In today’s competitive age, higher education institutions are looking to improve their onboarding experience to maximize student retention rates. This is where a crucial piece of technology–Customer Relationship Management (CRM) comes into play.
A Higher Education CRM streamlines the admissions process, but it also improves the admission team’s productivity, saves costs, and gives management vital information to take faster actions.
In this article, we highlight how a Higher Education CRM aids not only processes, but entire teams involved in those processes.
Let’s look at how a CRM aids processes at higher education institutes.
Effective CRM for Higher Education Processes
Here’s how a CRM can help your institution improve admission-related processes across teams.
|Process||Admissions||Marketing||Reporting and Analytics|
|Student Onboarding||Capture student interests||Multi-channel communication||Measure quality of incoming student inquiries|
|Student Engagement||Record historical data of conversations||Track real-time interactions||Measure marketing campaign performance|
|Student Information||End-to-end repository of student data captured from the education portal.||Targeted communication based on student preferences.||Track student journey and movement of inquiries|
|Student Conversations||One platform to store notes, call recordings, requirements, and more.||Improved messaging||Qualitative insights and process improvements|
|Student Experience||Audience segmentation||Targeted outreach||Measure NPS scores and education KPIs|
Whether it is improving the student onboarding process or how the student interacts with the institute and the team–a CRM helps the university identify gaps, take corrective action, and measure impact seamlessly.
If you don’t have an Education CRM, then maintaining hundreds of records on paper or excel proves to be tedious for your team. It also hampers the visibility of how students progress down your admissions funnel.
Here’s an example, a student has filled a form on your website and showed interest in the bachelor’s program. Now, your data entry resource will have to pull out the student data, assign it to a counsellor (who may or may not know their course of interest) and then set up the first interaction.
With a Higher Education CRM in place,
- You don’t need to pull the data from the backend
- The counsellor can be auto-assigned based on the course of interest
- You can immediately send out an email or text acknowledging their interest
You have not only saved the cost of a resource but also sped up the time of reaching out to the student.
These are the kind of process changes that will affect your conversion rates as well as improve counsellor conversations.
Now that we know what impact a CRM for higher education institutes creates for your processes, let’s see how it benefits your team.
Benefits of a Higher Education CRM for Admissions Teams
The student’s journey from discovery to alumni and post that, they interact with multiple people from the institution. How can an Education CRM benefit these people and the students who take this journey with them?
We’ll discover how it benefits –
- Nelly–our student counsellor
- Caleb–our prospective student
- Nate–our finance guy
- Mr. Brown–our admissions head
- Ms. Cho–our marketing manager
- Mr. Singh–from the administration team
As soon as any student, like Caleb for example, fills a form on our website, the admissions team is notified of this action. Nelly, the assigned admissions counselor, calls Caleb and introduces him to the course offerings and invites him for virtual campus tour.
Benefit #1 – Drive personalized conversations
Nelly, the counsellor, is able to identify the exact requirements Caleb has and drive a personalized conversation with him.
Benefit #2 – Reach out to a wider geography
As a prospective student, Caleb has more clarity on the course he has selected and is looking forward to visiting the campus from the comfort of his home.
Post our virtual tour, Caleb is happy with the facilities and would like to take his application ahead. Nelly then shares personalized credentials for Caleb to apply for his course. Caleb’s status automatically updates to “In Progress” from interested.
Benefit #3 – Complete visibility for the applicant
Digitized application process means less hassle for Caleb while sending his course applications. He doesn’t have to fill in multiple paper forms or update PDFs (which are a pain to edit sometimes) and he has visibility on the upcoming actions he has to take to complete his enrolment.
Benefit #4 – Time saving
As an admission counsellor, Nelly caters to many students but doesn’t have to manually update the actions that each student has completed. Instead, she has the time to set another campus tour.
