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Supporting Students Remotely?

Peter, Chirp, Bradley, Obi, and Monty are Ready to Assist

I’m frequently asked to give an introduction to our bots. That usually means that I end up sharing links to schools like UC Irvine, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Lamar University, Bradley University, University of Birmingham,  London Metropolitan University and Eastern Oregon University. And with a few clicks or taps, our chatbots start a conversation that usually lasts a few minutes.

What is it that makes our chatbots amazing?

The bots have a personality that is as unique as each school with names usually derived from popular school mascots: Peter, Murray, Chirp, Obi, Pearl, Monty, Bradley, Mo, and more. Some of our chatbots can tell jokes, tell you about the weather, and even make recommendations about what to watch on Netflix!

Included within our chat platform, live chat with a person can easily be scaled across an entire institution. Live chat is a wonderful option for schools that want to have staff answering questions during the workday and then the chatbot takes over after-hours. In other words, digital engagement through chat, never takes a break and is always ready to start a conversation about a variety of topics.

GeckoEngage chatbots provide answers, support, and resources in many areas in higher education, including: enrollment management / admissions / recruitment, academic advising, IT help desk / tech support, career services, counseling / wellness, financial aid, international student support, student affairs / student services, residence life, dining services, registrars, and campus communications / marketing.

An Always Learning Artificial Intelligence (A.I)

All of our chatbots are powered by IBM Watson (that’s right, the same technology that defeated Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!) and get smarter and smarter, each time new questions come in that have never before been answered. Don’t worry if people have the occasional typo as Watson is perfectly capable of deciphering most questions. I’ve tried to ‘beat the bot’ in countless ways and I’m always a bit in awe when it comes back with an answer.

While our chatbots are really smart, sometimes they just can’t answer a question. Most of the time this is because our chatbots will only answer a question if they can match up an answer with a certain degree of confidence (a setting that we fine-tune for our clients). When this happens, an opportunity for training the bot (making it smarter) is created in our backend platform.

I’ve found that training the bot can be quite satisfying as you know that each time its trained, it gets better at engaging with countless new questions that might come about from students, staff, faculty, parents & families, or anyone who might have a question about something at your school.

Many Conversations in Many Places

Because people want to engage with your institution on a variety of places, we’ve made it easy for our chatbots to work within your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and SMS text message.

However, our chatbots aren’t just sitting there waiting for you to ask them a question. Through our proactive nudging functionality, you can easily send out bulk messages on either email (with a link back to the chatbot) or SMS text messaging and have the bot be ready to answer thousands of questions at a time as they come in.

Our chatbots are virtual assistants that act as if they are members of staff that always answers consistently, clearly and with confidence.