How ECE Went Against the Grain and Re-Imagined Their Chatbot

In this case study, we will tell you how Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) re-imagined their chatbot to meet the demands of the modern applicant.

The client


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ECE Goes Against The Grain...

While others in the foreign education credential space might question why a chatbot would be needed when they have live agents, ECE went against the grain. They turned to The Chat Shop to overhaul, refine, and tune up their existing chatbot to deliver a top-tier customer experience in their industry.

Who is ECE?

Education is different all around the globe, and ECE is the industry leader in ensuring that their clients’ educational credentials are accurately matched from one country’s system to another’s.  

With a growing appetite to study and work abroad, it’s more important than ever to have quality and consistency in credential assessment. ECE prepares trusted, accurate credential evaluation reports for those coming into the United States and Canada, giving them credit where credit is due. This allows their clients’ professional degrees and other qualifications to be considered as they pursue further education, licensure, and employment opportunities.

The challenge

Their Chatbot Was Missing the Mark

ECE has always tried to stay on the cusp of technology to provide their clients/applicants with the best level of service. However, they were having difficulty scaling and keeping up with the demand that their service was being faced with. 

As a first measure to scale their communications, they took a major leap and changed their system by replacing phone-only support with available agents contactable via live chat. However, that didn’t help to meet the demand fully, it simply changed the channel they were using. 

The next improvement and optimization stage was introducing a chatbot to help alleviate the demand on the agents.Typically chatbots are introduced to help site visitors navigate more quickly and easily, and for ECE that was no different. 

By implementing a chatbot, they were able to pull the focus away from offering phone-only support and reduce any delays in helping people. Not only that, but ECE was the first in their industry to adopt this digital channel that was growing in popularity in other industries.

As successful as some aspects of the chatbot were, it wasn’t without some challenges. They implemented a chatbot as best they could, but it wasn’t that simple, and they still weren’t getting the results they wanted. 

They could see the bot was interacting with prospects and trying to give them what they were looking for, but in the end, the bot could not truly handle the most common customer requests. As a result, in most circumstances, the use of the bot led to the prospects needing to call or talk to a live chat agent anyway. 

Even though their chatbot wasn’t performing the way they wanted, ECE knew it had untapped potential. If they could only optimize it to serve the nuanced needs of their audience more accurately. To solve this problem, they turned to LiveChat– an industry leader in the live chat space– to help them craft the perfect bot-centered user journey. 

LiveChat immediately recognized the problems that ECE faced and recommended us here at The Chat Shop due to our 10+ years of comprehensive, hands-on expertise in driving results through the art of conversation.

Our solution

A Data-Driven Revamp of Their Chat Flow

We sat down with ECE and looked at their existing live chat flow, and began to build a custom-made plan to put it into action. 

By analyzing the data, we identified some key indicators we could use to make improvements and drive results right away. 

We designed the chatbot to help the visitors with their queries, whether they select an option from the menus or ask the question directly to the chatbot. 

Then, for more complex or nuanced situations, the chatbot was programmed to transfer the customer to a phone call or live agent– at the right time. 

Using cutting-edge technology such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning, the chatbot was able to interpret human speech and deliver well-tailored responses using a finely-tuned algorithm. Furthermore, it improved its performance over time by analyzing user input and adapting.

This technology helped reduce the number of chats, making overall numbers more manageable for their agents. Additionally, it allowed agents to focus on the people who truly needed guided help, immediately delivering outstanding customer service and better conversions overall.

We could not have seen the successes we’ve had without the Chat Shop or have achieved what we’ve achieved.

Clarey Wamhoff
Senior Director of Operations for ECE

The results

Measurable Improvements in One Month

After only a month of going live, we were able to make some tangible progress with ECE’s chatbot. 

  • Reduced agent chatting time from 5 mins 5 secs to 3 mins 41 secs
  • Reduced total transfers to an agent from 49.2% to 32.8% of chats
  • Reduced queued chatters from 43.9% to 20.1% of chats
  • Reduced average response time, from 63 secs to 18 secs

Another thing that’s not as easy to measure– but equally valuable– was the overwhelmingly positive feedback from ECE’s chat agents. With fewer distractions from simple, repetitive chats, their jobs became easier, less stressful, and more rewarding as they helped more people. 

What Does ECE Have to Say About the Process So Far?

“Everyone is a joy and a pleasure to work with, and everyone has been so committed to our success. The Chat Shop has given us the knowledge and confidence to do exactly what we wanted but couldn't’.”

Looking Ahead: Plans for Continued Optimisation

Wamhoff continues, “I’m so excited for the future. I’m so confident that we made the right decision. There’s a lot more continued growth that we’re looking forward to.” 

“We still need training, we still need optimization, and we will definitely continue our relationship with The Chat Shop even once this project has ended. The service The Chat Shop has provided has been invaluable.”
Agent Training and Making the Best Use of Technology

We’re only just getting started with the optimization of ECE’s overall chat experience. We will continue gathering data from the chatbot and look at how we can take it to the next level, adding more features and options informed by what customers want and use. 

We’re looking to continue incorporating more complex, dynamic interactions at the highest level of quality. We’re working on adding a ‘Where’s My Order?’ interaction to allow visitors to check the status of their credential evaluation order quickly, securely, and accurately through the chatbot.

Following that, another phase will be for The Chat Shop to provide ongoing training for their already qualified agents. The first step in this training is to do a health check of their current approach to determine what areas of focus may exist. Then, once we know exactly what can be improved or strengthened, we’ll help them refine their current approach. We know that even the smallest details regarding language, phrasing, timing, and accuracy can elevate their expertise and boost performance.

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Do you already have a chatbot struggling to meet the pace and mindset of the modern consumer? Or are you looking to implement a chatbot from scratch? Let us take a look to see how we can help you. No matter what stage your chatbot is in–new or seasoned, large or small– we can help.

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