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aLl customer stories

MCI Institute increases student success and satisfaction by leveraging Pendula for real-time engagement

82% login rates

from MCI students on a monthly basis, compared to a market average of 25%

35% increase in active users

for new enrolments within the first seven days, previously at 54%

Less time on manual tasks

and more time actively targeting students who need further support

Increased satisfaction

for student experience via personalised two-way communication

MCI Institute is an award winning registered training organisation specialising in online business courses, which are delivered to thousands of students via an engaging and immersive learning platform.

Since 2020, MCI Institute has been using Pendula to:

  • Provide a scalable communication solution to engage with a rapidly growing student base.
  • Enable personalised, customised and automated two-way communication with students, delivering an improved student experience.
  • Ensure student data storage meets MCI Institute’s compliance requirements.

The challenge

MCI Institute is a rapidly growing organisation, with monthly student enrolments for in-demand online courses  increasing by 9 times over a matter of months. 

Recognising the need for a scalable communication solution, Jenna Baskin, CEO of MCI Institute, searched for a way to communicate with the growing pool of MCI students in real-time. It was also important to use a channel that would promote increased student engagement and drive action-oriented outcomes – like encouraging students to log in to the online learning platform and complete their study.  

“Email and phone calls weren’t getting us the results we needed,” explains Jenna, “but many students have mobile phones. So if you want to get in touch with them, you send them an SMS, they write back with a text, it’s pretty engaging and in real-time.”
Jenna Baskin, CEO of MCI Institute

Jenna also needed to find a communication supplier that met the strict data storage guidelines required by the Australian government.

How Pendula helped

The Pendula solution was established, tested and embedded into the existing MCI tech stack in a few short weeks. This helped to meet the immediate need of the MCI team, which was to improve student engagement by: 

  • Notifying students of their remaining course hours;
  • Encouraging students to log in to the system, and
  • Reminding students if their completion deadline was approaching.

The MCI team quickly mapped out student experiences  to enable this effect on student engagement, directly integrating the Pendula platform with Salesforce and drawing from in-depth student personas to extract the source data required for a tailored SMS solution. Since implementing Pendula, the MCI team has configured dozens of automated messaging journeys, each aligned to different touchpoints in a student’s experience. Acknowledging the breadth of student pathways through study enables the MCI team to contact students with personalised two-way communication, providing them with consistent support, regardless of where the individuals are at in their learning journey.

“We don’t want to always take the ‘stick’ approach saying ‘get on and study’,” explains Jenna. “We also want to provide the ‘carrot’, so that when students do complete their course, we congratulate them and provide them with motivational messages.”

The ability to personalise messaging through Pendula has not only provided students with a more genuine and authentic student experience, eliminating the need for long phone calls or regular emails, but it has enabled MCI Institute to scale without the need for additional headcount. As Jenna puts it: 

“No amount of people I could have hired in a call centre would have delivered these results.”

By shifting to a personalised and conversational SMS approach, the MCI team were able to tap into the communication channels that students were already using (around 90% of students were already using SMS in their daily lives). Students no longer needed to spend time waiting in call centre queues, answering security questions, or checking their emails, instead receiving the information they needed at their fingertips. This proved far more effective when it came to engagement, and is reflected in the results that the MCI team saw - the number of students logging into their online learning within seven days of communication jumped from 31% to 81%. 

With Pendula integrated directly into MCI’s data source and configured to trigger at the appropriate time, login details can be sent to students instantly via SMS, meaning that students can commence their study at a time and pace that suits them, rather than waiting for a manual message from an MCI team member. This automation also offers significant  benefits to MCI staff, who are now empowered to focus on communicating with key groups of students, with Pendula helping to address more menial tasks.

“Not everyone studies from nine to five. Catching the students when they are excited and motivated about their learning has been very helpful in ensuring they see it through,” explains Jenna. “We need to fight procrastination and re-energise our students – the more you don’t login, the more your work builds up and eventually people lose the motivation to start working. The quicker we can get people to login, the more likely they are to progress and to finish their learning.”

Overall results

Pendula has significantly contributed towards enhancing student experience, and supporting MCI to meet their robust KPIs. The results have been impressive:

  • Students are completing more hours of study. 82% of MCI students log in to their learning on a monthly basis, compared to a market average of 25%. 
  • New enrolments are being converted to active users more effectively. Login rates within the first seven days of using the MCI platform have risen from 54% to 89%.
  • The MCI team spends less time on manual tasks and more time actively targeting students who need further support, empowering them to make a greater impact through their roles. 
  • Student experience is enhanced via personalised two-way communication. Students receive the information that is most important to them and have a clear channel for addressing their questions, increasing satisfaction levels.

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