Cambrian College is a college of applied arts and technology in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1967, Cambrian College has over 4100 students in 80 full-time programs, and over 7000 students in almost 900 part-time courses and programs across three campus locations. The college is funded by the province of Ontario.
The Results in Numbers
– 4.5/5 live chat CSAT
– 70% chats handled by chatbot
Delivering support at every stage of the student lifecycle is key to the success of Cambrian College and its students. By providing both prospective and current students with accessible, helpful and personalized support, Cambrian College improves enrolment and retention, while students enjoy a more fulfilling, engaged and successful experience.
Face-to-face support is central to Cambrian’s high quality of support. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities to close their doors and transition to remote learning, this avenue of support was immediately lost. Now faced with a reliance on phone and email support that they knew many prospective and current students did not like to use, Cambrian College began searching for a solution.
In March 2020, Cambrian College partnered with Comm100 to implement its live chat software within Cambrian’s Recruitment department. The live chat agents are current students who field queries from prospective students and deliver the accessible and convenient support that Gen Z expect.
Comm100 Live Chat also helps Cambrian College to provide personal, one-to-one support that they worried would be wanting without the ability to speak face-to-face on campus. As Alison Caruso, Manager of Student Recruitment at Cambrian College, explained:
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.
Overall, Cambrian College is enjoying a 4.5 out of 5 live chat customer satisfaction score. The average across industries in 2021 was 4.2 out of 5.
24/7 support with Comm100 Chatbot
After a successful year and a half with Comm100 Live Chat, Cambrian College decided to add Comm100 Chatbot to their student support offering. The bot, affectionately named BernieBot after the college’s mascot, was set up to enable 24/7 support. They recognized that many of their students wanted to connect during out of office hours, particularly students abroad in different time zones. With a chatbot in place, Cambrian can now deliver around-the-clock support to any student, creating far more opportunities to connect with prospective students and boost their recruitment efforts.
Our AI chatbot was going to be active when live agents couldn’t be so we wanted to make sure that he could provide the level of customer service that we expected from everyone in our Recruitment department.
While at first hesitant at introducing a bot, BernieBot now handles over 70% of chats and is continually improving as it learns from conversations.
Alison, Manager of Student Recruitment, and their Digital Recruiter, worked alongside Comm100’s automation architects to build and fine-tune BernieBot.
Neither me nor our Digital Recruiter had any programming or bot development experience. However, Daniela and Elia at Comm100 gave us all the support we needed. We met once a week where we would bring a myriad of questions to them – they were very patient! They always listened to us, understanding our expectations and how we wanted our bot to perform, and quickly making improvements based on these suggestions. We still meet regularly to make improvements. It has been a month since we went live with BernieBot again and we are still learning and developing.
Cambrian College recognized that it was best practice to inform students when they were speaking to BernieBot to set clear expectations. They gave him a “cheeky” personality and if he didn’t have the answer, assured them that someone would get in touch when they were back online to resolve their question.
The help and guidance from Comm100 during the development of our chatbot has been fantastic!
Following the success with Comm100 Chatbot within the Recruitment department, Cambrian are now launching another bot within their International department to help them better engage with international students around-the-clock.