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The Real Benefits of Chatbots in Higher Education

Customer support has become a key differentiator in the marketplace today, and it’s no different in higher education. Today’s students have sky-high customer service expectations, driven by B2C experiences, technological developments, and even Covid-19.  

With a need to do more with less, higher education is turning to technology to help them improve support for prospective students, current students, and faculty. For many, chatbots are the answer. 

The benefits of chatbots in education are numerous. Chatbots allow colleges and universities to expand support hours, improve support to international students, and increase engagement – all while reducing costs of traditional support. Read on to learn about the key benefits of chatbots in higher education and how your school can implement bots to improve the full student lifecycle. For an in-depth guide, read Higher Education Chatbots: Everything You Need to Know.

1. Supporting student recruitment efforts

For any university or college, recruitment strategies are make-or-break. With chatbots at hand, schools immediately boost engagement with prospective students as they provide immediate support no matter the time of the day. Chatbots can even proactively greet and interact with visitors to catch their attention before they leave. Proactive chatbot messages have the benefit of:  

  • Capturing visitor details to use for lead generation  
  • Helping students before they become frustrated
  • Reassuring students throughout the enrollment process 

2. Increasing engagement with international students

The ability to offer 24/7 support is one of the key benefits of chatbots in higher education. Chatbots can engage with website visitors no matter their time zone, making it easier for schools to engage with international students across the world. Chatbots can also speak any language so schools can communicate with prospective students in whatever language they’re most comfortable with. 

Being available 24/7 doesn’t just matter to international students, either. Today’s Gen Z students expect to connect whenever they want, and the only way to provide cost-effective around-the-clock support is with AI chatbots.

3. Reducing support costs

Chatbots for higher ed allow universities and colleges to save on support costs by handling as much as 80% of all chats without human intervention. A single bot can handle unlimited chats simultaneously, offloading common and repetitive requests while live agents handle more complex inquiries. This is by far one of the top benefits of chatbots in education and a top chatbot use case.

The unlimited capacity of chatbots is especially useful for handling peak periods such as the beginning of the academic year. Institutions might normally need to hire additional agents to deal with a surge in support requests, but chatbots can handle the increase with no disruption.

4. Minimizing repetitive and manual tasks

For most, if not all, higher ed schools, the majority of customer service questions are common and repetitive. These take up a lot of agent time, and yet are still valuable queries that need attention. A chatbot is the perfect solution to automating these repetitive tasks. With a bot in place, every one of these simple queries can by handled by the bot, giving agents time to focus on more complex or sensitive questions, or other responsibilities. Students with simple questions benefit from immediate answers from the chatbot, and students with more complex questions receive more attention and care that they need from agents. 

Another automation benefit of chatbots in higher education can be seen in Comm100’s Agent Assist. When agents are chatting with a website visitor, Agent Assist uses AI to interpret the visitor’s request in real-time and suggest a response to the agent. Agent Assist saves agents the manual nature of seeking an answer and manually typing a response.

Customer story – Cambrian College

Cambrian College added Comm100 Chatbot to their student support after a year of success with Comm100 Live Chat. With their chatbot providing 24/7 support, Cambrian now connect with more prospective students, helping them to build the all-important relationships.

Providing personal and genuine support to our students is really important to us. We want all of our students to feel that we care about them as individuals and Comm100 Live Chat lets us do just that. The people we speak to on live chat also really enjoy the more casual and colloquial nature of the support, which helps us to build relationships while still being informative and helpful.”

Alison Caruso, Manager of Student Recruitment at Cambrian College

Read more: Cambrian College Improves Recruitment with Comm100 Live Chat & Chatbot 

With a chatbot handling over 70% of Cambrian College’s incoming chats, agents can also now focus on providing great customer service. As a result, Cambrian’s live chat customer satisfaction is sitting at 4.5 out of 5, compared to the industry average score of 4.2 out of 5. 

Next steps

Now you understand the benefits of chatbots in higher education, it’s time to explore the best bot for you. Comm100 has built purpose-built chatbots for higher education that the very best universities and colleges are using today, such as Thompson Rivers University, Cambrian College, Montgomery College and many more.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Comm100’s chatbots, click here.

Kate Rogerson

About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Manager at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.