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Finding a chat app for your student ambassadors

two women working on laptops across from each other at coffee table

Conversational marketing works for a reason: Because we trust our peers. This is especially true for those working toward making higher ed-related decisions. 

While on their higher ed journey, prospective students want to hear from current students who can help give them an insider’s look at what it’s like to study and live there. In fact, research shows found that students are increasingly turning to student reviews to inform their decision.

That’s why student ambassadors are the best way to boost recruitment and enrollment.

Because they’re living the campus experience right now and can answer any question a prospect might have, they’re your best advocates. But how do you get them in front of prospective students? With a powerful live chat app like Unibuddy.

With so many options on the market, it can be hard to choose. 

Here are 4 things to look for in a live chat app for student ambassadors

Your chat app should be built for higher-ed

There are literally hundreds of chat apps out there that enable prospective students to connect with student ambassadors, but what you really need is one built specifically for higher education. That’s because higher education is a sector unlike any other.

Prospective students have plenty on their plate, which creates a unique set of challenges and concerns – including that this is the biggest decision (and investment) that many of them have ever made.

Their decision-making process is understandably different, so they need an app tailored to their experience. 

Those behind a chat app built for higher ed know this. Additionally, they’ll know the sector well and be able to offer support tailored to it. Even the language will be specific to higher ed and feel familiar to prospective students.

Live chat should be authentic and conversational

A live chat app is a lot of things – but it’s not an inquiry management tool filled with chatbots and canned responses. Instead, it must function as a platform prospective students can trust for authentic conversations with and honest answers from current students.

The goal is to always allow a prospect to feel as though they’re picking up where they left off, even if they don’t know where to start. Thanks to Unibuddy Chat’s Question Suggestion System (QSS), it’s easy. The database includes meaningful questions about 100 topics, which means there’s always something to talk about and learn.

It needs to provide a safe environment for all users

While offering a space for authentic conversation is important, Unibuddy believes that safety is of the utmost importance. At the end of the day, all users – whether they’re prospective or current students – deserve to use a platform that provides space to be themselves without worrying about inappropriate conduct.

We’re working every day to strike a balance that allows us to encourage natural conversations while fighting misconduct, which often runs rampant on digital chat platforms.

In an effort to do so, Unibuddy Chat offers powerful moderation tools, including a thorough verification process. Proper verification allows universities to be sure that email addresses used to register belong to real users and helps to fight trolling while reminding users to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

The platform also includes the ability to flag words, block users and report inappropriate interactions. Users also must acknowledge a code of conduct that establishes behavioral expectations for all users, regardless of where in the world they live.

These efforts are working: Less than 1% of Unibuddy Chat users have reported misconduct.

A chat app should provide data to complement your current marketing efforts

Students are talking about your institution – they are sharing their experience over Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit – even TikTok! While it seems that those conversations could inform your marketing strategies, it’s nearly impossible to garner any truly useful data from those platforms.

When you take advantage of Unibuddy Chat’s Conversation Insights, learning what matters most to users is easy. This type of machine-learning technology pulls back the curtain on what matters most to users – including fears, motivations and interests. You can even filter by course, origin country and time period.

The data culled from Conversation Insights can inform your marketing strategy and further the higher ed journey at every point, from enrollment to graduation and beyond.

Gain insights from it, make sure the information is accurate, and keep your advocates and prospects safe.

Data analytics is another crucial aspect to consider. With the power of GPT/OpenAI, conversation summaries can provide quick insights into student motivations, aspirations, and their general sentiment towards your institution. This feature is not just about gathering data; it’s about understanding your prospective students deeply to improve personalization and ultimately find those who are the best fit for your institution. Visualization tools that offer various filters and drill-down options will make this process even more insightful, enabling you to slice and dice data for different analyses.

Helps scaling your student ambassador program efficiently

The right chat app for your student ambassador program should be equipped with features designed to scale your team’s efforts seamlessly. Automation in matching prospective students with the most suitable ambassadors frees your team from manual tasks, allowing them to focus on building relationships and nurturing leads. Tools that facilitate easy conversation management, message broadcasting, and tracking of ambassador time spent are vital for the efficient operation of your program. Such features ensure that your lead generation investments are maximized, as they allow you to keep track of prospects already in your pipeline and nurture them effectively.

Intuitive user experience 

Creating authentic connections between prospective and current students or alumni is also essential. The chat app should offer a feature where prospective students can self-select their matches based on their unique preferences, giving them an immediate, authentic impression of what studying at your institution would be like. Additionally, direct access to faculty and staff through the chat platform can provide students with the clarity they need for the application process and academic expectations. This not only smoothens the student journey but also boosts their confidence in choosing your institution.

All these features collectively create a holistic, efficient, and insightful chat application capable of meeting the multifaceted needs of a student ambassador program. From automation and analytics to fostering real connections and providing direct access to resources, such a platform becomes an invaluable asset in student recruitment and engagement strategies.

Why choose Unibuddy Chat

Unibuddy took all of these things – authenticity, safety, conversation and marketing – into consideration when building the Unibuddy Chat platform. 

By providing a safe space, current digital student ambassadors are free to share their stories, experiences and content with prospective students in an impactful way that drives success and enrollment rates.

Learn more about Unibuddy Chat or see our university chat app in action.

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