College Chatbot for Tel-Hai, an innovative higher education institute

Keren – IT Manager,

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

Tel-Hai College is an innovative higher education institute based in the Upper Galilee region of Israel. For more than two decades now, we’ve been setting the trend for educational, economic and social development in the region. Our innovative curriculum and inclusive atmosphere have drawn scholars and researchers from around the world.

As an institute, we focus on building personal connections and lasting relationships with our students. This brand image has brought us a great deal of success in the academic field.

I’m Keren, the IT Manager of Tel-Hai College, and I oversee the institute’s media marketing efforts and website content development.

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

As I just mentioned, our brand image hinges on our ability to maintain personal connections with our students. While we tailor our academic environment and campus activities around this objective, it’s our website that acts as our main point of contact with the thousands of students who are directly or indirectly connected with us.

Of late, our primary challenge has been to maintain personal connections with students who visit our website. Our brand image brings a large number of potential applicants to our website every year, and we needed to be able to talk to each one of them, address their individual questions and doubts, and thus encourage them to register with us.

This challenge is not just limited to increasing new registrations. Even existing students have queries on a wide range of subjects revolving around campus life, college administration, and academics. We had to be able to answer these questions effectively. This led to another challenge – the challenge of centralizing knowledge about the various verticals of life at Tel-Hai College, and delivering it to every student who needs it.

We decided to create a chatbot because we felt it would be an effective and relatively simple way to address these challenges. The presence of a chatbot on our website would reinforce our brand image as an innovative educational institute that takes a personal interest in every one of its students.

College Chatbot

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

The addition of a VirtualSpirits chatbot to the Tel-Hai College website has gone as planned, and we’re delighted to see the results. The chatbot is helping us deliver our brand message more effectively through our website. Specifically, we’re now being able to give our potential students 24/7 attention, along with instant answers to frequently asked questions about the institute and its courses.

In addition to helping us make personal connections with our students, and increasing the number of new registrations our courses have received, creating a chatbot has also brought us some indirect benefits. For example, we’re now able to save money on administrative support, and instead invest it in marketing and advertising efforts to promote Tel-Hai and its innovative courses.

This chatbot development process has been a big learning experience for us. Most of all, we realized the power of keeping things simple. By just launching a chatbot that answers frequently asked questions about our institute, we were able to see a noticeable increase in visitor engagement on our site, and number of enrollments in our courses.

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

I strongly recommend keeping your chat script as simple as possible, especially in the beginning. It’s better to focus on getting a script that answers basic questions really well, as opposed to one that does a poor job of handling too many functions at once.

For an educational institute, it may make sense to also get your students on board with the clear value of using your chatbot, and to let them point out areas where the chat script could be improved or expanded. Your students may actually be in a better position than anybody else to identify gaps in the chat script, or questions that the script may have missed in the beginning. Once you get this process going, your chatbot will be all set to do the rest on its own. We found that it learns very quickly and goes beyond any pre-planned content we may have developed, to become an amazing online support tool for our students, faculty, and administration.