Taking into consideration how social media is a vital part of everyone’s life today, one has to be compulsorily socially active to stand out in the crowd. This is not just about the business communities but also applies very well to the education sector. As business hubs rely heavily on social media to attract their customers, so does the education sector (for whom students and parents are the real customers).
Chat is becoming topmost Communication Tool
Nowadays, universities and colleges are communicating and sharing huge information through a well-built social network. This network basically helps them connect to the current student batches, alumni and the prospects (students and parents). Apart from the campus administration (appointed for managing these platforms), students also share lots of experiences and engaging content about college activities, which helps in popularizing the respective Institute’s brand.
Before enrolling into any institute, all the prospective students and their parents do thorough research with respect to the available institute options for the particular course. Apart from the course structure, they are also interested in getting a glimpse of other elements of the institute. These elements include facilities provided, faculty resource, campus culture and placement history to mention the least. Therefore, the student managers and the administration of every institute makes sure to highlight such activities on the social media to grab the attention of those who seek. To name a few: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp are currently the most commonly and widely used social media applications.
Social Media like Facebook is crucial to interact with Prospective Students
Facebook (Fb) is undoubtedly the most powerful social media handle to carry out such activities. It provides a platform where you can showcase your business, talent, brand, or institute on a wide scale. Educational institutes are making use of this handle very aggressively. They have not only created dedicated pages for the institutes but have also formed Facebook communities, which comprises the board, faculty, current students and the alumni. The basic funda behind this is to allow transparent and open discussions among all members of the institute. The community members make sure to update and upload any or all the current & upcoming events related to their institute.
In addition to forming communities and uploading relevant content, another powerful medium to connect to the outer world is through Facebook chat. The institutes usually appoint a dedicated team to handle this tool. These teams often constitute those members who are good at carrying and dispensing institute related information and are experts at handling ad-hoc queries and issues.
Here is how you can use Facebook chats to increase your institute’s visibility.
- Allow all the new queries to be directed to the chat. Prospects usually have a lot of questions in mind and answering these can sometimes be quite a task. A chat would be a more convenient way, considering it is not always possible for the prospects to visit the institute.
- Provide access to the current students to contact you via chat, allowing a 24/7 connectivity for any issues or emergencies. Availability of such a responsive facility within an institute assures the students and parents about the safety concerns.
- Although students can openly discuss and debate by posting content on the Fb community page, Fb chat allows them to anonymously report any mishaps and wrong conduct in and around the campus.
- It is the most efficient and convenient way to share information bulletins, admission brochures and forms with the online prospects.
- Spread helpful resources to the students, alumni and prospects by offering career advice and planning.
- Providing a 24/7 live chat service is a powerful tool to ensure customer delight as it cuts down the hassles of waiting time and long queues to get one’s query resolved.
But in today’s rapidly advancing market scenario, we have yet another tool which is much more powerful as compared to the Facebook chat handle. These are called Chatbots! Unlike a chatbox, where two individuals can share and discuss things, a chatbot is an automated system programmed to interact with the customers.
A Chatbot is a personal messenger-like app which you can place on Facebook, Instagram or even on your website. It is like a virtual system designed to interact with your customers and prospects. With proper programming and designing, you can feed the system with all the information relevant to your business. The system is capable of handling queries from your customers and providing prompt solutions for the same.
Researchers state that about 70% of Internet users today use one or more messenger apps. With messaging on the rise, chats have become the most dominant communication option. Needless to say,now a days all of us are so socially active that we don’t mind multi-tasking and are thus connected to social media almost throughout the day. So reaching out to the customer through messengers is a great option as this is where you would find your customer most of the times.
Educational institutes can consider using chatbots to provide a superior experience to the prospects. Such an application or platform would definitely work wonders during the admission process when the customer traffic is usually high and demanding. And because Facebook is one such social media platform where you can find all ofyour current customers and prospects, incorporating a Facebook chatbot is the most beneficial investment you can make.
What would the Facebook chatbot offer you?
- A 24*7 personal assistant that doesn’t needs manual presence.
- It is budget friendly as you can cut down on manpower and other fixed assets.
- It helps in maintaining a constant touch and building relationship with old and new customers. It will attend to queries of the new customers and keep updating the existing customer base on latest changes/announcements by sending them reminders.
- It can hold multiple conversations simultaneously, which is impossible to achieve humanly. While humans can hardly manage up to 3-4 customers at a time(and that too with great difficulty and undivided attention), a chatbot can attend to thousands of queries instantly and simultaneously without any difficulty and confusions.
- It can work on the same tasks repeatedly. People do get tired and frustrated when asked to work on the same task again and again. But a chatbot will be happy to do it for you. Prospects usually have a tendency to ask the same questions repeatedly to clarify their doubts. A chatbot is the best option to attend such tasks.
- A chatbot will always store and memorize an older conversation held with you. Whenever it is interacting with a customer, it will save all the necessary client information for future reference. This information can be used to do customer analysis when you are forming new business strategies.
- A chatbot is usually designed to be a very polite and systematic query solver. Humans do tend to lose patience depending on the behavior of the customer being handled. But a chatbot remains unaffected, as it cannot produce the unnecessary and unavoidable emotional human response.
- A full-fledged, highly interactive chatbot can lead to customer delight and therefore help you convert many prospects into partners.
Hence, it is highly advisable for the educational institutes to join in the ever-growing market scenario and make use of such tools for the best outcomes. Of course, if an institute develops a chatbot system for its students and prospects, it will have to advertise and promote it first through all the available social media platforms. Visibility of a chatbot on your online space will attract more customers as it guarantees to provide answers to all that the customer wishes to inquire about.
An efficient system will help your institute manage a lot of admission related tasks and otherwise day-to-day operations with great ease. Program your chatbot to send important notifications, brochure release dates, admission process details etc. to the relevant communities so as to maximize its advantage.
With the technology growing so fast, we do need to keep up with the pace of advancement so as to be in the game. We are not unaware of how AI, NLP and Machine Learning is taking the world to new horizons. Systems are becoming powerful and unbeatable by incorporating these into their mechanisms. Hence, it is advisable that we acknowledge these platforms/ applications and make use of them to compete in our respective fields