How AI can help colleges deal with huge volumes of enquiry

SMILE are the team behind the newly released Chesterfield College website. Along with a new visual language and website structure, we have utilised Artificial Intelligence to help ease a strain on internal resource.
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The Challenge

SMILE won a competitive pitch to redesign the College’s main website. There was a requirement to integrate with college’s course management system, Tribal EBS. The college receives a huge number of enquiries on a daily basis. The team in charge of dealing with these was small, and therefore struggling to keep up with demand. We were tasked with helping the institute offer users a streamlined experience and reduce the overhead of enquiries.

The Solution

The college has a small team to deal with telephone, social and online enquiries. Enquiries come in all shapes and sizes from prospective international students wanting to get a better understanding of entry requirements, to current students calling in sick to new students who don’t know which bus to catch. So, the team often found themselves inundated and unable to keep up with demand. 

We were tasked with helping the college to triage at least a proportion of these enquiries and point users in the right direction to relieve some of the strain, and to enhance the recruitment process for prospective students.


We integrated some of our own technology to make the college one of the first educational institutions to roll out a commercial chatbot. This has now triaged over 80% of all enquiries automatically at the institution which has dramatically cut down the manual labour previously required.

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Jon Bates