Higher Education Chatbot for John Bryce, a leading information technology education institute

Efrat Etgar – Digital Manager, https://www.johnbryce.co.il/

Introduce your business and tell us about yourself: What does your business do? What is your role?

John Bryce Training is a leading learning and assimilation solutions and services provider in Israel and overseas for over 20 years. We deliver Innovative Cutting-edge Information technologies and soft skills learning solutions to support organizational and private customers’ needs. We offer a variety of over 500 unique instructor-led courses of Information Technology, Hi-tech and soft skills, delivered in one of our 100 computerized classes, in client’s facilities or through our professional studio to every place in the world.

I’m Efrat, and I work as Digital Manager at johnbryce.co.il. A part of my work involves overseeing John Bryce website and assessing its efficiency at addressing visitor requirements.

What problems/challenges did you have and why did you decide to create a Chatbot?

As a multi-faceted educational institute, we’ve always been home to a large community of students, faculty, and administrative staff. In recent years, the addition of more and more courses, academic activities and campus facilities has dramatically increased the number of students and instructors who express their interest in our programs. This is where our main challenge stems from.
Our potential applicants usually have a set of simple queries about course details, fees, campus facilities, and so on. So far, they have been contacting the institute’s call center with these queries. Now, when we begin to factor in the number of interested applicants we have every year, these basic questions and doubts scale up to form an enormous volume of requests, which our call center staff couldn’t be expected to handle. As a result, they were always overloaded.

We had to find a better way to process these queries without losing out on potential applicants. Creating a chatbot appeared to be a good solution because it would let us automate responses to all the basic questions that potential students ask every year, leaving our call center staff to address the more complex ones. The instant responses that a chatbot would be able to give our website’s visitors was also a big bonus. We felt that over time, we could add more functions to the chatbot to turn it into a virtual campus guide that could introduce new students to the campus or help existing ones with their academic and admin issues throughout the year.

Higher Education Chatbot

What was the result of adding your Chatbot to your business/website? And what did you learn from it?

After adding a VirtualSpirits chatbot to the John Bryce Academy website, I’m absolutely convinced it was the right decision! The results have been amazing. For starters, I found that over 80% of the queries received from potential applicants and existing students, are now resolved online. Which means that in over 80% of the cases, the chatbot is able to point students to the right sources of information.

This figure is actually consistent with our initial estimations, because we knew that most of the workload on our support staff involved answering the same basic questions over and over again. Now that our support staff has a manageable workload, we are also being able to offer better service on more customized or complicated issues that our students might have.
Another excellent thing we noticed after creating a chatbot is that students are actively giving their feedback on their chat experience, and on other aspects of our website as well. This chatbot is proving to be a great tool to encourage student participation and get them to tell us what they’d like us to improve or do differently.

What are your top recommendations for businesses just starting with their own Chatbot?

I think a very important aspect that no business owner must ignore, is that your customers or users know best. So, don’t hesitate to let them help you. In our case, we found that our students adopted the chatbot happily. As I just mentioned, they actively provided feedback and participated in surveys sent out through the chatbot. Their answers have helped us a lot in figuring out where we need to improve or optimize our website and services.

So, if you’re running an educational institute, I would highly recommend asking your students for help and inspiration via your chatbot. What I’ve found is that once students discover that they can participate through feedback on answers, they begin to trust the chatbot more and use it repeatedly. This in turn lets the chatbot interact more with its visitors, and over time, it gets extremely precise with its answers, further reducing the need for phone or email support.