Why Choose Signal Vine?

by Rachel Bishop | May 2, 2019
Why Choose Signal Vine?

Why choose the Signal Vine texting platform?

At Signal Vine, we’re a competitive group of text nerds who enjoy a challenge. We take texting seriously. So seriously that we chose to work for a texting platform company!

Our competitive spirit has made room for us to grow since we began our texting journey back in 2013. Our platform is vastly different now, and we expect it to be different in the future as technology evolves and advances. Now, we’re a proud partner to hundreds of institutions who depend on us to improve their outreach methods.

As a team, we sat down and talked about what we feel truly sets us apart as a company that offers a texting platform. Several companies offer a texting platform, but Signal Vine stands out for five main reasons. Allow us to #humblebrag.

1. Blended Messaging® is key to the Signal Vine texting platform.

We’re the proud parents of this approach to texting. The key takeaway of Blended Messaging® is its ability to combine automation with human interaction to free up staff time so they can focus on students who need guidance while providing all students with timely nudges. So while Jimmy might appreciate a text that reminds him to register for next semester’s classes, Rebecca might have questions about the process, such as where her advisor is located on campus. Through Blended Messaging®, she can text back so that a human staff member can walk her through the process.

Another neat component to Blended Messaging® is that students feel encouraged to ask questions. We know all too well that students are attached to their phones, so why not turn them into a resource? Some texting platforms allow for one-way text conversations so they can be used to disperse information to students. But what happens when a student has a question? They have to reach out to someone on campus, which kind of defeats the purpose of texting in the first place. That’s why it’s important to choose a platform that allows for two-way dialogue. (Hint: Signal Vine does!)

Signal Vine texting platform

2. We are experienced in education.

Speaking of parents, our parent is Harvard. The Signal Vine texting platform exists because of research conducted at Harvard University on what would become the Signal Vine platform. The research found that advisor-led text “nudges” help to reduce summer melt. Further, we’re experienced with helping our partners who communicate with students from all parts of the higher ed continuum, from college access, to engaging with alumni, to workforce development. We know that when students commit to postsecondary education, they’re paving the way for a bright future for all of us. We’re thrilled to play a role in that work.

3. We offer campus-wide support.

This means that a staff member from a department at an institution can text a student, and for that student, the texts from that department are streamlined in the same text conversation. For example, the financial aid office and housing office might both text the same student. The student will receive texts from two different numbers: one from the financial aid office and one from housing. This creates less confusion for students. Students can save both numbers to their phones and know that texts from those phone numbers are from their college's financial aid and housing offices, respectively.

This doesn’t look too shabby from the back-end, either. The Signal Vine texting platform allows for users to segment messaging efforts however they please. For instance, the financial aid and admissions departments might have the same students in their caseloads. From the view of the platform, financial aid will have a program and admissions will have a program. Both departments can see all student interactions across all departments from the platform. However, students will see texts from both programs coming from two different numbers to help separate the departments. We preach personalization and its importance among today’s college students, but we practice what we preach by giving our users the ability to personalize their experiences with the platform. Never let us be called hypocrites!

4. We use Artificial Intelligence…intelligently.

The thing about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is that we’re not quite advanced enough as a society to fully replace humans with AI…which is good, because otherwise we’d all be out of jobs. However, we can use AI to our advantage by working with it. CIO words it eloquently:

“It’s virtually indisputable that AI has tremendous potential to reduce costs and increase productivity for the enterprise. But its true impact comes to life when combined with human ingenuity.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why we came up with Blended Messaging® and our Virtual Advisor tool. We’ve #humblebragged about Blended Messaging® already, but our Virtual Advisor deserves the spotlight, too. This tool allows institutions to set up answers to some of their most frequently asked questions. Then, when students text with one of those questions, the Virtual Advisor uses a confidence level of its understanding. If it ranks the query with high confidence, it will respond with the programmed response. If it ranks the query with low confidence, the message will be flagged for a staff member to respond.

This is better than a chatbot for several reasons. The most important one is that the Virtual Advisor doesn’t stand between you and your students. Rather, it works behind the scenes to free up advisor time and keep the advisor/advisee relationship intact. Secondly, chatbots just aren’t that smart yet. Our Virtual Advisor, backed by AI, is. This gives staff members precious time to focus on helping students who truly need the support.

5. Our knowledgeable—and (very arguably) funny—staff members are with our partners every step of the way.

Our success is directly linked to that of our partners. With that said, we guide our partners through every step of the process. We have an implementation team that guides partners through the steps to set up their campaign and make it successful. Afterward, we have a customer success team that is available for questions, best practices, ideas, and help. The best part is our partners are assigned a specific set of people on our staff, so they always know who to reach out to if they need help.

At Signal Vine, we truly want our partners to have the best texting experiences possible, and we love a good challenge. It’s this combined with our expertise in technology and higher ed that makes us stand out among text messaging platforms.

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