Last Updated on March 17, 2022

“Like other companies, where customer service agents know how to handle customer queries, an educational institution is entirely different. We are a university, and we wanted a solution to help out students, staff, and faculty access information on various areas,” said Michael Casadonte, Director of Digital Transformation at the California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).

CSUSB is a well-renowned university offering various courses in multiple disciplines. With the regular influx of 20,000 students & 3500 faculty and staff, CSUSB was looking for a better way to provide their people with information and help them whenever they had questions.

Michael and the team started thinking about chatbots. Chatbots can help with basic questions, and humans (staff and students) can chime in for complex queries. “We had to cater to different areas with different chatbots and support staff. A financial aid chatbot and support staff was different from a parking assist. Chatbot or a technology support centre one” highlighted Michael.

“Our trained students and staff belonging to a various group were assisting other students, faculty, and staff with the help of chatbots.” said, Michael.

A complex multi-chatbot, multi-human workflow

“We were developing a chatbot for a couple of months. Since people can ask many questions, we needed to feed the chatbot with many, many questions. We had two chatbots and a few people as support staff on Kommunciate when we went remote early in 2020. We wanted to easily transfer the conversation from one chatbot to another, in case the user asks questions pertaining to different chatbots,” Michael emphasized.

In about 90% of the cases, it was the students who were asking questions about financial aid, career advice centre, and a few other areas. For areas such as parking assistance in the campus and technology support centre, questions were popped in from all the people, including students, faculty, staff, and outsiders. “Sometimes, even the parents of students would come in and talk to us.”

”Everyone was using the chatbots. This prompted us to speed up the development of other upcoming chatbots. We also laid out plans for a 4th chatbot. And given the incredible amount of queries coming in, we were already thinking about adding 5 to 8 more chatbots. Each with a different function of its own but connected in transition.”

”This prompted us to speed up the development of two other upcoming chatbots. We also laid out plans for a 4th one. And given the incredible amount of queries coming in, we were already thinking about adding 5 to 8 more chatbots. Each with a different function of its own but connected in transition,” said Michael.

CSUSB made use of Operators belonging to various groups to handle complex conversations and agents to manage the human side of things.

Moving ahead with chatbots and automation

“We are using most of the features and customization we can get our hands on from the documentation. We are using a chatbot to human hand-offs, agents and bots reassignments. With more advanced customizations,” highlighted David Vasilia, Programmer/Analyst in the fantastic Digital Transformation team of CSUSB.

David emphasized the ease of working with technology and chatbots, “With technology, you can program the chatbots to work with automated and regulated rules. You can manage the hand-offs, transitions, and impart control easily.”

“Human side of things are difficult,” joked David.

“Since the start, we are seeing an incredible number of requests coming in every day from students to faculty to staff to outsiders. And they have been able to get help by the combination of chatbots and our support staff.”

And they have been able to get help by the combination of chatbots and our support staff. Even though, at times, someone might not get a satisfactory answer. But they do come back to chatbots, as they are fast, easily available, and reliable,” concluded Michael.

About Kommunicate.io

Kommunicate is a human+bot hybrid platform for real-time, proactive, and personalized support for growing businesses. The way customer conversations and support are happening is broken, redundant, and time and cost-inefficient, Kommunicate aims to correct it.

Kommunicate.io has worked with multiple brands such as CSUSB, NTU( Nanyang Technological University), Vogo, HDFC Life etc. to provide seamless customer support. Kommunicate comes with a bunch of features that ensure a delightful experience for your customers and convert website visitors into active users.


At Kommunicate, we are envisioning a world-beating customer support solution to empower the new era of customer support. We would love to have you on board to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.

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