Juji an Artificial Intelligence (AI) company that specializes in powering cognitive AI assistants in the form of chatbots,released a case study, highlighting how a Juji AI chatbot helped the University of Illinois online MBA program (iMBA) to scale out student recruitment.

“A chatbot solution could help us automate certain operations so we can meet increasing student demands while keeping our staff happy.”

“We have a handful of recruitment staff members who need to answer tens of thousands of questions from prospective students in addition to their other responsibilities such as advising students,” said Brooke Elliott, the Associate Dean of the College. “A chatbot solution could help us automate certain operations so we can meet increasing student demands while keeping our staff happy."

The Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Myranda Crist, led the team in designing and implementing an AI chatbot, called Alma, which sits on the iMBA’s main web page and performs three tasks:

  1. Answer prospective students' free-text questions about the program
  2. Elicit prospects' information for follow up
  3. Inform prospects the key information about the program

The team used Juji Studio, a no-code AI chatbot builder, to customize the main chat flow of Alma based on one of Juji AI Assistant templates–the AI Program Assistant template with a pre-built chat flow and a set of program-specific FAQs to complete all three tasks. Alma was created and deployed in a couple of weeks with no IT resources involved. After Alma went live, Juji automatically captured unanswered user questions, enabling the team to rapidly update Alma without interrupting Alma's ongoing conversations with prospective students.

The study showed that among the prospective students who interacted with Alma,11.9% applied for the program, while only 6.9% of prospects who didn't chat with Alma applied for the program. Combining Myranda and team's teaching and Alma's continuous learning capabilities, Alma has also answered over 99.5% of student questions.

“Universities and their recruiting staff are overwhelmed by the volume of student inquiries, stretching resources thin,” said Michelle Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Juji. “Since human-driven conversations are hard to scale, organizations like University of Illinois are enlisting the help of no-code conversational AI to rapidly set up, deploy and manage chatbots that can streamline operations and scale out recruitment efforts to keep both prospective students and recruitment staff happy.”

"We love Alma,” noted Myranda. “It’s created another way for prospects to connect with us and receive quick answers. Alma has helped inform us of areas in our process that may not be as clear as we would like, and we’ve been able to address that. Another added benefit is that our current students also utilize Alma for answers, something we did not expect!"