Student using Chatbot

How can a Chatbot bring more students to your educational business in 2020?

But before we start, what are Chatbots?

Chatbots use natural language processing (NLP), the same tech that forms the basis of voice recognition systems used by Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

Chatbots process text presented to them (known as “parsing”), before responding according to a complex series of algorithms that interpret and identify what user said, infer meaning and give appropriate responses.

Chatbots are not new. The Earliest example was ELIZA developed at MIT in the mid-60s using keywords and pattern matching. Gartner suggests that in 2020, the average person will have more conversations with chatbots than their spouse!

Chatbots are spreading

53% of organisations expect to be using chatbots within the next 18-months. 

Chatbots are considered normal

People are growing to expect them when they visit websites or social media.

These Chatbots will boost customer service and efficiency for audiences becoming more experienced with virtual assistants.

AI is changing how we work and changing how we are able to support our potential customers, whether they’re asking simple questions or looking to buy a course.


Watch the full presentation: How can a Chatbot bring more students to your educational business in 2020?

Presented by Luke Simmons, LV Media Hub Managing Director, at English UK Marketing Conference 2020, in London, UK.


Do international educators need a Chatbot?

Student using Chatbot on mobile device

Well, consider the following questions. If the answer is yes to the majority of them then you should consider a chatbot.

  • Are your customers Worldwide? 
  • Do you engage over multiple channels (e.g. websites, Apps, social media etc.)?
  • Would extending opening hours potentially help sales?
  • Is direct sales staff time being used well and are they too busy?
  • Do you want to improve engagement with potential customers online?
  • Would you like your website to have better authority and be better ranked by Google?

What are the benefits of using a chatbot?

Quick Responses

Faster customer service which reduces customer waiting times for simple queries with quick answers. They no longer want to wait for return calls, emails etc. Millennials and Generation Z are an impatient bunch!

Warm Welcome

Chatbots can instantly welcome customers with a branded greeting on your website and social media, and quickly direct visitors to the resources they seek.

Engagement

AI chatbots are present and waiting to encourage engagement with customers and prompt them to ask questions rather than silently browsing your site and bouncing away.

Lead Generation

By handling initial support, chatbots help to start conversations that your staff can follow up on, providing more qualified leads to sales teams. Email capture can also be achieved where visitors may not otherwise have been tempted to do. Increased visit time, reduced bounce rates and better authority will all help with sales.

24/7 Support

Chatbots never sleep, take holidays, fall ill…or leave to work for a competitor. They will work when you are closed. If a detailed question is asked requiring a human, the bot will augment interaction with your sales staff.

Chatbots Continue Learning

Chatbots continually improve their ability as their ‘Knowledge bank’ continues to grow. Chatbots will become a better sales member and customer service agent over time.

Training and Flexibility

You control chatbot training and allow responses to reflect company ethos and have the ability to change responses.

Information Gathering

Human staff can gauge the kind of questions asked through recorded interactions and allow your staff to understand what customers want to know.

Cost Control

You are not paying people to answer customer queries out of regular hours. Chatbots like Viola are available on simple, affordable and flexible monthly plans.

Save Time

Chatbots like Viola can take care of common (repetitive) questions allowing your team more time to deal with more advanced/involved sales interactions.

What are the cons of using a chatbot?

Cost

Developing your own chatbot can be very expensive. Licensing an established chatbot like Viola is far cheaper.

Chatbots are not Human

Education businesses are based on relationships and trust. They are not real people and they are not perfect. There will be times when they do not know/understand, but over time these will be rare.

Frustration

Chatbots can reply from a limited database and can’t improvise. Viola comes pre-trained with tens of thousands of questions pre-loaded.

Management

Updates will come from your supplier. Further training may be needed (but will be quick to complete).

Extra work

Your direct team will, ideally, have more queries. If they have KPIs or sales targets this could also be a Pro!

Will a Chatbot increase sales for your educational business?

Will it provide bookings?

The answer is no, not alone. If you build a new website and add a chatbot, bookings will not flood in. A chatbot needs to be part of your overall customer service strategy. A lot of people won’t convert on websites because they might not understand or have questions, but you have started that process.

Increased Productivity 

Chatbots can help your regular staff be more effective and productive but will never replace them entirely.

Multi-language sales 

Chatbots can provide customer service in multi-languages.

Online Engagement

Customer interaction with a will increase the potential for a form fill or for a meeting to be arranged. More engagement with the brand has happened.

Training

Perhaps a soft-benefit, but a chatbot can become a very effective sales team training tool.

What makes Viola a good Chatbot option for your educational related business?

  • LV is currently offering 20 licences with a free, no-obligation, after a 3-month trial.
  • Viola responses are your responsibility. The ‘Topic Questions’ and ‘Triggers’ are controlled and updated over time by LV.
  • Viola is a multi-channel chatbot service (It will appear on your website, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp).
  • Viola is multilingual.
  • Viola offers you the ability to offer text-rich, information-rich conversations (brochure/video link/specific web page links)
  • Viola comes with over 150 ‘Topic Questions’ and over 17,000 ‘Triggers’

Summary

Chatbots redefining customer engagement using AI and Machine Learning. Adding Viola will do much more than making your business look tech-savvy. Using Viola will save you time, improve the customer experience and help build a better support experience on your site or social channels.

Chatbots aim to provide assistance of human nature, but a chatbot is not a real person. Chatbots help you’re your staff, not replace them. 

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