Do you browse the internet during banking hours or are you on your phone at night watching ‘The Office’ for the 50th time? Most college students visit your website outside of the 9-to-5 timeframe. If you’re searching for the best ways to engage with students and potential students, a chatbot is the best way to make sure someone is there to greet them at all hours of the day or night. Because websites for universities and colleges hold so much information, a chatbot can be a useful tool in helping visitors navigate.
Here are the top 5 reasons a chatbot will improve your college’s website:
Very few colleges have enough staff members to serve the needs of every student and alum. Workloads make it impossible to do the things we are good at - engaging with and helping students. Chatbots provide visitors with easy access to academic program details, campus maps, financial aid information, and the mountains of information housed on a website. How much more could you accomplish in a day without having to answer frequently asked questions? Chatbots check that box, serving prospective and current students immediately and giving them a better experience. With fewer repetitive tasks, your staff will be more efficient.
Lead capture form replacement
Knowing who is on your website and why is a game-changer. And you do not get enough of that information through awkward forms. Students simply do not want to bother with lead capture forms, and they’re likely to leave your website disappointed to find a school that will better serve their interests. This should sound like a familiar story for anyone who has ever researched a purchase or investment online. Conversational marketing with chatbots makes it more unobtrusive to collect names and email addresses, and visitors receive the information they want immediately, instead of having to wait days for someone to get back to them.
24/7 student services
Students and website visitors browse your website while you’re sleeping. That’s problematic if they have questions they’d like immediately answered. Whether or not they get those answers could be the difference between a potential student choosing your school over another. When someone helps you, you get a positive impression of that person (or, in this case, bot). The positive outcomes obtained when questions are answered quickly will score your school more points. See how chatbots like Harmony answer students’ questions.
Handing off to humans
Chatbots are great at providing immediate answers and handling repetitive tasks, but most conversations that begin with a bot inevitably lead to human-to-human interactions. When a visitor still needs more info and wants to speak to a human, a chatbot can automatically find the appropriate staff member and prompt them to join the conversation. Intelligent chatbots like Harmony can also connect with staff calendars and schedule a meeting if that staff member is not available. So, a student knows right away that they have an appointment with someone who will help.
Data is king unless it’s invalid. When a website visitor offers their email address, a chatbot can share that information with your school’s CRM in real-time. This helps construct a knowledge base of potential students, while also updating and validating your existing data. Your staff will know why someone was on your website and what services or information they’re interested in learning more about. That is very valid data.
First impressions are lasting. Chatbots can help your school earn a great first impression from website visitors, while also maximizing your staff’s valuable time. Perhaps the greatest reason to consider this solution is how it meets the needs of students and helps them succeed.