Our partnership with ivy.ai has helped us engage with students in a variety of ways that were not readily available in the past. ivy.ai has helped shape the way we interact with and support our students.
Torey brignolo, Manager, contact center operations, Broward college
Identifying the Need
Broward College is a large institution that supports more than 65,000 students. With an average student age of 24, a considerable portion of the student population is between 24 – 30 years old. Within the student population, 80% of students are part-time, and 46 percent are first-generation students.
First-generation students present unique challenges to institutions of higher ed, requiring additional support as they navigate the student journey. They want to take full advantage of the college experience, but may not always know how to integrate themselves. In Broward’s case, this resulted in thousands of students calling to ask simple questions, and many becoming frustrated by long hold times.
In 2018, Broward sought a strategy to improve their contact center through better intelligence while reducing expenses for outsourced staff. The institution wanted to collect insights on what students were asking so they could provide better customer service.
Prior to discovering ivy.ai, Broward worked with an outsourced contact center to help drive away incidence costs. This contact center offered a live chat option but often charged overage fees due to the volume of students utilizing this feature. Broward felt a need to mitigate incidence costs while also helping students get immediate answers.
Throughout Broward’s implementation, the institution had specific, solutions-oriented goals they wanted to achieve towards their current challenges. Broward wanted to reduce overall expenses and maximize efficiencies. The institution prides itself on being a lean operation, so any way they could reduce outsourced expenses is considered an added bonus.
They also wanted the ability to improve their marketing with data-driven decision-making. Uncovering rich data insights would allow them to improve outreach towards current and prospective students while breaking down current enrollment barriers.
From a student perspective, Broward sought the ability to address tier one questions. The institution wanted to help students get immediate answers without having to spend much effort searching for them. To accomplish this objective, they added ivy.ai’s chatbot and live chat to the admissions counseling and financial aid departments.
Broward implemented ivy.ai’s chatbot in October of 2020 and has achieved astonishing results since that time. The platform enabled the institution to provide better Tier-1 support while reducing the administrative burden.
Broward dramatically reduced the number of inbound calls that came through due to the implementation of SMS-guided flows. These flows helped students become more aware of upcoming deadlines and offered appropriate follow-up when requested. Most notably, tuition payment reminders led to a 17.05% response rate with students feeling like they’re talking to a real person.
The chatbot helped deflect live agent call volume by 9.6% of all incidents – a whopping 30,041 calls. Broward estimates that this led to a cost savings of $210,287 as the bot successfully deflected live agent call incidents.
Broward’s bot also deflected live agent chat conversations by handling 60,842 inquiries during the college’s first fiscal year. This led to Broward saving $304,210 in outsourced live chat incidence costs.
Faculty and staff alike have given an overall positive impression. They enjoy the fact that all students can get equal access to information and that ivy.ai’s multi-language capabilities allow non-native English speakers to converse with the bot in the language of their choice.
By using ivy.ai’s platform, Broward can pick up gaps in their communication and help figure out when and where students need to be reminded. In addition to substantial cost savings, the college can allocate resources for high-priority inquiries while students get a 24/7/365 resource for all populations. With the help of chatbot ratings and reviews, the college can better improve the bot’s brain and ensure it has the most up-to-date information possible while escalating high-priority issues. This ensures that Broward is always working within a student-first mindset.
As a forward-thinking institution, Broward always looks for ways to improve. One of the biggest goals Broward hopes to achieve moving forward is to get the AI to the point where it anticipates future student needs while improving its messaging consistency. The college looks forward to increased adoption so the bot continues getting smarter as Broward streamlines its student-facing communication.