How Behavioral Intelligence unlocks deeper engagement

Kelly Hughes
Kelly Hughes

September 10, 2021

A single meaningful conversation has the power to spark action and personal growth. But authentic engagement is bigger than just providing accurate answers. Building a real connection requires the best response for every situation — and that takes a combination of intelligence, empathy, and context. 

At Mainstay, Behavioral Intelligence is the backbone of our technology. In fact, we like to call it our superpower. That’s because it gives our partners the incredible ability to help people achieve their goals by inspiring them through every stage of their journey. 

What is Behavioral Intelligence?

The Mainstay Engagement Platform combines the three critical elements of Behavioral Intelligence: 

  • Intelligence (IQ)
  • Empathy (EQ)
  • Contextual relevance (CQ) 

Behavioral Intelligence provides a unique blend of proactive and reactive support that makes it easy for our partners to measure, predict, and shape behaviors — all while empowering individuals to live more fulfilling lives. Let’s explore these key elements and see what they look like in action. 

The building blocks of Behavioral Intelligence

Intelligence (IQ)

The first step of engagement is opening up the lines of communication. Providing 24/7 support is becoming increasingly critical as remote, hybrid, and flexible working and learning hours become the norm. Channels like live chat allow organizations and academic institutions to interact one-on-one with their employees, customers, or students directly on their websites. As their engagement strategy matures, organizations may want to start leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to answer questions and solve common problems automatically, at scale.

By using conversational chatbots, you can connect with employees or students instantly via the channels they prefer to use, like text messaging, web chat, or social media. These messages can be infused with your brand voice to add a unique, personalized touch. Pulling from a continuously expanding knowledge base, these chatbots work around the clock to help reduce call and email volume, track important interactions, and give staff the capacity to focus on their top priorities.

Empathy (EQ + IQ)

Of course, it’s not just what you say that matters — it’s also how you say it. Empathetic conversations start by proactively listening to what your employees or students are saying and thinking. That’s nearly impossible for humans to do at scale, but thanks to advancements in analytics, Mainstay can compile and analyze millions of digital conversations in real-time. 

Our behaviorally intelligent chatbots are designed with encouraging, warm personalities, which opens the door for judgment-free conversations. Mainstay’s Engagement Platform makes it easy to listen to the aggregate thoughts, concerns, and insights that users share — which encourages conversations that are even more personalized. 

Smart nudges use these aggregate insights and empathy to drive positive behaviors. For example, sending automated two-way SMS text messages can give students gentle reminders to fill out the FAFSA form before the deadline, or encourage new hires to complete preboarding forms before their first day on the job. 

Developing this type of relationship gives people a “safe” way to pose questions that they may feel too embarrassed to ask otherwise. Many students and employees find it easier to communicate their real feelings with a supportive, unbiased party (like a chatbot), than they would with a human. When more personal guidance is needed, though, these conversations are automatically escalated to an expert on your team who can address more sensitive or nuanced topics. 

Contextual relevance
(IQ + EQ + CQ)

It’s essential to support employees and students in ways that make them feel like they are an important part of your organization from day one. Building this sense of belonging requires individualized and authentic support that considers contextual relevance. Behavioral Intelligence is a powerful tool when it comes to understanding employees or students on a deeper level, because it makes it possible to anticipate individual needs and respond in a way that drives action and engagement across a wide range of topics. 

Since Mainstay’s behaviorally intelligent chatbots understand and interpret questions in natural language, people quickly start interacting with them just like they would talk to another person — treating them more like a friend or confidant than a bot. 

This highly personalized approach can be beneficial in many different scenarios. For example, during the critical period between the time when a new hire accepts a job offer and their start date, Behavioral intelligence considers the context of the situation to help a company build relationships with new employees

Schools can use Behavioral Intelligence to build greater trust and affinity by sending check-in text messages to ask how students are feeling about the upcoming semester. One of our partners, CSU Channel Islands, even used Mainstay’s Engagement Platform to crowdsource and share custom Spotify playlists that help students feel more connected to their peers and their college — even when they aren’t on campus. 

An engagement strategy powered by Behavioral Intelligence can help organizations to combine empathy and intelligence to foster trust, deepen understanding, and ensure their people’s voices are heard. 

How Behavioral Intelligence powers engagement

Using empathetic and relevant communication can bridge the gap between your organization and the people you serve. Mainstay’s Behavioral Intelligence approach reflects the unique emotional and cultural contexts of students and employees, and provides the real-time support and guidance people need to take the next step. 

Watch this short video to see how Mainstay’s Engagement Platform uses Behavioral Intelligence to support people throughout their educational journey and into their careers.

Sign up for a personalized demo to learn how Mainstay can partner with you to guide your students or employees along their journeys with Behavioral Intelligence.

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