.