5 reasons why your university needs a chatbot
Chatbots, chatbots and more chatbots. You’re probably asking yourself, does my university really need one? And more importantly, what actually is one?
To put it simply, a bot is a piece of software that can have a conversation with a student and perform a functional service task, usually online.
So does your university actually need one?
Universities not just here in the UK but across the globe, all seem to have the same problems. From mounting paperwork and admin to worrying about how to reach and engage prospective and current students. Especially with budgets being slashed year on year.
The solution is one that offers automation, scalability and cost-effectiveness.
5 practical ways your university can use a chatbot
-Give students a provisional offer in clearing
-Help Integrate new students
-24/7 customer service for students & staff
-Automate internal admin processes for staff
-Continuous online brand engagement
Customer experience is so key to your universities marketing strategy. It is your front line, your shop window and something you have to get right every time. If you don’t (especially in this crowded market) your customers will go elsewhere, rapidly.
Your number one customer, students, are constantly online, using social media and now predominately their time is spent on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
It is reported that now over 5 billion users worldwide are using messaging apps, surpassing active social media users.
This is the ideal place to engage with them. Right where they are. Not what suits you but what suits them, your customer.
How can a chatbot make your job easier?
Free up some of your precious time
Like most people I speak to at universities, their getting bogged down with more and more paperwork and growing hoops to jump through.
Take the University of Sydney who recently deployed a chatbot to help ease the burden of administrative tasks in its finance department.
Chatbots don’t always have to be student facing. They can automate internal processes so your university saves money and frees up its staffs time.
Give your students a better experience
Give your students what they want. Information on demand. Whether it’s finding out what courses you offer, how many UCAS points they need for a certain course or booking a slot on your open day. Make it easy for them. Automate simple tasks that don’t need a human to be involved in. Leave that for more complex tasks.
Help students out when they first start. Their first few months are always the toughest. Let a chatbot help them find what groups to join, what social events are going on or where their lectures are being held, maybe even notes and reading suggestions for their course.
Around the clock marketing – done right
Customer experience is key in driving revenue and it all starts at your front line.
Your students and fellow staff want questions answered correctly on demand, no one wants to be glued to their emails all night answering them.
A chatbot is a great way to get across your universities brand and what it stands for without anyone manning it – it does all the hard work for you and easily scalable. It doesn’t have to be limited to just one conversation being processed but 10, 100, 1000’s at any given time.
Keep costs down and save some money
By automating conversations at such a large scale you don’t have to employ a large amount of staff to carry the load. The chatbot is doing all the work for you.
Of course, you’re not going to shut down all the phone lines and automate everything, that’s not what a chatbot is for. If someone wants to talk to a human quickly, make sure they can do it easily through the chatbot.
It is to help you with the basic things that take up a lot of your time.
By automating, you’re saving a large amount of time and money. It pays for itself very quickly.
Like you, they get better with age
By harnessing Artificial Intelligence and getting an experienced agency to look after the chatbot for you, the chatbot will learn more and more through the conversations it’s having on a daily basis.
Over time, it will get better and better at dealing with more complex tasks freeing up even more of your time, giving your university a deeper level of engagement with student and staff whilst saving you money.
Yes, a chatbot won’t solve everything that keeps you up at night. Creating a chatbot shouldn’t be seen as a short-term fix. What it is, is a sustainable long-term solution that will improve not only your customer experience but your bottom line too.
If you want to learn more, have an initial chat then please feel free to get in touch with one of our university marketing experts here.
For more information on avoiding the pitfalls of chatbots click here.