21 Nov The Benefits of Live Chat for Higher Education Student Recruitment
Live chat has grown exponentially in popularity, and is expected to continue to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. While it has played an integral role in various industries, this technology has the potential to transform higher education recruitment as well.
With the advancement of technology, the current generation of students – Generation Z and Millennials, have seamlessly integrated technology into their lives. Students are now on multiple channels and devices at once, and are exposed to a multitude of platforms during their decision-making process. Being true digital natives, connectivity and technological trends are at the forefront of the generation, and students not only demand real-time answers, they also prefer personalised experiences.
As students now have a wide range of global institutions to choose from, providing differentiation in the experience rendered to students is crucial. Hence, it is imperative that both students and prospects are delighted and provided answers with both accuracy and timeliness.
What is live chat?
Essentially, live chat gives prospective students the option to initiate a chat session with a live agent to answer questions pertaining to the institution.
Why is live chat important?
According to the QSES 2019 International Student Survey , real-time live chat is the second most preferred communication channel (after email) for direct interactions between a student and a higher education institution – particularly when making enquiries before an application. While 75% of students utilize real-time chat after accepting an offer, 58% use real-time chat at all stages.
The relative popularity of real-time chat highlights the importance of direct, timely, one-to-one communication between a university and its prospective students.
Higher education providers may find it challenging to roll-out large-scale live chat initiatives as live chat requires highly trained resources and extended working hours to ensure agents are available in global time zones.
At QSES, we work with your teams to create the right live chat service for your students and your institution.
Since we launched our service in 2018, we have seen that prospective students who used live chat as one of their communication channels during the enquiry stage have had a higher propensity of enrolling.
We will continue tracking and measuring the impact live chat has on enrolment conversion and share trends and insights soon.
Challenges with Traditional Live Chat Service Models
With live chat growing in prominence, there are plenty of live chat models available on the market. While it might be tempting to go for the most inexpensive option, these models might come with its own set of challenges:
Measuring the wrong things
- Measuring activity and volume instead of conversion. Plenty of live chat service models capture leads, but don’t convert them into enrolments.
Lack of channel investment
- Lack of investment in live chat as a conversion channel
- Not utilising dedicated resources to test and improve live chat capabilities – resulting in a lack of ROI
One-Size Fits All
- Over-reliance on templated responses
- Utilising bots to respond to students which may push students to go to providers that take that time to understand their personal student journey
- Without proper training, agents don’t have the proper knowledge to handle requests which results in frustration amongst students
- Agents should be equipped with the knowledge to handle requests in an efficient, polite, and resourceful manner
- Taking too much time to set up live chat, and get it up and running
QSES’ solutions to the challenges of implementing effective live chat
- A focus in measuring what matters – tracking the conversion of students through the student journey to enrolment
- Conversion reports each semester on enrolments through live chat
Never lose a lead
- Having live chat initiated according to how students are engaging online
- Saved chat transcript that is sent to the student and captured in the QSES CRMs – enabling the lead to be nurtured through to enrolment
- Offline form so the lead isn’t lost, and students can easily leave a message
- Activity and engagement reporting, with data copied to CRMs
- Measurement of success be it by revenue, satisfaction (movement along the student journey), enrolments or profitability
- Simple set-up with short turnaround times to get your live chat up and running quickly
- A student success team that is trained to handle student requests succinctly and effectively, while providing a personalised enquiry experience
Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our live chat solution and our capability of integrating with existing platforms/systems to quickly plug in and support your existing conversion efforts.