New Contact Center Assists Cougars, Public

April 17, 2008

The University of Houston has created the UH Contact Center to enhance services to students, faculty, staff and the public.

UH OnCall and the university's telephone operators have merged and are now under the auspices of the UH Contact Center at Farish Hall, Suite 318. Six full-time staff members, four students and one supervisor operate the center, answering 1,200 to 1,500 calls daily, said Kelli Gipson, UH Contact Center manager.

“The contact center is the main corridor for the campus when it comes to phone calls," Gipson said. "We answer and transfer calls to the appropriate departments, individuals and colleges. We also answer callers' questions when we can, and if the questions deal with general information, such as directions. We also update the university's online master calendar."

Personnel at the center, which reports to the Department of Information Technology, also respond to e-mail inquiries.

"Through this new center, UH improves its response to a variety of people. Call center staff members provide a critical service and are often the first to reply to those seeking information from the university,” said Dennis Fouty, UH associate vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

Fouty emphasized that the new center makes it possible for the university to provide better support to customers, to offer common messages to callers and to achieve efficiencies in the provision of services.

Callers can get anything from being connected to college secretaries to information on the date, time and location of activities such as lectures or sporting events. Contact center employees also offer information on university programs and departments.

"We are looking to grow our area, but at the same time, our core focus is mainly improving our current processes and providing excellence customer service," Gipson said.

Gipson emphasized the importance of professional development in achieving both goals.

"Some of our operators have attended the Excellence in Customer Service class sponsored by Human Resources. The rest will take the course later this semester," Gipson said.

The Contact Center's telephone numbers are 713-743-2255 or 713-743-1000. The e-mail address is