Queen’s University, commonly referred to as Queen’s, is a public research university in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Queen’s is a co-educational university with more than 23,000 students and over 131,000 alumni living worldwide.
Queen’s University’s Admissions and Recruitment department for many years only offered phone and email support to answer prospective students’ queries. Without the resources to increase business hours or team size, the department often faced overwhelmingly high volumes of support requests through these two channels. This resulted in delayed response times which at best was damaging the student experience, and at worst, reducing intake through lower prospective student engagement.
This was of particular concern within peak periods during the admissions cycle when volumes surged even higher.
To tackle this issue, Queen’s University implemented Comm100 Live Chat and Chatbot. With the efficiency of live chat support, combined with the self-serving function of a chatbot, the Admission department has significantly reduced phone and email volume. This in turn has reduced response times, helping them to engage with more prospective students, while supporting them where and how they expect to be by modern schools.
“We knew we had to expand our service offerings beyond just phone and email to provide students with the support they expect today in our digital world. Many students simply don’t like picking up the phone, while email can take days for a response. With Comm100 Live Chat combined with Comm100 Chatbot, we can now deliver fast, efficient, 24/7 support that helps us engage with more prospective students and provide better support.”
Comm100 Live Chat is available to prospective students during the department’s business hours, alongside Comm100 Chatbot. The chatbot is set up to field simple but common queries that students can typically find answers to on the site. These “low-hanging fruit” queries are automated so they receive immediate support while students with more complex queries have access to agents who can look up details about their specific application or issue.
By automating common queries with a bot, the team is:
- Reducing overall support volume,
- Increasing efficiency and speed of response, and
- Providing better support to prospective students in need of human support.
The chatbot is also helping the Admissions department to connect with more prospective international students. Many applicants live abroad in different time zones so Queens’ support hours don’t coincide with theirs. With only email support on offer to them, this was creating a significant barrier to engagement. Now, with a chatbot available 24/7, prospective students can engage with Queen’s whenever and wherever they are. When the bot can’t answer their question, the student can also leave a message for the team to follow up on when they are next online.
The process of building Comm100 Chatbot was “straightforward and well-supported”. Comm100’s bot architect built the foundation of the bot and its questions based on Queen’s website content, FAQs and specific needs. Victoria was then able to add to this structure and expand its capabilities, as well as adjust it to fit their specific needs and students. As Victoria explained, she also received “very helpful advice from Comm100 on what queries to channel to the bot and what to an agent, alongside lots of best practices to make sure our bot is liked by our students and helpful to our team.”
The Admissions team was also trained on how to use Comm100 Live Chat, firstly training Victoria as the administrator of the software and project, and then the frontline team. As Victoria explained herself:
“Maria trained us on how to use Comm100 Live Chat and it was fantastic. She did a particularly great job in making the training fit for us and how we are specifically using Comm100, tailoring the sessions to our team and needs. Because of this amazing training, the roll out was so smooth and we felt very confident in launching the software.”
Comm100’s training team also showed Victoria how to use several helpful features, from canned messages and shortcuts to chat supervision and reporting capabilities. Victoria also detailed how easy the Comm100 software backend is to use:
“I have been responsible for managing the backend of a lot of different software in my career, and Comm100’s is really great. It was very easy to learn and I have no problems in navigating it and using it without any help from the team.”
Seeing the success of Comm100 Live Chat and Chatbot so soon into adoption, Queen’s Admissions department is planning to devote more time to expanding its capabilities and volume. They hope that soon the chatbot will greet every query and passing it on to an agent when needed, improving the team’s efficiency, capacity, and performance even further.