Supporting the clearing process with chatbots for Brunel University
Brunel University – one of London’s most popular institutions of higher learning – spotted an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the clearing process, so that future generations of students receive a much smoother experience.
Brunel University worked with Manifesto to create a platform which could provide prospective students with 24/7 advice, whilst also maintaining a high-level of understanding and intuitiveness.
Brunel decided that chatbots were the best route. They held the potential to maintain fast, efficient information service, available 24/7. Implementing automation would take the stress and repetition out of admissions, as traditional clearing processes often see applicants initially ask the same questions.
The team at Manifesto designed and built a custom chatbot for the university. That way, prospective students could be guided with the correct first-stage questions, covering what their grades are and the course they want to apply for.
One of the instrumental challenges we solved was how to effectively present long-form lists – a given, considering there are thousands of courses for students to choose from. We did this by designing a fine-tuned conversational interface with purpose-built components which could allow users to make choices from these lists.
Receiving offers in record times
Using their new clearing chatbot, Brunel University have better user insight to understand and categorise the most specific of queries and answers relating to admissions, customising the conversation to each and every user.
The chatbot is underpinned by the OpenDialog platform. This platform allows for a thorough and flexible conversational interface that also meets the rigorous security standards of a university.
Once prospective students engage with the chatbot, by answering the straight-forward, initial questions, they’re far better placed to be connected with a human admissions officer.
By significantly reducing the time between first contact and offers being made, students going through Brunel University’s clearing process now enjoy significantly more advice and detailed information about the course they’re considering.