Attention college administrators. You labor day in and day out on behalf of your students.
Think for a moment about what first drew you to work in higher education.
Did it have something to do with helping students? If not, was it simply that you needed a job?
Regardless of how you came to work in higher education – be it in Admissions, IT, Financial Aid, Career Services – we bet that you appreciate the “mission driven” element of working with students.
We hear from administrators all the time that routine and repetitive tasks often get in their way of truly maximizing their time helping students, especially those who need extra support. We believe we have a solution to this problem.
Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a day in which you were freed from repetitive tasks and could focus your time and energy so that you could truly make the impact you want to make.
Imagine being supported in your job by “Ozzie” (swap in your school mascot or other meaningful name). Ozzie is an AI-powered communication platform that can drive personalized conversations 24/7 with students and parents.
Here is how your day could unfold, and how your students could be supported.
You wake up. It was not your best night sleep, but not horrible. While you were asleep, Ozzie was hard at work assisting students throughout the night including answering questions on things like the FAFSA and providing updates on refund statuses. Another student needed to reset her password, and was guided to resolution without having to bother anyone on the IT staff. Finally, there were some potential students asking questions around deadlines, majors and average aid awards. Those “stealth shoppers” were provided timely answers. One agreed to take a call from an admissions officer and provided their phone number and email. Nice!
6:00 am – 7:30 am.
You wonder how Ozzie did last night, but you know there is no rush and you can check later after you exercise, take a shower, grab some breakfast and get ready to start work. You recall that the day before, when you checked Ozzie’s metrics, you were pumped to learn that 80 students had interacted the night before with Ozzie. You think to yourself, “Today is going to be a good one.” Meanwhile, Ozzie keeps chugging along, helping another student reset their password (IT loves Ozzie!).
7:30 am – 9:00 am.
As staff begin their day, either in the office or remotely, some of them log in as available for Live Chat assistance. Ozzie loves this. When Ozzie gets stumped or a student asks for help from a human, Ozzie connects the student via Live Chat to an agent. One encounter is particularly interesting:
Student: “I received an email about my SAP status. Last week, I met with a financial aid counselor who told me I need to get my grades up or I would get a warning. Can someone help me?”
Ozzie: “I do better with a specific question. If you prefer, I can see if a staff member is available to speak with you. Would you like to speak with a human?”
Ozzie: “Great. We have staff available in the following areas:
Please select the one that you would like.”
Student: ‘Financial Aid.”
Ozzie: “Wonderful. Please standby.”
George: “Hello. I am George, and a counselor in the financial aid office. How can I help you?”
From there, you observe that George and the student have a constructive conversation. They even took advantage of the built-in Zoom feature to have a quick video meeting. The recording is preserved in the cloud for future reference if either George or the student need to pick up the discussion again in the future.
9:00 am – 11:00 am.
You finally get around to checking how Ozzie did last night. Turns out Ozzie had 120 conversations! 50% more than the night before. You also notice that Ozzie answered 115 (96%) of the questions, and routed 5 to your staff for a response this morning. Staff is already reaching out to those students to assist them.
Interestingly, you realize that the deadline for completing paperwork for the Registrar’s office is in a few days and wonder whether that’s what is driving the activity. You poke around in Ozzie’s administrator console. Indeed, there was a spike in questions relating to the paperwork. You note that students were confused by question #3 on the form. You add a reminder to your calendar to revisit that question before the form goes out again next semester.
11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Your day is going well. Not stress free. Not drama free. But fulfilling. You are spending time on the projects that help students and your institution the most. Ozzie does not take a lunch break. Ozzie keeps pushing along.
1:00 pm – 4:59 pm.
Meanwhile, Ozzie initiates an SMS text campaign to a subset of students who are late on bill payment. Ozzie lets all text recipients know that if they have any questions, they can respond via text, and Ozzie will answer or guide them to helpful resources.
You wrap up your day around 5pm. Students were well-served today. Staff was able to reflect a bit: where are we succeeding when it comes to student support? Where is the opportunity to get better? It’s energizing to think about the ways we can keep improving the student experience.
5:00 pm – 4:59 am.
These hours are sometimes referred to as the “Third Shift.” Students have questions, but the office is closed. Ozzie is still pumped and energized at this hour to serve students. The answers Ozzie provides in conversing with students are as consistent, energetic and informative as the ones provided earlier that morning at 9am.
As the evening proceeds, you are laying down to sleep at some point during the Third Shift…comfortable in the knowledge that your students are being helped even though you and your staff are taking a break. And, should Ozzie not be able to assist a student to resolution, Ozzie will pass along the transcript of the conversation to your team for resolution in the morning, after everyone gets a solid or better night’s sleep of course!