Amarillo College realised that they needed something to change at their institution a couple of years ago. They’d introduced live chat (with a third party) on their website to enable them to be more available to students, but it wasn’t actually solving any problems for them. Maria explains…
“It was the same team covering our front counters, walk-in traffic, phone traffic and live chat traffic. When other channels got busy, so did the live chat. We only had a handful of licenses so we were trading licences and having to log out so other team members could log in. Doing this in the middle of busy periods was completely unmanageable.”
Another challenge Amarillo was facing was tied to the student experience. One of the things they’d noticed, especially with new incoming students at the school, is that they don’t like asking questions they’re uncomfortable with.
“They’ll say, ‘I know this is a stupid question, but…’ And, of course, they never are stupid questions. There aren’t any dumb questions when you’re a newcomer to higher education, but students sometimes feel and see it that way.”
“I thought, maybe we could help their comfort levels if they could ask that question and get their answer without having to admit to a person, OK, I need to ask a dumb question. There could be a big benefit to taking the information to them where they are.
“We know that this demographic loves technology and they’re really comfortable with using it, so we thought that a chatbot could work well for both staff and students.”