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Step Up announces new chat feature for its website

By MICHAEL JACOBSON

The red chat button pops up on the Step Up For Students website on every page when a chat agent is available. In the first week, more than 1,500 chat sessions were handled.

The red chat button pops up on the Step Up For Students website on every page when a chat agent is available. In the first week, more than 1,500 chat sessions were handled.

Step Up For Students is proud to announce the addition of another customer service option to our families, schools and providers. Customers who cannot or prefer not to reach for the phone can get real-time answers to many questions via our new online chat service.  Our customers can access this feature via our website or through the online portal.

The new E-Services group has been in development for several months, and is a way to give our customers an additional tool to communicate with someone at Step Up. It has been thoroughly researched and tested to ensure ease of use for our customers. In addition, we have tested the reliability and security to offer a safe and delightful online experience.

Michael Jacobson, Step Up's E-Services manager, recently demonstrated the new chat function to Step Up staff.

Michael Jacobson, Step Up’s E-Services manager, recently demonstrated the new chat function to Step Up staff.

Whenever customers are on our website at www.StepUpForStudents.org, they will see a red “chat” button on any page when a chat agent is available to assist.  When customers click the chat button, they’ll be connected to one of our highly trained E-Service agents. A chat agent can assist with general questions, troubleshooting, application or login concerns, and more. It even allows customers the chance to voice their opinions, as each chat will end with a chance for them to rate the experience and leave any additional comments about their online service experience.

Currently, the online chat service is available during normal business hours. Future enhancements are in the works.

The E-Services group, made up of 3 staff members, is also handling all email inquiries that are sent to info@sufs.org. We are aiming to shorten our response rate for emails to be within 24 business hours.

“We are very excited to offer this new service to serve our scholarship families and applicants,” said Gina Lynch, senior director of operations and organizational improvement. “We are continuously looking to make customers service enhancements as needed. This is just one more way to connect with our customers and make their experience with Step Up as easy and as pleasant as possible.”

In the first week of operation, the E-service members handled over 1,500 chat sessions. And so far the response from our customers has been great, noted Lynch.

“Having a chat session gave me the basic answers to my questions quickly,” said one customer. “If I had had this last year, I would have applied then. This is super helpful!”

Michael Jacobson has been with Step Up For Students for five years and is our E-Services manager based in Jacksonville. His wife, Amanda Jacobson, also works for Step Up as an Enrollment Specialist, servicing our schools. Michael is an author, a musician, and has published a movie review website for 16 years.

 

 

 

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