28 October 2020
Why 350+ universities choose Unibuddy

You know that peer to peer is an effective recruitment tool

The vast majority of prospective students want to speak to someone who has been there, done that – to gain reassurance and real information. More than 350 universities trust Unibuddy to facilitate those connections. 

But why do they? 

You may be facilitating connections through LinkedIn, through email – or even just allowing them to happen organically. Any way that prospective students can connect with current students is a great initiative, but we believe that by using Unibuddy you can improve the experience, make it work for your institution and – above all – generate a measurable increase in yield. 

Here’s why.

Prospective students prefer it

The most common form of peer-to-peer we see is an online matchmaking service, where a student fills out a form, you receive it and process it, and then connect them with a relevant student via email. 

There are a lot of advantages to working in this way: it’s quick to set-up, there’s no cost associated and it doesn’t require web development. 

But there’s also disadvantages. It can’t scale – you might be able to individually deal with a handful of enquiries, but you won’t be able to promote your buddy scheme too widely at risk of being overwhelmed. 

But more than that, it isn’t a good student experience. Gen Z like chat over email, they value speed, and they want personal choice. In the matchmaking set-up, they don’t get any of those things. 

Unibuddy has been designed for your prospective students. They choose the student they want to connect with. They can instantly send a message, and get a reply within 24 hours – and it’s a chat set up that integrates with WhatsApp and SMS – so they’ll be used to it. 

Your current students will prefer it

If you are currently connecting prospective students with current students and alumni using social media or email, this might not be the best experience for those students receiving the messages. 

For a start, it’s all taking place on their personal social media – so messages from future students are mixed in with their personal conversations. If they’re on LinkedIn.

Not only that, but you have no oversight into how many students are messaging. One of your ambassadors could be overwhelmed with messages, or ignoring them – and you wouldn’t know.

With Unibuddy, you get this oversight – it allows you to support your students who are fielding these enquiries, and make sure every prospective student and applicant gets a full response.

The other benefit of this oversight is…

Unibuddy is safer

Safety and information security are at the core of our product and we have several features in place to ensure everyone that uses the platform feels safe. 

The platform is fully GDPR-compliant, so you can be sure that data is secure and collected properly, wherever your prospective student is from.

We have a whole range of safety and moderation features that allow you to ensure conversations are appropriate and intervene if a student ambassador finds themselves in an uncomfortable situation. On social media, your current students are left to fend for themselves.

Gather data from the conversations

Of all those conversations taking place about your school on LinkedIn, or Instagram, or over email – how much do you know about what is being said? 

Unless the student ambassador forwards you the emails, or keeps you cc’d (in which case the prospective student may not feel comfortable in their chat), you won’t be able to learn what that prospective student was worried about. 

Social listening tools are becoming an increasingly popular way to get a perspective on what people are saying about a brand or company, but it only shows us what they are saying publicly.

Unibuddy’s Conversational Insights tool is a first-of-its-kind, AI-powered tool that allows you to get to the heart of what your prospective students care about.

Collect leads, sync with your CRM – measure yield

Above all, you know peer to peer works but how can you prove it? 

With Unibuddy, the solution is through our dashboard. It shows you where your leads are coming from, how much of your traffic is converting, what students are chatting about and for how long. Then, you can connect Unibuddy up with your CRM using Zapier to track the impact Unibuddy is having on your yield and conversion. 

You’ll find that it has a huge impact. Prospective students that chatted with an ambassador at Queen Mary University were 34.8% more likely to enrol than those that didn’t have a conversation. At Bentley University, 63% of admitted students that chatted went on to enroll at the institution.

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