Robeson Community College

Robeson Community College launches new website chatbot

If you have visited the website, you may have noticed something a little different.

Robeson Community College has launched a new chatbot service, which will assist prospective and current students with information about the admissions process, registration, financial aid, and other common topics. The service has been implemented as a way to increase engagement between students and staff, increase enrollment, and increase retention rates of students.

The chatbot shows up automatically in the bottom right corner of the website when you visit. It can be seen on the homepage, as well as the admissions, financial aid, counseling, and business services webpages.

“The chatbot from Ocelot, is designed to improve customer service, save time, and increase access, by utilizing artificial intelligence from a database of frequently asked questions, essentially providing students with information in real-time, whether they are on the RCC website at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon or 2:00 a.m. in the morning,” said Dr. Patrena Benton Elliott, vice president of instruction and student support services at RCC. “The chatbot is available to students 24/7 anywhere, anytime, on any device.” 

In addition, the services from Ocelot will also allow for faculty and staff to chat with students, as well as to send text messages.

“Staff will be able to do campaigns for events and outreach,” said Phyllis Locklear, coordinator of the FAPSS (First American Pathways to STEM success) grant. “This is going to be a great tool and resource in being able to communicate with our students about financial aid and payment deadlines, for example, and other important information related to academic success.”

The texting campaigns from Ocelot have been shown to have a 98% open rate, meaning students read the information they are sent, therefore delivering a more efficient, impactful way for the college to engage with students, allowing them to successfully navigate the everyday complexities of college life.

“It ultimately came down to student success,” said Dr. Elliott. “This tool can help assist our current campus community as well as external constituents and prospective students. Students are getting the information they need, and our staff will be able to be more strategic in how they reach our students. It’s really a win-win for RCC and our students.”