Conversica Launches Industry’s First AI-Powered Admissions Assistant for Higher Education
FOSTER CITY, Calif., Oct. 5, 2018 — Conversica, a leader in conversational AI for business, has added an Admissions Assistant for higher education to the company’s portfolio of virtual assistants powered by conversational AI. The new assistant enables busy admissions teams to engage prospective students in a personal yet automated way, at scale. Today’s prospective students are busier than ever and need gently persistent yet highly personalized outreach, and Conversica’s AI Assistants are designed to provide it.
“Admissions departments at educational institutions have limited resources to deliver the kind of high-quality, personalized experience needed to attract new students. Further complicating the recruitment challenge is that students are difficult to reach, and most are contacting multiple institutions,” explained Alex Terry, CEO of Conversica. “Our industry-leading AI Assistants help thousands of companies across a dozen industries to more effectively engage their leads, and we are excited to deepen our commitment to the education industry.”
Early Admissions Assistant adopters are reporting impressive results. “We ‘hired’ an AI Admissions Assistant to re-engage applicants who had become unresponsive,” said Alessandra Klee, Associate Director of Database Marketing at Pearson North America. “Our assistant began autonomous outreach to leads that we had engaged on behalf of more than 15 universities but had been unresponsive for six months or longer. These efforts resulted in a 26 percent increase in engagement rate and a 35 percent increase in conversion rate, which far exceeded our expectations.”
At the LeadsCon Connect to Convert conference, taking place this week in Boston, Klee will be presenting Pearson’s use of the Admissions Assistant in higher education at a session on the “3 Top Secrets to Empowering Your Hard-Earned Leads to Become Your Money-Paying Customers.” Conference attendees can learn more by visiting Conversica at booth 323 in the exhibit hall or by attending a webinar on October 30 featuring Pearson’s Klee speaking on the same topic.
Schools Failing to Respond Effectively to Inquiries
Conversica’s most recent research on inquiry follow-up in higher education, documented in the Sales Effectiveness Report in Education, revealed that 27 percent of schools contacted did not respond at all — not a single email or phone call — to the prospective student. Additionally:
- 37 percent of educational institutions made only one or two attempts to contact a lead
- Admissions departments had an average first response time of 38 hours, compared to the 24-hour average response time of other industries
- 8 percent of schools took longer than one week to respond to prospective students
To address these follow-up challenges, Conversica provides AI Assistants that automate the lead follow-up process and engage every prospective student in a two-way, human-like conversation. With a response rate often three to five times higher than marketing or sales emails, Conversica’s assistants significantly increase the number of quality conversations with prospective students and reduce the time the admissions department has to spend following up.
Using the Conversica AI Admissions Assistant, admissions departments can:
- Follow up with high-quality interested students and accelerate the best to a human enrollment counselor. Making a personal connection to advance each lead is expensive. With Conversica, institutions can more easily master “digital efficiency.”
- Re-engage potential students and inactive applicants. Students – especially non-traditional students – drop out of the funnel for all kinds of reasons. Institutions using Conversica engage them personally and at scale, automating the outreach that admissions staffers don’t have time for.
- Be more effective at cross-selling. With thousands of programs available, students may not know their best fit. The Conversica solution uses the right cues to intelligently suggest other opportunities.
- Drive attendance to recruiting events. Potential students are hard to reach and busy with other priorities. Conversica Admissions Assistants reach out to enroll students for events and remind them to attend.
Another organization seeing impressive results is The Los Angeles Film School. “We were looking for a way to have more persistent —and consistent — conversations with prospective students,” said James Winstead, Vice President of Marketing at The Los Angeles Film School. “Stephanie, our AI Assistant, does her magic and finds even more who want to engage, which are fully attributed to Conversica. We’re also using the AI in our retention efforts, allowing for constant communication with our students even after graduation, which helps promote ongoing brand advocacy.”
Available now, the Admissions Assistant communicates over multiple communication channels, interacts in multiple languages, and integrates with the leading CRM and marketing automation systems, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua.
Conversica is a leader in conversational AI for business and the only provider of AI-driven lead engagement software for marketing and sales organizations. The flagship Conversica AI Sales Assistant helps companies find and secure customers more quickly and efficiently by automatically contacting, engaging, qualifying and following up with leads via natural, two-way conversations. Used by more than 1,000 companies worldwide, Conversica’s sales assistants are built on a proven and patented AI platform integrating natural language processing (NLP), natural language generation (NLG), and machine learning (ML) capabilities and engage prospects over multiple communication channels and in multiple languages. Recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Conversica is a portfolio company of Providence Equity, Kennet Partners and Toba Capital and is headquartered in Foster City, Calif.