Impact 1: Track recruitment efforts
The biggest impact of the bot on the admissions side has been being able to have much greater visibility of all micro-interactions prospective students are having. Through the integration of Gecko with Slate, they’re able to see which students are engaged, which students aren’t, and have a much better read of their predicted enrollment numbers.
“The integration enables us to gauge interest, so we can estimate the likelihood of students matriculating. If we see that they’re interacting with the chatbot a lot, we know that they’re definitely still interested in studying here. Understanding who’s going to matriculate and where they’re coming from is important so we can target our recruitment accordingly.”
Impact 2: Supporting the internal research community
The institution didn’t stop there and, next, they set about creating an internal chatbot. The grants research team at the institution was in the process of building an internal website for the research community when they first thought about using a chatbot. They were put in touch with Susanne, who helped them get the internal bot off the ground.
They wanted it to serve the internal research community by answering basic questions. Similar to the admissions team, they would get the same queries to the specialists in the department, but they were all simple things a bot could answer. It’s created a point of difference, helped them stand out, and has received unanimously positive feedback.
Jennifer Castanze, Senior Grants Manager told us, “Our research community has told us that the chatbot is so useful and helpful. They have a question and, boom, they can get the answer. They can also continue what they’re doing, instead of spending 30 minutes searching online for who to ask or having to search on Google.”
Nicholas Senn, Senior Grants Manager added, “In addition to the ‘tree’ of internal questions and policies we wanted to address using the chatbot, we also included external resources because we get many, many questions about the National Institute of Health policies and federal grant policies, states, and city grant policies.”
Impact 3: Using a chatbot in other initiatives
The final exciting innovation that NYU are undertaking ties into other avenues. Susanne actually has two roles at NYU, one with Vilcek and the other with Research Communications. She’s leveraging her experience of using chatbots within the grad school to feed into the communications strategy for things like large complex clinical trials.
We can’t wait to hear more about their next chatbot!