Pierce College has added a new way for students and community members to communicate with student services. Called Student Service Chat, the live chat service on the Pierce College Get Help Online page will allow students to chat with a Customer Service Specialist online.
Released late November 2020, the Student Services Chat is another option other than calling or emailing the welcome center for assistance.
“It’s a really quick and immediate way to get an answer. It’s very similar to when we’re on campus, somebody just walks up to the front counter and asks a question. It’s the same only virtual,” said Katie Callahan, a customer service specialist at Pierce College.
The Pierce College library system was the first department that offered the chat system to help students with their research papers and other needs.
“They had it first and it was a great idea and easy to implement, so we added that for Student Services,” said Tami Jacobs, the dean of student success at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.
According to the weekly statistics for the Services Chat, during its first week the chat system received 20 messages. From November 2020 to the end of January, 150 messages were gathered total, with topics ranging from transferring credits to another college, registering for classes and retrieving transcripts.
A team of two customer service specialists, Katie Callahan and Cookie Pritchett, provide answers to students’. During specific operating hours, one specialist is logged in and ready to help. Aside from the chat, the pair also answer front desk calls to answer questions.
According to Pritchett, during the weeks before a new quarter starts there’s an increase in chat messages focused on class registration.
“It can get busy. It’s not usually bad though, it’s usually pretty manageable,” said Callahan.
While on the Services Chat, if a student needs more direct assistance, service specialists can continue the conversation over the phone.
“If they feel comfortable sending me their phone number then I would start a conversation via telephone and, depending on what it is, I can try and walk them through it and if I’m not able to I will connect them to somebody that can,” said Pritchett.
To start a conversation with a service specialist, visit the Pierce College Get Help Online page and scroll down to Student Services Chat. This online service is available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Interviews and article by @cpaezreporting on Twitter.
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