Let’s say, a college recruits 4000 students in a year, with a team of 5 admission officers. So, in his career of 20 years, an admission officer accepts 16,000 applications on an average and rejects a lot more than that. That’s a lot of work, considering colleges are getting very selective in their recruitment criteria, and students are screened beyond their academics and test scores.
They have many responsibilities – from visiting high schools, counseling students, reviewing tons of applications and the most difficult of the all – selecting the best students for the college and the course.
Sure, it’s a tough job but a very important one, both for the student and the college. Higher education institutes realize this as well, and to aid the admissions teams, are adopting CRM systems. According to a study by AACRO, more than 60% of the higher education institutes in the USA are already using CRM software. Considering the rate at which the digital communication is growing, that’s only going to rise.
But, are these CRMs equipped to help the admission officers effectively? Admission officers deserve a tool that saves their time and energy and help them do what they do best – admissions, not struggle with frustrating, non-intuitive software.
Here are 10 features which will help you build a super efficient admissions team.
1. Capture all admission inquiries
Your university may receive applications through multiple channels. This could be through your paid or unpaid online as well as offline campaigns. Manually tracking of all these incoming applications is next to impossible. Which is why your CRM should help you automatically capture all these incoming inquiries as well as tell you the best performing sources.
2. Get a panoramic view of the students
The role of an admissions officer is way beyond just matching and filtering the students. It goes beyond the scores, to interests and overall personality traits of the students. This could be reflected in their extra-curricular activities, the clubs they belong to, the community work they engage in, etc. A complete 360-degree view of the student allows the admissions officer to judge their eligibility better.
3. Know which applications need to be prioritized
The admissions officer may at times be overwhelmed with the volume of leads that are pouring in. If he is just in charge of filling the seats for the Arts department of the college, then he may not be able to guide the science applicants well. Or, he might need some help identifying the best-fit students for the Arts courses. Having a system that allows him to quickly segment leads by interests and other criteria, will help him prioritize his efforts.
4. Automatically check eligibility
What if the admissions officer did not have to manually screen each application for eligibility? The system does the check for him. It not only increases his efficiency, it also reduces the risk of duplicate data and manual error. Also, the system will enable him to automatically send emails to the applicants that were rejected. Even better, he can send recommendations on which other courses the student can apply for next.
5. Use templates to send texts
Students are highly unlikely to receive phone calls from unknown numbers. A more preferable alternative is text messages or social media. The admissions officer may want to use text messages to keep the prospective students updated about the status of their applications. Sending over thousands of messages manually would not make sense. They need a tool to send multiple texts at the same time. Therefore, an easy to use, personalized texting app would save a lot of time for them.
6. Set tasks and send timely notifications
An admission officer has many day-to-day tasks to do. It’s only natural that some may slip through the cracks. Creating tasks for himself or for his team members ensures that he doesn’t miss out on any tasks. Also, by syncing his email and phone to the system he can get notifications directly, ensuring timely execution.
7. Integrate seamlessly with your SIS
It’s not necessary that your admissions team should be tech-savvy to pass information between your SIS to your CRM. The system should be simple enough that the integration does not interfere with the daily work of the admissions officer. Once again, this saves him time by removing the need to manually import and export data, or seek IT help.
(Check out the differences between a CRM and an ERP)
8. Create custom reports
Instead of creating multiple excel sheets and distributing them, it is better to have a centralized reporting system. This will not only increase transparency, it will keep them informed of their performance on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
9. Availability-based task assignment
If in case an admissions officer is absent on a particular day, the system should be smart enough to assign a new application to an officer who is currently available. You can know this status by allowing them to check-in their working hours. This way, you can keep a check on their attendance status as well.
10. Know the average life cycle of an application:
The admissions officer should be able to gauge how much time a specific application would take. The amount of time needed for an application for fine arts and that of an engineering course might differ. By knowing the application lifecycle span, he can plan his work and schedule tasks and follow-ups accordingly.
What do you think then? Does your current admissions CRM have these features? If not, check out LeadSquared, and give your admission officers the ally that they deserve.
What do you think? Do you also want your admissions team to be more efficient, more productive and most importantly more satisfied with their work? If the answer is yes, then you should check out LeadSquared. Get your admissions team the friend they deserve!