It’s almost the end of the day, and Mr. Brown, the admissions head and Nelly’s manager, is interested in seeing how his teams and inquiries have progressed through the day. On his dashboard, he can see how Nelly has moved 5 more students to the application stage, and how many inquiries have reached the personal interview stage.
Benefit #5 – End-to-end visibility on admissions
Mr. Brown has clarity on how his admissions team is performing, how many more inquiries need to convert for the course to fulfill the number of seats, and at what stage are maximum number of those falling through.
Since Mr. Brown knows where his inquiries are falling through, he reaches out to Ms. Cho to run a remarketing campaign to get them back into the pool.
Ms. Cho, and the members of her marketing team, have clarity on the stage at which the student fell through, the course that has the maximum drop-offs, and that some students haven’t made their choice yet. She buckets all these into various lists and adds them to a sequence of emails, texts, and WhatsApp messages regarding the pre-requisites of courses, opportunities the institute can offer, financial aid programmes, and more.
Benefit #6 – Targeted segmentation and messaging
Since Ms. Cho only has to input certain marketing activities and add those to a particular bucket, she will be able to see higher engagement rates for her email campaigns as it is highly targeted and personalised.
Benefit #7 – Lower acquisition costs
Because Ms. Cho can get a good size of the dropped off students back into the inquiry stage, her acquisition cost with each performing campaign will keep dropping.
Thanks to Nelly’s counselling and Caleb’s prompt actions to complete the application form, he has been able to clear the interview stage and is sent an offer letter. Nelly sees that Caleb has opened the offer letter but hasn’t signed it yet. The offer is about to expire as Caleb hasn’t paid the course fees yet.
Nate from the finance department, sees this and notifies the counsellor that the student might lose out on his admission. Once the counsellor is notified, the student gets a quick walkthrough of the online payment. And Nate sees that the student has completed the payment.
Benefit #8 – Integrated systems
Whether it is having a telephony integration or multiple payment options, an effective Higher Education CRM helps colleges capture information across multiple platforms for all teams to have clarity on the progress of a student.
Caleb is excited to start his course in the fall. Mr. Singh, from the administration team, is satisfied with his team’s performance as he can see the enrolment numbers go up, how many students have been offered a seat, and how far are they from fulfilling their quota for the year. He is more than happy to see how all accepted students’ information is already sitting their SIS system. The right CRM will give you the ability to integrate with your Student Information System and multiple other products, to migrate the information in a secure manner.
Benefit #9 – Passing information from one platform to another
Since the CRM is able to integrate with the education institute’s SIS systems, every student data is securely passed and mapped to the course and year they are progressing in. This connection also empowers an institute to harness and manage alumni relationships.
Benefit #10 – Advanced reporting and analytics
Because the Higher Education CRM captures information at multiple stages, it is easy for all the teams to collate their numbers.
- It is easy for Ms. Cho to see her email or text campaign open rates.
- Mr. Brown can see how many inquiries his admissions team has contacted.
- Nate in Finance, can look at the payment failures/expiration.
- Mr. Singh and his administration team can evaluate how many more inquiries needed to meet the yearly admission quota.
Benefit #11 – Take corrective actions
A CRM enables institutions to take data-driven actions by empowering teams to re-visit their actions and understand what went wrong. It helps them identify the things that worked and the ones that didn’t. You can change processes, introduce new steps, or eliminate redundancies.
Benefit #12 – Improved team efficiency
Right from sending out automated emails, sharing reminders for the student counsellors, and reminding the students to complete the payment, a College CRM improves team efficiency in terms of student outreach, calls connected, zero missed follow-ups, identifying new opportunities, and much more.
It is safe to say that whether it is Caleb or Nelly or Mr. Singh – they have all benefited from using a CRM for a more streamlined student onboarding and engagement experience.
If you’re also looking to improve your current admissions process, and haven’t found a robust CRM yet, take a look at how LeadSquared for Education can help you.
Let me showcase how real-life institutions have benefited from implementing a CRM like LeadSquared and the results they have achieved.