When it comes to college, the competition is stiffer than ever. Applicants take on multiple high-level courses and extracurriculars in hopes of beating out millions of peers for a spot in a top university. In response, schools battle it out to attract the crème de la crème of the applicant pool, touting their best programs and features.
One way colleges can appeal to prospective students and hold on to current ones is by offering easy, on-demand assistance. Admissions, financial aid, and course requirements are all complicated issues that can leave even Ivy Leaguers baffled. Having a Live Chat option allows students to get their questions answered quickly, increasing their satisfaction and the likelihood they’ll stick around.
Here are some examples of how a chat system can smooth the application process and keep both old and new students happy:
1. Pull in prospective students
The first place potential applicants go to check out a school is its website. If they have questions about entry requirements or the application, chat allows them to speak directly with an admissions officer, bypassing phone calls and lengthy email exchanges. The College of Charleston, for example, features live chat prominently on its admissions page as a main communication channel.
It’s also a great resource for parents who may have questions about financial aid or campus security.
Analytics that come with chat software can aid recruitment efforts by outlining how prospective students arrive at your site… and where they lose interest and leave it. This may suggest which pages are lacking in clarity or information.
2. Help out current students
Around half of all college students switch their majors at least once. Often, that means re-planning schedules and figuring out new course requirements. With chat, students can get advice from advisors and their own professors from the comfort of their dorm room. With the ability to take on multiple chats, advisors can then free up their appointment schedule and ultimately help more students.
3. Make research easier
Most universities offer extensive libraries and online resources for research. So much so that the wealth of information can be overwhelming. Librarians manning the help desk can direct students to the right starting point and offer tips to paper-writers through every step of research. The University of Pennsylvania makes use of IM, test messaging, and chat to offer help to mind boggled students.
4. Cultivate alumni relations
Schools rely on alumni donations to fund scholarships and other programs. Graduates may want updates on certain programs or professors, or have questions as to how and where they can send a donation. Missing these queries can mean serious losses for school funds.
Not just for businesses, educational institutions can use live chat to reach prospective students, make current enrollees happy, and keep alumni in the loop.
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About the author
Market Research Web Editor at LiveHelpNow and Azzur Group, LLC
Contributing Writer at Greatist
Editorial Assistant at The Pennsylvania Gazette
Reporter at Penn Law
Editorial Intern at Philadelphia Magazine
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences
King's College London, U. of London