Brunel university case study

Streamlining the clearing process with chatbots

Campaign: Chatbots and voice applications, Content and experience management

Every year, universities support prospective students through the clearing process. It’s becoming ever more important, as the number of applicants being accepted onto courses through clearing continues to climb year on year. In 2019, a record 73,000 students were accepted through clearing.

Due to its rising popularity, Brunel University – one of London’s most popular institutions of higher learning – recognised an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the clearing process and give future generations of students a much smoother experience.

 

High quality, 24/7 support

Brunel University teamed up 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. A lot hinged on this project, largely because the technology we configured was set to directly impact the futures of thousands of students.

Our client decided that chatbots were the best route. They held the potential to maintain fast, efficient information service with consistent availability. Implementing automation could also help take the stress and repetition out of admissions, as traditional clearing processes often see applicants ask the same questions over and over in the beginning.

 

Including purpose-built components

Our team designed and built a custom chatbot for Brunel 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 key 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 cater to users which rely on making choices from these lists.

 

The Brunella clearing chatbot demo

 

Receiving offers in record times

With our chatbot, Brunel University can now understand and categorise the most specific of queries and answers relating to admissions, customising the conversation to each and every user.

It’s underpinned by the OpenDialog platform, which allows for a thorough and flexible conversational interface that also meets the rigorous security standards of a university like Brunel.

Once prospective students engage with our chatbot, overcoming 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 can now enjoy significantly more advice and detailed information about the course they’re considering.

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