19 March 2019
More Ways to Connect with Your Students This Easter
The spring term is almost at an end, which signifies the Easter holiday for UK universities. During this time existing students may want additional support or have questions over the break. Whereas potential students, who may not yet be familiar with the university calendar, may want to speak with several campuses whilst researching the course they want to study before the UCAS search tool goes live.
In this article we will be taking a look at the various options available to make your university more contactable over the Easter break, without installing additional pressure on your representatives.
Live Chat Software
Optimising live chat software is one of the quickest ways for students to have their questions answered by a university advisor, as it connects them in real time where they can instantly converse via text based messages.
This is a more productive communication channel for universities as one representative can handle more than enquiry at any one time. This is particularly useful during holiday periods when the university may be operation with skeleton staff.
Whilst advisors are handling more than one chat enquiry at a time, there is functionality available that aids them to provide faster but accurate responses. This includes, Predefined Replies, which is a library of pre-agreed responses to frequently asked questions, agents can easily choose an answer and amend it before sending the final message to the visitor.
Ghost text allows the representative to see what the student is writing in real time as they compose their message. This allows them to gauge what they about to be asked and mentally prepare their answer. If handling more than one chat at a time, they can see who is actually engaging, who is towards the end of their enquiry and who hasn’t responded in a while, helping the advisor to manage their workload.
If any information is readily available on the website, the advisor can navigate the student to the relevant page via Auto Navigation. This automatically opens the webpage in a new window of the visitor’s browser, ensuring they are looking at the correct information.
Another way to improve your university’s productivity is by implementing a chatbot. The bot can prequalify the visitor, finding out their details and if they are a potential or existing student etc. They can then be transferred to an operator with all of their details, or the chatbot can continue to answer the enquiry based on what it has previously learnt. This can be transferred at any time a student requests to speak with a human advisor or if the bot cannot answer the enquiry.
A chatbot is available 24/7, therefore if your representatives are not available over the Easter break or a student is enquiring out of hours, it’s no problem for the bot they will answer the enquiry as much as they can or provide alternative contact options – call back or supply opening hours.
If a chatbot is not currently an option for your university however you still want to collect student enquiries 24/7, a smartContact form can easily be added to your website without incurring expensive development charges. The forms can be configured within the software to collect any necessary information your organisation requires. Completed forms will be emailed to a designated email address(es) and are also viewable within the solution which can be marked when they have been actioned, helping your advisors to manage the enquiries as and when they can.
Alternatively, to reduce the involvement of your advisors if the information is readily available on the website, a Promotion can be used to automatically direct the individual from one web page to another. The image appears on the website based on duration or the page they are on, once accepted they will be navigated to the relevant information. This is useful for distributing useful information to as many people as possible. Universities have used it to bring attention to Open Days and other key dates.
Click4Assistance has been providing online communication channels for over 10 years, and currently work with 25% of UK Universities to improve their online support to students. For more information about implementing live chat software or any of the other functionality, contact our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.