Online Chat Support

Project Completed

Problem Statement

Due to challenged budgets many departments struggle to provide high levels of support through their webpages, email, phone and in-person contact. Students, faculty and staff are increasingly expecting more personalized attention to their needs.

Business Case

Online chat tools provide an opportunity to do 'less with less'. The tools can enable a greater level of support to students, faculty and staff with fewer people. The cost of these tools is affordable and relatively straightforward to implement. In a time of budget challenged operations and support, online chat tools offer the ability to use less support staff to provide more personalized support to greater numbers of inquirers at a fraction of the cost of hiring employees required under traditional support structures.


  • Evaluate tools and select the tool(s) best suited for the majority of campus needs.
  • Ensure the tools meet campus security, privacy and accessibility standards.
  • Pilot tools to learn and ensure the tool(s) work with the department support teams.
  • Define a functional owner of the tool to manage and support the tool.
  • Establish a licensing agreement favorable to the campus.
  • Provide access to the tool(s) across campus for all to use.

Success Metrics

  • Online chat tool(s) are made available to the campus.
  • An advantageous license agreement is made available for departments on campus.
  • Many departments have begun using the tool by the end of 2021.

Project Leaders

  • Sponsor: Jenn Stringer
  • Project Manager: Russ Ballati