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Higher Education

Ontario, Canada

Comm100 Live Chat & Custom Answers Bot

Comm100 customer
Since July 2020

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The Numbers

4.82/5 – Live chat CSAT
39% – chats answered by the bot

The Organization

McMaster University is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1887, the university has over 32,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 post-graduate students. In 2024 it ranked fourth in Canada in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Background

In early 2020, McMaster’s IT department, McMaster UTS (University Technology Services), was looking into technologies that would improve the efficiency and user experience of their service offering. While they had been aware of this need for some years, it was accelerated by the emergence of the COVID1-9 pandemic.

The department provides IT services and support to a range of stakeholders – students, applicants, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, and affiliates. Previously, they only offered in person, telephone, email, and ticketing support. While each of these channels is a valuable communication channel, McMaster recognized that they didn’t offer the fast, accessible, 24/7 support that their students and faculty both expected.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this problem, and so the UTS team began searching for a solution that would better serve their community’s digital support needs.

The Solution

McMaster UTS realized that live chat with an integrated chatbot was the solution to their challenges. After thorough research, the university chose Comm100 Live Chat, citing the platform’s ease of use, industry security and privacy compliances, and Comm100’s experience within higher education.

With Comm100 Live Chat offered on every page of McMaster UTS’s website, their stakeholders receive instant and accessible support. This has dramatically improved the user experience as members of the McMaster community can receive an answer to their query within a few minutes, rather than holding in a phone queue or waiting days for a response to their ticket. The team now enjoys an impressive 4.82 out of 5 customer satisfaction score (CSAT) – a key metric indicating user satisfaction with their support experience.

This speed of resolution has also increased the department’s support capacity as they can manage more queries with the same resources.

The introduction of Comm100 Custom Answers Chatbot has increased support capacity even further. After filling out a short form, users are routed to the AI chatbot to answer frequently asked, routine questions. The bot answered 39% of all incoming chats in 2023. This figure is expected to rise as the team adds more intents to the bot.

Previously, these queries took up a considerable amount of agent time across the various channels. Now, with self-help and troubleshooting provided through the bot, support volume across all channels has decreased. This allows agents to devote more of their time to helpful and effective assistance. In addition, the university can offer 24/7 support so their stakeholders can receive help at any time of the day via the bot.

“The combination of Comm100 Live Chat and AI Chatbot has really transformed our service offering to our diverse stakeholder base. While live chat lets our agents deliver fast and convenient support, the integrated chatbot automates all our common and simple queries. The benefits are threefold – it increases our overall support capacity, lets our agents focus on more complex queries, and allows us to provide much-needed 24/7 help.”

Sue McKinlay, Senior Manager, Client Services, McMaster University

Comm100’s routing abilities has also dramatically increased first contact resolution – the percentage of queries that are resolved on the first attempt. McMaster UTS found they were receiving many queries intended for other departments. With 14 McMaster departments all using Comm100 Live Chat, these chats can easily be transferred to the appropriate department by the bot or chat agent, ensuring the user’s query is swiftly and seamlessly resolved.

The use of Comm100 Super Agent has simplified this cross-department integration. With Super Agent, assigned admins can access every department’s account within the Comm100 agent console, while giving each department control over their own setup. This helps to break down data siloes and provide insight into metrics across teams and departments.

The training process was conducted through multiple video calls which were also recorded for the team to review. With in-person training, McMaster could ask questions as they arose, and still now receive continual support from Comm100 through their dedicated Account Manager and 24/7 chat service on the Comm100 website.

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