Edith Cowan University Responds to 95% of Online Student Inquiries within Two Business Days, Monitors Students’ Social Media Posts in Real Time
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Edith Cowan University Responds to 95% of Online Student Inquiries within Two Business Days, Monitors Students’ Social Media Posts in Real Time

Based in Western Australia, Edith Cowan University (ECU) is a multicampus educational institution, offering more than 400 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Perth and Bunbury. Established in 1991, ECU offers flexible study options, including on-campus and online courses, midyear entry, and a variety of degrees. There are approximately 24,000 local and international students enrolled at the university, with approximately 4,000 taking online courses.

To enable administration staff to effectively respond to queries from students, ECU implemented a suite of Oracle RightNow products to create a single relationship management system that would centralize student inquiries across different faculties, departments, and service points, and enable staff to monitor students’ social media posts in real time.

It can now respond to 95% of online queries within two business days, compared to 70% in 2007; resolve 82% of inquiries in one business day, compared with 47% in 2007; and address 99% of them in less than five business days. In addition, between August 2012 and January 2013, ECU serviced 72% of the 3,632 chat requests it engaged in. Each request was responded to in an average of 38 seconds and resolved within 10 minutes.

Centralizes the Student Relationship System

Historically, student inquiries were handled at a number of service points and across campuses at ECU. The absence of any customer relationship management (CRM) or self-service knowledge base made it increasingly challenging for the university’s customer-service staff to serve, refer, and track student queries.

In 2007, the university implemented the Oracle RightNow platform to provide students with a 24/7, self-service information database, and to centralize customer responses from online and phone inquiries into a single relationship system accessible by all of its service staff.

In 2011, ECU upgraded the system and implemented Oracle RightNow Social Monitor Cloud Service, Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service, and Oracle RightNow Mobile Cloud Service. It also expanded its use of Oracle RightNow Web Self Service Cloud Service.

“As a cloud-based solution, the Oracle RightNow system eliminated infrastructure costs associated with on-campus hardware and support, and it offered the flexibility for us to schedule regular upgrades and service packs,” said Jackie Moffatt, student liaison manager, Edith Cowan University. “Most importantly, the system could deliver against our service standards and enabled in-depth management reporting on performance benchmarks.”

Responds to 95% of Online Student Inquiries in Two Days

Expanded Web Services Enable Better Student Profiles

Social Media Monitoring Prioritizes Students’ Posts

Higher Service Satisfaction Improves Student Retention

FAQ Page Views Grow 20x




A word from Edith Cowan University

  • “We chose the Oracle RightNow suite to centralize our student inquiry processes because it was more flexible than other vendors’ solutions in the education sector. We are now responding to 95% of online inquiries within two business days, resolving 99% of them in less than five business days. We can monitor students’ social media posts in real time.” – Jackie Moffatt, Student Liaison Manager, Edith Cowan University

  • Establish a single student relationship system to automatically record, track, and archive student queries across all faculties and departments
  • Ensure 95% of student inquiries are answered within two working days and allocated to the appropriate department, if necessary
  • Provide students with a unified service so they no longer have to instinctively know who or where to go for assistance
  • Increase the range of communication channels available to improve interaction between students and staff
  • Monitor student discussions on social media pages in real time
  • Identify common student issues to resolve situations that may affect their drop-out rate and provide them with tailored assistance
  • Expand Web student services to handle an increasing number of student queries and reduce staff workloads


  • Responded to 95% of online inquiries within two business days, compared to 70% in 2007
  • Resolved 99% of student queries in less than five working days
  • Increased rate of inquiries resolved in one working day, from 47% in 2007, to 82% in 2012
  • Lifted number of FAQ page views from 2,000 views per month in 2007 to 40,000 in 2012
  • Reduced the number of simple and repeat student queries received by staff members, as an estimated 97.5% of students use the FAQ pages to source information
  • Serviced 72% of the 3,632 student chat sessions for a period longer than six months, during which chat requests were met within 38 seconds, and queries resolved within 10 minutes
  • Achieved a student satisfaction rating of 80%
  • Engaged in three chat sessions at a time, allowing a small team to service multiple students simultaneously and deflect queries from traditional channels
  • Recorded, tracked, assigned, and managed student inquiries automatically from initial contact to resolution across all communication channels and faculties
  • Enhanced the range of Web-based services provided to students by integrating Oracle RightNow products and expanding the number of communication channels available
  • Ensured student inquiries can be responded to quickly and effectively by referring them to a specialist service team if required
  • Captured the origin and progression of all queries resolved since 2007, to build an archive of services delivered to students that can be used in future reviews
  • Monitored students’ social media posts in real time and improved inquiry services by allowing staff to prioritize students’ Facebook and Twitter posts and select the best means of response
  • Ensured students can quickly receive help from the most relevant person by enabling real-time chat conversations between students and key service points
  • Enhanced student performance and reduced drop-out rates by providing an automatic report for staff to identify common student trends
  • Provided tailored assistance to students who may need extra help, such as international students who need to meet study visa requirements or external students who complete online studies remotely

Why Oracle

ECU considered query management solutions from a number of US-based vendors, as well as systems adopted by other Australian education institutions. The university chose the Oracle RightNow platform because it was more flexible than other vendors’ solutions available to the education market and provided a more holistic inquiry and relationship management solution.

“The full range of cloud solutions offered by Oracle enabled us to provide a superior service experience to our students across various contact and communication channels, including social networking,” said Moffatt.

Implementation Process

ECU first implemented Oracle RightNow products in 2007 to create a single student relationship system to centralize its online and phone inquiries.

The university upgraded its Oracle RightNow platform in 2011 to add social cloud monitoring capabilities to its existing system. The implementation was rolled out in 2011 in stages: in March 2011, ECU implemented Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service, which enabled Facebook integration with the knowledge base; in May 2011, it implemented Oracle RightNow Mobile Cloud Service and released mobile-ready Webpages; and in June 2011, it implemented Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service with a soft launch.

The suite of Oracle RightNow products were installed as out-of-the-box solutions by the ECU Inquiry Services team.