14 November 2017
Take the Bull by the Horns by Implementing Live Chat on Website
At this point in the academic calendar, this year’s intake will be settled into their student lives. Whilst they are busy studying (we hope!), next year’s intake of potential students will be beginning to prepare their personal statements. They may have questions for the universities they are thinking about applying to, before they complete their applications by the 15th January 2018 deadline.
During this quiet period in the run up to the end of the calendar year, it is a good time to take advantage and research into technologies that will improve student services for the New Year, such as live chat software which can increase engagement rates.
The communication channel is preferred by young adults as it instantly connects them to a representative in real time, via text based messages. It is a great tool to increase engagement with potential and current students, as they can ask any questions whilst they browse the website. They wouldn’t necessarily call the University multiple times with their enquiries but feel more comfortable having several chats at various times throughout their journey. It is also a big benefit for attracting international students to contact your university, as it lessens the barriers that can be experienced via telephone, e.g. language and costs.
It is better for your university to trial new technology during the quiet period, as it can be thoroughly tested in a live environment with minimal impact to the visitors using it for the first time. Staff can ensure they are fully trained prior to handling real enquiries. Some universities will rush to implement the communication channel during clearing, right before A-Level Results Day, resulting in chats not being handled as efficiently as possible. Researching and understanding your live chat implementation fully, allows your organisation to put the basics in place and then in advance have strategies for how the solution will aid with key dates such as Clearing and open days.
Real University Examples
The University of Bradford implemented their live chat for Clearing, they spent time getting to grips with the system and training their staff, prior to the busy period. Once the deadline for Clearing applications passed, they were able to streamline the amount of representatives using the solution and operate as ‘business as usual’ during the quieter times of the year.
Royal Holloway, University of London added live chat to help students experience open days, virtually. They can speak with department representatives as they are given a tour via video. The University had to prepare well in advance, to ensure when a potential student requested to speak with one of the 28 faculties that the chat routed to a member of that team.
It is both Universities’ preparation and understanding of the solution that has helped their success in engaging with more prospective students year after year. Now is a good opportunity to review previous campaigns which are underperforming, stopping these will allow you to re-invest your budget into live chat. For the price of a daily newspaper, your university can offer an entirely new platform of communication to students.
Click4Assistance already works with a number of UK universities to increase engagement with potential students and reach their recruitment targets. Contact one of our specially trained University Coordinators to find out how live chat software can provide a more efficient, cost-effective and accessible means of communicating for both your university and students across the world. Call our team on 01268 524 628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.