One big reason is that they can help manage efficient communication across multiple channels including social media, SMS text messaging, web chat, and even voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. In other words, a school can have one bot to manage and respond to all these various communication channels instead of trying to keep up with each one individually. This helps admissions counselors and other school officials save time so they can focus on other tasks like meeting with prospective students or reviewing applications.
Another big benefit is that chatbots can help improve student retention rates and campus safety. For example, if a student is struggling with their coursework or feeling homesick, they can reach out to the chatbot for support 24/7. The chatbot can then connect them with the appropriate resources on campus or provide them with encouragement to help them get through tough times. Similarly, if there’s an emergency on campus, the chatbot can quickly send out alerts to all students so they know what’s going on and how to stay safe.
Finally, chatbots can also help reduce operational costs while also increasing revenue opportunities for schools. For example, by automating certain tasks like scheduling tours or sending reminders about deadlines, schools can free up staff time so they can focus on other tasks. In addition, schools can use chatbots to sell tickets for campus events or promote their online courses to a wider audience. For example, a school could create a chatbot that interacts with prospective students who are interested in taking an online course but still have some questions before enrolling.
A recent Gartner report on trends impacting higher education reveals an almost doubling of institutions investing in AI chatbots over the past year. In 2020, the Gartner CIO survey found 16% of respondents reporting that they had invested in AI chatbots. In 2021, 30% reported the same. Gartner notes that “Chatbots have reached an adoption inflection point in higher education where it soon will be one of many expected ‘multiexperience’ interaction channels for students, faculty and staff. Already, chatbots are becoming a ‘cost of entry’ for baseline student experience.” So why are Chatbots and Higher Education a good match? Let’s explore a few reasons.
Overall, there are many reasons why higher ed institutions are investing in chatbots—and why this trend is likely to continue in the years to come. From improved communication and student retention rates to increased revenue opportunities, chatbots offer a lot of advantages for both schools and students alike.