The Lab

experiment to learn

Labs are usually pretty cool places.  They are spaces where there are no mistakes, no rules, no formulas, just the drive to create something new that solves a particular problem.

Our lab is no different.

We’ve built this area to share our findings on the things we are currently experimenting with.  New ways for schools to connect with their prospective families.  Ways to make marketing automation more human.  Ideas around how to help your school tell their story in a more engaging way. 

When our experiments are ready to rock, we move them over to the services area and offer them to our clients.  So check back here to see what the latest projects are. 

And, please mind our mess.  

Current Project: Online Conversations

In this month’s lab experiment, we are exploring Online Conversations. The more many of us are forced to stay in now during the pandemic, the more we naturally crave for human connection and conversation outside our own four walls. Thankfully with video calling technology like Zoom and Google Meets, we are still able to talk to our loved ones, hold business meetings, and chat with friends.

However, when it comes to the admissions process at our schools, we also can’t possibly reply to 20 people at once, giving them the level of personal attention that we would like to.  Often, our first interaction with new families is online and is automated. 

But how do we prevent sounding like a robot?  Now that calls for automated, anticipated, online conversations that are personal, and not a chatBOT.

Talk like a person, Dude

How can we communicate with our prospective families in a way that feels like they are talking with a real person? How do we show them that although we can’t be on call 24/7, we appreciate them and we are really nice people and we really do love our school?

First, don’t overwhelm people with too many questions at once. Ask questions one at a time, just like people do in a face to face conversation. “Can I know your first name?” as opposed to “please fill out this form with all of your information.”

Second, relax a bit. We have found that people react very positively to information gathering systems that are down to earth, a bit relaxed, and sometimes even funny. We’ve been known to end our forms with a funny question like, “Ok, now for the most important question – what’s your favorite color?”.

Third, give your viewer options. Let them decide where the conversation should go. Give them options of topics that they can get information on. If you ask them first what they want to know about, that information is more relevant to them, and therefore more important.

Fourth, make your conversations as personable as possible. Show them that you are a real person too. The best way we have found to do this is literally to show them that you are a real person too. In one of the examples below, you will find a new technology that literally uses video of a conversation to connect your admissions department with your prospective families. If whatsapp and email had a baby, this would be it. You get to project your lovely personality through your expressions and the prospective family gets to feel like they are talking with a person, not a robot.

experience it For Yourself

We have a whopping total of four conversation formats for you to try out today.

Video Chat: on your left is video chat.  You will see a pre-recorded video format of an online conversation.  Click on “Talk To Me” to get the conversation started.

Chatbox: on your right is the standard chatbox that you will often see on websites.  You can use this for either live chat or an automated chat, or both.  Give it a try.

Chat: below in the blue box is an anticipated chat conversation that you start by clicking “Start Conversation”.  This is meant to resemble a text or whatsapp conversation.

Email: you see that blue button below that says “Send Me An Email”?  When you click it, it opens up to a form for you to fill in your information and it will send you a different version of an Online Conversation.

Send Me An Email

Go ahead, play away.  See what you like and what you don’t.  And put comments in the conversations to tell us what you think of each one.  We’d love to get your feedback.

Have fun!