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Grove City College Uses LiveChat to Make the Application Process Easier for Young Students

Students who visit Grove City College’s website are surprised that they can chat with the Admission staff right away and say they haven’t seen it on any other college website.

Grove City College using LiveChat - case study cover

The challenge

A way to get in touch with students looking for information

Students about to apply to college need lots of information about their future — starting from what the school offers to campus culture. To find this information, they go to college websites. By getting live chat support in their search, it’s easier for them to find the information they need and pick the right school.

Grove City College, a Christian liberal arts college from Pennsylvania, wanted to find a way to get in touch with students looking for information and help them with college planning and the application process. They decided to install LiveChat and talk to students right on the website. Sarah Gibbs, Director of Admissions at Grove City College, said:

Beginning the relationship early in a student’s search is so essential in Higher Education today. LiveChat helps us to meet the needs of our students and families immediately.

Sarah Gibbs, Grove City College

The solution

Getting admission advice

The Grove City College displays the LiveChat Chat Widget on the Future Students, Student Life, and Learning pages. Students can use the chat during the college’s business hours. They can also leave messages using a contact form during downtime. This means that students can reach out to the Admissions staff with a question about the school or ask for help with the application process anytime.

To let website visitors know that the help is one click away, Grove City College uses a green eye-catcher, which says, “We are here.” 

Grove City College also connects with online visitors by starting a chat first. Visitors who spend over 20 seconds on the website get an automated greeting, inviting them to chat. A greeting opens up a chat window that says, “Hello, would you like to chat about Grove City College?” 

A chat invitation appears for returning visitors and welcomes them back, too. Visitors who type the word “apply” in a search box are offered help with admission, and those who use the word “visit” get help with setting up a visit to the campus.

Several Student Ambassadors and various staff members operate Grove City College’s LiveChat. Only one person handles chats at times of low website traffic. With more visitors on the website, more agents log in to the LiveChat app to chat. Currently, the Admission team gets as many as 53 chats a day, with 1 p.m. EST being the peak time. They also get around five offline messages each evening.

Sarah — who oversees admissions at GCC — and her team receive the LiveChat Daily Summary via email at the end of each day. It tells them how many chats happened on a particular day, how many of them were rated good or bad, and how many chats they’ve missed. This data clearly shows the team’s daily activity and areas that need improvement.

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The GCC integrated LiveChat with Salesforce

This allowed agents to be up-to-date with any communication with new or existing questions or applications to the college. Agents can easily access students’ files, check their application status, and answer applicants’ questions quickly.

One day, Sarah assisted two students on LiveChat, and the Salesforce integration provided her with data she wasn’t expecting to find. She was on LiveChat over the weekend with an upcoming application deadline. A student started a chat, and Sarah answered her questions about the College, what they were looking for in their essays, and where she needed to send her supplemental documents.

In the meantime, another student reached out with her questions. Thanks to the integration with their CRM, Sarah quickly found out that those two students were twin sisters. She could engage with both of them, unbeknownst to each other, and help them through the application process. They have both since been admitted to Grove City College, and they hope to welcome them in the fall as matriculating students to their Fall class of freshmen.”

The result

LiveChat brings GCC and students closer together

GCC receives around 600-700 contacts via chat each month. Students who visit Grove City College’s website are surprised that they can chat with the Admission staff right away. They say that LiveChat is a ‘phenomenal’ and ‘cool’ feature, and they haven’t seen it on any other college website.

LiveChat has given us accessibility to students where they primarily are — the web. It always means something to me personally when I have a conversation with a parent or student, and they thank me profusely for the feature and how it enabled them to talk immediately with someone who could answer their questions.

Sarah Gibbs, Grove City College

Seeing the potential of chatting with future students and being in service to them, Grove City College also wants to have staff available on chat in the evenings. Their goal is to be there for students whenever they need help the most.

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Kuba Rogalski


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