Chatbots have been around for a while, but right now, they’re rapidly gaining traction in the world of college admissions. It’s not hard to see why. Chatbots are a great way to extend your reach and save your team time by answering repetitive questions.
This article will discuss how you can use AI-powered chatbots to assist prospective students in the admission process and increase student retention rates.
How do automated chatbots work?
Chatbots work with a knowledge base and your institutional documentation to provide accurate information. They provide automated responses to prospective student queries and help them carry out basic tasks on the college website.
Chatbots help students find answers to questions through natural conversations. Applicants don’t have to know technical terms, nor do they have to search through multiple links, websites, or documents to get the answers they need. They can type their questions in their own voice and get an accurate response from the chatbot.
Here are five ways that chatbots can help your team assist students.
Connect with potential applicants 24/7.
Chatbots are a great way to connect with potential college applicants 24/7. They provide answers to common questions and guide students through the admission process, day or night, while also capturing the visitor’s contact information. This capture helps admissions get them into marketing programs to continue to grow their interest in the institution—at all hours of the day, without interaction from admissions.
Because a chatbot is answering simple questions, your team can focus on higher-value tasks such as building targeted marketing programs and connecting prospects to alumni and teaching staff.
Allow applicants to check their admission status.
Applicants can communicate with a chatbot on your site to get updates on their admission status. Chatbots can communicate if the application is in review, if they’re missing important documents, or if there is a decision on their application. Swift communication about status saves the admission team from looking up where the application is and creates a quick and transparent process for potential students.
The college application process is stressful enough. Having easy access to continually updated admission stats reduces stress for students that apply.
Answer questions about financial aid.
Finances are another source of major stress for college students. Chatbots solve this problem by answering repetitive questions about fee structure, financial aid packages, and registration deadlines. By connecting to an AI-powered knowledge base, they can evaluate the information from the applicant and give responses about what types of assistance an applicant may be eligible for.
Chatbots can also connect with external databases for information on scholarships or other programs to assist students.
Schedule campus visits.
Chatbots can also take care of the logistics behind scheduling campus visits without the admissions team. All potential students need to request a visit through chat. The bot will find times for them during their preferred day/time range, any distance restrictions, or other important information like accessibility.
Capacity enables this through app integrations, like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar, to seamlessly connect different functionality to your chatbot.
As well as helping students navigate applications for colleges and universities, higher ed chatbots also help increase student retention.
Providing a responsive experience during the school year is just as important as during the application process. Knowing exactly where to go to get a question answered can boost student experience among enrolled students. It also demonstrates excellence in technology and innovation and the commitment of your college or university to meeting student needs.
These experiences in the admissions process will indicate to students that a college has their best interest in mind, which creates a lasting impression.
Should your college or university use a chatbot?
The best chatbots improve student experience while also saving time and money. This is because chatbots deliver next-gen service while removing the need for team members to answer repetitive questions.
With a support automation platform like Capacity, college admission teams can now provide their prospective students with fast and accurate information in real-time through a conversational chat interface that’s integrated directly into their website or mobile app.
Because Capacity uses artificial intelligence technology to learn about your institution over time, it gets smarter as more people use it, so you’ll never have to worry about not having the answer a prospective student needs.
How can your college get started?
We understand you want to deliver an exceptional experience and get incoming students on campus as smoothly as possible. That’s why we love helping educational institutions support prospective and current students with AI technology that is easy to use.
Smart colleges are using Capacity to reduce wait times for applicants and streamline the entire application process. This way, applicants can focus on writing great essays instead of spending hours looking for answers online.