The higher education landscape is a competitive one, with a large number of colleges and university options. You need to to engage with students one-on-one to differentiate your program and entice them to apply and then enroll.
Unfortunately, Gen Z is not a generation that waits. They are all about instant communication and rewards. If you are going to grab their attention, your website has mere seconds to get the job done.
Live chat offers the instant communication that these young people seek, driving engagement and helping your prospective students get what they are looking for. Nowadays, their time on your website has become their virtual tour of your campus, and live chat is their personal tour guide.
Back in the day, phone calls were a major college recruitment tool. Now, not so much. Gen Z isn’t interested in talking on the phone and won’t even answer -- they want text-based communication. And this isn’t a small majority; roughly 70 percent want chats over calls.
But what about email? That’s a form of text-based communication.
The problem there is that it isn’t instant. Gen Z craves rapid response in their communications. Email results in back-and-forth over days, while prospective students want questions answered and issues resolved in minutes and they crave instant gratification.
On top of that, they don’t check their email all that often. Only a little more than half of young people check their email daily, about a 25 percent drop when compared to Millennials.
If you want to engage prospective students in a way that results in applications, live chat is essential.
Much like they aren’t interested in talking on the phone, Gen Z isn’t open to touring lots of colleges to find the perfect fit. They want to be able to quickly narrow down their options with nothing more than a virtual visit, possibly traveling to see their top one or two choices in person.
Virtual tours of colleges need to offer an authentic experience that includes direct interaction with the people who best represent your university. They want and expect to have their questions answered in real-time, and knowing that someone is there ready to help quickly answer their questions when needed.
Live chat serves as the tour guide, admissions representative, and information desk representative that is often missing from the virtual college tour experience. Without integrating a personal touchpoint, you are missing out on the opportunity to directly engage and interact with prospects directly.
By now, it’s clear that if you want to convert curiosity into applications, you need live chat on your university’s website. This leaves open an important question: should you opt for chat bots or a human representative?
This doesn’t need to be an either/or proposition.
Chat bots are great for simple questions that can be answered without considering a bunch of variables, and chances are students will have plenty of these. They’re also available at any hour, making them ideal for guiding night-owl high school seniors.
However, for those more nuanced questions and to get that personalized experience Gen Z seeks, you’ll also want to have human representatives available.
Round out your virtual campus experience experience with integrated live chat.
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