Whether Artificial Intelligence is a genie that needs to be kept confined in a bottle or it’s a boon that humanity should be grateful to Alan Turing for, we are way past the discussion stage. AI is a tangible reality you can’t deny the existence and importance of, whatever your views are about it.
Look around you, it’s everywhere. Right from your homes to automobiles, AI is in charge. Sometimes apparently, at others not so. From our AI-enabled personal assistants to self-driving motors, AI has automated myriad aspects of our lives.
Whilst every industry is experiencing these changes, it is only right that education followed suit. There are surveys, report that AI is going to disrupt the higher education market for student support in an unprecedented way.
Artificial Intelligence: Necessary or Accessory?
Customers across industries have grown so accustomed to on-demand, 24×7 student support that instant gratification isn’t accessory, it’s necessary. People sign up for Netflix subscriptions to stream movies instantly, they buy prime memberships on Amazon to enable quickest possible delivery, they reach out to customer service executives expecting immediate resolution of their issues. This stands true for your students also.
As you know, the business of being a student today is quite complex. There are countless processes one needs to navigate through – which classes to register for, what to major in, whether you are eligible for financial aid, if yes how to apply, what to do if you are flagged for verification, etc. When your students face challenges during any of these processes, they want instant support, and AI plays a critical role in providing that.
AI becomes all the more important when your institution’s staff are spread thin during peak times or are trying to support hundreds if not thousands of students individually. The technology ensures that they don’t lose time for their most important, high-impact touches performing tasks that can be easily automated.
Popular Use Cases of AI in Student Support
24×7 AI Chatbots: Communication with chatbots is a two-way process. They encourage the students to engage and not merely overwhelm them with information. While mobile messaging can also be used to send quick updates about approaching deadlines or upcoming events, students’ ability to engage with chatbots in real time makes the touch more personalized and ensures their counter queries are addressed.
Recommendation Engines: Recommendation Engines, one of the concepts in AI is quite popular in the retail industry and are now being deployed in the education realm also. Just like Amazon suggests the “other products you may like” and Netflix shows you content you may be interested to watch, Recommender Systems analyze historical student data and previous interactions to help a learner make informed choices like selecting a course that he/she has better chances of succeeding at.
Predictive Analytics: AI-informed predictive analytics are ushering in a new era of intelligent decision making and smart support. They can define the behavioral paths of students by sorting through historical data, past behavior and previous interactions. They predict which activities can help a student better, suggest modifications in the learning curve, and even help improve various student success and retention metrics.
It All Boils Down to Great Customer Service
Educational institutions today strive to do more with less as their goals around enrollment, retention, graduation, student success increase every year while the resources don’t. Trying to do so results in overburdened staff, increased service wait-times and eventually poor customer service. Poor customer service in turn leads to student attrition as 72% of the students leave a college or a university citing poor customer care and indifference as the primary cause.
While the reasons why colleges begin using AI vary, it all percolates down to better customer service. Institutions primarily deploy 24×7 AI chatbots or recommendation engines to deliver better customer service to their end users.
The Bottom Line is…
Knowing that they’re being listened to and supported immediately is empowering for students. It’s insignificant whether the colleges support them with their human staff or chatbots. Moreover, students prefer chatbots to their human counterparts as they are available 24×7, don’t exhibit any negative human emotions such as irritation, escalate issues without any delay, can handle multiple users simultaneously and provide great customer service!
Planning to implement AI at your institution and decrease the number of helpdesk interactions? Learn how our AI-powered Smart Chat can help.