Chatbot for University - Top Challenges and Solutions Facing Higher Education
Upgrades in the world of tech have seen to it that businesses in practically every industry change their approach to lead generation, sales, and marketing. The higher education sector hasn’t been spared – universities have had to switch gears to prove that they can stay a step ahead of the times and produce future-ready graduates. You may have noticed how leading universities around the world have been building chatbots for their websites and social media channels. Why’s that? What makes chat bot development such a promising addition to the online presence of the modern higher education institution?
Let’s take a look at the most common challenges that universities currently have on their plate, and how choosing to create a chatbot for university makes for an effective solution.
The challenge of millennial students:
The world is clearly going mobile, and millennials are leading the way there. The target audience for any university consists exclusively of millennials, or in other words, young people who spend a lot of time on their smartphones and use instant messaging for everything from chatting with their friends to finding the status of their online order. These students aren’t in the habit of drafting out formal letters to a university, asking for information on course structures or class schedules. This is precisely why university chat bots play such an important role during admissions.
The presence of an online chatbot prompts a potential applicant to use the chat window as a portal for all queries and doubts. They feel free to just type, "How long is the biochem bachelor’s program?"
And the university chatbot returns an instant response along the lines of, "Our bachelors’ program in Applied Biochemistry is a 3-year course, with an additional 6-month internship."
The idea behind building chatbots to talk to existing and potential students is that it makes the Q&A process very similar to a casual conversation with a friend on WhatsApp. This in turn allows the students to form a favorable impressions the university, as it doesn’t force them to resort to old-fashioned means of communication.
The challenge of data integration:
The functionalities of a university website aren’t limited to managing admissions and giving out campus information. There’s a lot going on in parallel – students asking for help at the support center, new applicants uploading their forms and referrals, staff creating and updating the students’ database, parents enquiring about course fees and sponsorships, and traffic driven by marketing campaigns, to name just a few.
Each one of these occurrences has the potential to provide the university management with vital feedback to help them improve their website and services. But having dedicated teams in charge of each task can sap up considerable amounts of time and money. Building chatbots to take care of all of them? Not so much.
Universities that create a chatbot for their websites, facilitate data integration by having the same AI bot talk to existing and potential students about matters ranging from upcoming lectures to course fee payments. Which means that on any given day, the university could be collecting a wide variety of thoughts and feedback through visitor comments and questions such as:"I made the fee payment yesterday but didn’t get an acknowledgment.""When are the mid-terms starting?""Why can’t I download my semester grades?""I want to schedule a campus visit. Who do I ask?""When is the last date for registering for your summer workshop?"
They website development team can just look into the above comments and queries to assess where the university website needs improvements or additions.
The challenge of differentiation:
Like any other industry, higher education has become a lot more competitive in recent years. There are way more universities and colleges offering similar programs and fee structures. Given this situation, institutes now need to go the extra mile to define what makes them unique and craft an effective brand message. They also need to ensure that their prospective students know what they can get by enrolling with them.
University chatbot development is by far the most effective way to get this done. AI-driven online chatbots can not only brand the university as innovative and up-to-date in technological aspects, but can also use their artificial intelligence to interpret the needs and preferences of potential students.
The challenge of online courses:
There is a growing demand for online courses at present. Their flexibility and convenience encourages plenty of students and part-time workers to pursue skill-development programs and even entire degrees online. This way, they avoid the non-academic expenses that conventional university programs additionally charge.
Chatbots for university are a great help when it comes to online courses. They can wear the hat of a program coordinator or students’ assistant, and motivate students to participate in group discussions, webinars, and online tests. By building chatbots, universities can make their remote students a part of their campus, thus creating a healthier academic environment.
Need to create a chatbot for your own university website? Have questions about chatbot development for an industry other than education? Just leave us a message and we’ll be happy to help.