Chatbots

Installing a conversational AI chatbot on your website will boost conversion rates

The question shouldn’t be “Does a conversational AI chatbot provide better conversion?” It should be “How can I further drive my chatbot to convert website visitors into prospects?”

Since 2019, users are more inclined to engage with chatbots for a variety of reasons, including ‘getting a quick answer in an emergency,’ ‘resolving a complaint or a question,’ and ‘getting detailed answers.’ As a consequence, the conversational AI chatbot has seen a 92% use increase in the past 2 years, making it a brand communication channel with the largest growth we’ve seen.

Over 58% of B2B companies and 42% of B2C organizations now have chatbots on their websites. But where does your institution fit in? Will the increased conversation rates seen in other organizations also work for you? And how can you use chatbots to better nurture your leads and prospects? Let’s find out!

What is a chatbot and how does it work?

A chatbot is essentially a conversational element on your website that engages with your customers, answers their queries, and resolves their complaints in real-time.

This chatty computer program, whose task is to get back to your customers on your behalf, is available 24x7 to answer queries.

Person talking to a chatbot
Conversational AI chatbots scour through a huge database of their previous conversations and exponentially increase the accuracy with they answer questions.
How does a chatbot work?

You will find several tools and chatbot services available online, offering to build a chatbot for your website. Each of these programs may be structured differently at the atomic level, but the overall idea remains the same-

  1. The first task of a chatbot is to understand a users ‘Intent’ - what they’re looking for. This involves processing the question entered by the user and processing it using a combination of Pattern Matching, Natural Language Understanding, and Natural Language Processing.
  2. Once the user’s objective has been identified, the chatbot simply gives a call to the relevant response and returns it to the user as an answer.
  3. Since all these activities are divided into 3 layers - the user layer, the database layer (phrases that the chatbot matches user questions with), and the API call layer (to return the answer) - users find it very easy to interact with the bot.

At first, your conversations with a chatbot might seem basic. But it uses AI and ML to train itself from its previous conversations. With time, its performance improves drastically, making it seem like a normal human interaction.

Side note: 48% of people care more about a chatbot being able to solve their issues over it having a personality

Rule-based chatbot vs Conversational AI chatbot

Different chatbots are programmed differently for the task of answering user queries. But since they are programs, the efficiency with which they produce results varies based on the logic used to create them.

Rule-based chatbot

Rule-based chatbots are created using well-defined flow charts to map out possible conversations. These flow charts estimate what kinds of questions the user might ask, and work on a complicated set of conditions to find the answer.

Rule-based chatbot
Rule-based chatbots are built for accuracy.

As a result, they only know the answer to a certain set of predefined questions. But this does mean that when they do provide the user with an answer, it will be 100% accurate.

Conversational AI chatbot

AI-based chatbots, on the other hand, use Machine Learning to understand a user’s intent, figure out the context, and get back with an appropriate answer.

They train themselves with each conversation and learn to interpret the context better, improving their response drastically with time. This also makes a chatbot’s response seem more natural.

However, as a result of how an AI chatbot trains itself, it might happen sometimes that the answers it gives are entirely irrelevant to the question asked by the user.

Chatbots in the education industry

According to a recent survey, Education falls among the top 5 industries profiting from the incorporation of chatbots, ranking 3rd at 14%.

Another study by Mobile Marketer states that ‘40% of millennials claim to engage with chatbots on daily basis.’

A report by IBM says ‘Chatbots can help businesses save up to 30% on their customer support costs.’

This makes it stark clear that chatbots have immense potential to offer enrollment and engagement growth to educational institutions and organizations.

But what about the conversion rate?

To start with, Matthew Barbey conducted reported in one of their studies that on the higher end of the spectrum, better bot experiences can result in 80-90% response rates. Whereas on the low end, low engagement bots see 35-40% response rates.

Additionally, a survey conducted in February 2021 looked at the chatbot rates of 400 client organizations and found that they noted a 10-100% increase in their conversion rates, depending on their industry and offerings (keep in mind that Education falls at #3).

Why installing a chatbot on your institution’s website is a great idea

A conversational AI chatbot helps you reduce your costs and provide answers to students’ queries. But there’s a lot more to them than that-

  1. Lightning-fast responses: At a time when millennials and Gen Y want answers to their queries within seconds, chatbots come in handy to keep them engaged so that your brand stays fresh in their minds.
  2. 24x7 support: It is always good to have a support service you can always go to, especially in these tough times, when students are struggling to get past the horrors of the past year and to a safer and more interactive space.
  3. Simplify enrollment: Chatbots can be provided with a set database of all the questions prospective students ask you every year. Once they learn how to answer these queries around your courses, admissions, campus facilities, scholarships, etc., they can nurture your leads in a much faster and more effective manner.
  4. Free up your staff to take up important things: A chatbot, like the one Georgia Tech is using as a Teaching Assistant, can be trained to answer student queries around a particular subject, allowing more free time for professors and their human Teaching Assistants to focus on more important tasks.
  5. How your university can use chatbots
    40% of millennials claim to engage with chatbots on a daily basis.
  6. Analyze student data to provide personalized answers: Chatbots are a great way to not only provide services to students but to also understand what they’re looking for by studying their conversation flows. This would help you improve your conversations with the students by making things more personalized. You could use your analysis to even change the flow of your bot’s conversation with a prospective student.

In these and many other ways, chatbots offer unique benefits to institutions and organizations in the education industry.

And since there’s no downside to installing one on your website (yes, that’s what our research says), it’s about you tried it out.

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