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CNM Creates Virtual Welcome Center to Help Students Get Answers, with a Smile!

The center provides a friendly, face-to-face online environment for prospective and current students to get the answers they need
CNM Creates Virtual Welcome Center to Help Students Get Answers, with a Smile!
Alexis Tiefa, a Contact Center employee, helps a CNM student in the Virtual Welcome Center.

Jul 15, 2020

Normally, the Welcome Center at the front of CNM’s Student Services Center would be the front door—so to speak— of the entire college, where students could get answers to any and all questions they might have about CNM.

Because it served such a vital role, CNM wanted to ensure the same level of service continued to be offered, even during COVID-19. Thanks to a lot of hard work and some innovative thinking, the Welcome Center is now fully online—staffed by knowledgeable employees from the Contact Center—and provides face-to-face services for any student that needs help.

“We’re here to answer any question someone can think of, and if we can’t answer it ourselves, we’ll direct the student to the right place,” says Todd Johnson, the Interim Associate Director of the CNM Contact Center.

Here’s how it works: Students who need to ask a question can do so between 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m on Friday. First, they visit the Virtual Welcome Center webpage via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. There, they click on the “Visit the Virtual Welcome Center” button, which automatically launches Webex in their browser and immediately connects them face-to-face with a Contact Center employee. If the employee is helping someone else, the student can wait online in the meeting room until the employee is free.

Most of the conversation is done face-to-face, but the Contact Center employee can also use the chat function within Webex if the student needs to communicate personal information such as their student ID number.

The Contact Center employees are trained to answer a wide variety of questions, but if they don’t know a specific answer, they can give the student a link that allows them to chat with an employee in a variety of other departments including Financial Aid, Cashiers, Advisement, and Enrollment. That link creates an immediate face-to-face video connection as well.

“Students wanted a face-to-face connection, but so did our employees because they love to help, and that’s why we built the Center,” says Miranda Evjen Sanchez, the Director of Student Experience. 

Going forward, Todd says the Virtual Welcome Center hopes to not only connect students with Contact Center or SSC employees, but also direct them to employees at the various schools who can answer even more detailed questions via a face-to-face virtual meeting.

Miranda says question volume is up generally and encourages applicants and current students to contact the Virtual Welcome Center any time they need help.

“We want to serve students in every way possible, so for us, it’s all hands on deck,” she says.