Another thing to consider is volume. This is something that’s particularly relevant when using calls for high-traffic events, such as Clearing. There are only so many calls you can take at one time, and that more than likely means prospective students may get stuck on hold. Diversifying your platforms means that you can get to students quicker, answer their questions faster, and make them an offer while the competition still has them on hold.
Finally,City, University of London, recently switched from phone calls to using a Gecko chatbot during their Clearing process. Dominic Davis, Head of Admissions, explained more…
“In 2019 our Clearing strategy was very much around, ‘Here’s our telephone number, call us.’ However, in 2020, we were one of four universities in the UK that didn’t have a phone number to call during Clearing. We didn’t feel we needed it because we had a triage system with the AI form, the Gecko chatbot, and online sessions.
“We felt prospective students didn’t need to call us because there were other, better, methods of communication – and because we can’t manage 8,000 people calling at the same time. We were much more effective in the handling of our inquiries than before we had that system in place, and the Gecko chatbot is absolutely part of that success.”