Vidya Group of Institutions is a group of three engineering institutions that are based in Hyderabad. The group is more than two decades old and offers quality technical, management and teacher education to over 5000 students from across India. They use Exotel for their telephonic communications with the parent community and prospective students. All the calls are routed through Exotel for two of their institutions, namely Lords Institute of Engineering and Technology and Vidya Vikas Institute of Technology.
Touseef Ahmed, the Joint Secretary of the Vidya Group of Institutions spoke to us about how they wanted to use technology to solve many of their issues around daily operations of an educational institute, and how he stumbled upon Exotel to solve the needs of 2 of their colleges especially on the inbound and outbound call tracking mechanisms. The most important thing for Touseef is building trust between all the stakeholders in this education eco-system, which involves, the institute, faculty, teachers, students and parents, and he tries to focus majorly on using technology to enable this flow of trust.
What was the problem you were trying to solve before bumping into Exotel?
There were 2 types of problems I wanted to solve around a phone system for our institute(s),one of them was internal and the other external. Let us take it one-by-one.
A. Internal – For any educational institute, trust building is very much important among all the stakeholders involved with the institute, we realized that the parent community was not getting involved with the institute as much as we had hoped. Our faculty team were claiming to put in the efforts to reach out to the parent community but were being unsuccessful. This was something that I needed to track.
B. External – During peak consulting and admission times, there are many ways consultants try and outwit you, and you are not aware of what is happening, a tracking mechanism on their interactions was also needed.
How do you currently use Exotel for your institute(s)?
We use to solve our internal problem, round the year, and during the admissions period for Marketing efforts.
Currently, whenever a parent/student calls into our Institute number, the calls route via Exotel, and conversations get tracked. The Call Recording feature is massive for us to know how the faculty is sharing information to both the students and parents. We have also asked them to make outbound calls for their purposes using the Exotel dashboard itself. This helps us in verifying the efforts put in by the faculty to reach out to parents and various stakeholders.
This provides us at the management level a great way to:
A. Track how they talk – for internal auditing and improvement.
B. Get data – Fetch data of call reports and faculty time spent on calls.
Does Exotel solve a pain-point for many educational institutes, any stories around current usage?
Yes, I think so, in-fact there are some very interesting ways we plan to put Exotel to use:
A. Improve track-ability of teams (professors/teachers)
B. Improve Marketing campaigns with SMS & multiple number solutions
C. Track our admission consultants and their dialogues
We recently had one incident when we were duped by one admission consultant in Assam. In order to attract students from across the country and increase diversity, we regularly tie up with consultants across the country. In one case, we tied up with one consultant in Assam. We marketed ourselves and started guiding all our prospective students to that guy but later realized that this consultant was actually diverting these students to various other colleges. With the help of Exotel I plan on tracking the enquiries and the conversation between the consultants and prospective students.