Student engagement is based on the student’s active participation in the process of getting an education. Due to the pandemic, a lot of universities moved to a blended learning environment that required them to address how actively each student participated in their admissions and onboarding process.
Universities, these days, deal with 10+ student personas that are not limited to any race or geographies. Hence, reaching out to each of them and keeping them engaged is a priority for every admissions officer.
In this article, we will share 10 strategies where you can help your prospects get actively involved the enrollment process by opening multiple channels of communication.
Student Engagement Strategies for Enrollment Counsellors
These set of strategies will showcase how counsellors can be involved in the admissions process to engage better with prospective students.
1. Prioritize high-intent leads
In order to ensure higher student engagement, the counsellors will need to make sure that they communicate with high-intent prospects first.
To do that, counsellors will require end-to-end visibility on the activities and requirements of the prospect beforehand. If the counsellor knows the need of the student, then pitching the right information without much effort will ensure a highly engaged student.
Engagement Tip💡: Attach priority scores for each interaction your prospect has with you, whether online or offline. This way your counsellors will know whom to call first!
2. Personalize outreach through multiple channels
This cannot be stressed enough that a one-to-one marketing will create a positive impact on engagement. Whether it is sharing course requirements or recommending new courses to prospects –
They will also need to engage with the students via multiple channels
Here again, having history and context of the interactions will help them take a solid conversational approach as opposed to delivering a monologue.
Engagement Tip💡: Keep templatized messages, emails, and scripts handy with personal cues attached for a smoother flowing conversation.
3. Initiate conversations in real-time
While selecting a university or a course, the student will have many questions and queries during the process. They might often get stuck at various stages like filling out forms, uploading documents, or making payments.
If your counsellors are empowered to resolve these queries in real-time, then the student would grow to be more responsive. For example, if a counsellor is notified that the prospect has dropped off while uploading required documents, they can call the student or drop in an email sharing the steps and process to complete this stage.
Engagement Tip💡: Having a self-serve application portal for students will help your team reduce student drop-offs by intervening and helping them at the most opportune time.
Improve student response times
No student is only applying to one university. It is important that each inquiry you get is responded to in the shortest possible time.
This is where technology comes into play. You can set up workflow automations at various steps to ensure that no inquiry is missed out. It can be as simple as shooting an automated response from the dean highlighting the opportunities the university can provide.
You can set up multiple automations that help your counsellors create meaningful engagements with the students during the admissions process.
[Also read: 16 Education Workflow Automation for your Admissions Teams for tips to set up automations that simplify your admission-related processes.]
Engagement Tip💡: Here’s what one of our customers – David Vice, CEO, Asher College shared regarding the impact of student response times.
The contact rate went up by 13% and scheduled campus appointments improved by 5%. Admission specific workflows helped the admissions team prioritize incoming inquiries, engage with more leads, and identify their passions in a more organized fashion.David Vice, CEO, Asher College
Connect them with current students and alumni
If your prospect can easily connect with current students or alumni, it will help them finalize the university and the course that they are interested in.
Interacting with current students from the course they intend to take will prepare them for the course, assignments, as well as course load better. With alumni, they get to understand what employment opportunities are available post their degree.
If they already feel like a part of the community before getting into the college, your counsellors will get a more involved prospect later in the admissions process.
Engagement Tip💡: Set up systems for your counsellors where they can easily invite fellow students to jump on the call/meeting with the prospect to answer any questions they might have about the course. Peer-to-peer conversations is a more personalized engagement approach.
Technology to Improve Student Engagement
Technology to Improve Student Engagement
This section will introduce you to the technology aspects of improving engagement with your prospects. We will discuss the role of automation, student portals, integrated communication channels, data analytics, and more.
6. Automating your admissions process
Setting up automations at various levels of your process, helps you in making your counsellors more productive and efficient in engaging with students.
You can use automation for assigning different counsellors, sending out regular notifications to students and the team, and to track the stage at which each prospect is.
Based on a Big Data Hadoop report, counsellors spend 20% of their work hours on repetitive manual tasks which could otherwise be automated.
Engagement Tip💡: Integrate your inquiry sources, website, and communication channels with your admissions CRM to set up more seamless automation.
7. Paper-less applications through portals
With the help of technology, you can build a paperless application process that require minimal manual interventions. Self-serve student portals help prospects apply online without having the need to come to the campus to fill out their application.
These portals will not only reduce the manual efforts of data entry but also maintain a repository of all important student information required during the admission process.
LeadSquared’s student portal is a secure system keeping all confidential student information private. Set up a product walkthrough today!
Engagement Tip💡: Self-serve portals will help the students go through the application process at the comfort of their homes. While your counsellors will be able to assist them whenever they require in real-time.
8. Integrated platform for all communication channels
Often counsellors need to toggle between multiple platforms and maintain notes offline as they are having conversations on different platforms. This is where end-to-end visibility is broken.
If the counsellor can maintain their chats, emails, and telephonic conversations on the same platform, note-keeping and updating activities would prove to be much easier. And if a counsellor is assigned a prospect mid-conversation, proper context and history will be maintained on a single platform.
This will not only save the counsellor’s time but also ensure faster query resolution.
Engagement Tip💡: Having a single, integrated platform for all your communication channels will not only improve counsellor efficiency but also provide qualitative insights on how those conversations are going.
9. Leveraging data analytics and reports
Big data and technology have seeped into every aspect of our lives. In order to make sense of the data, it is important to track and visualise it at every level.
Having your conversations, inquiries, and funnel movement on the same platform will help you build insightful reports. These insights will give you edge over your competitors and take a corrective course of action ahead in time.
Engagement Tip💡: Keeping track of counsellor efficiency, marketing outcomes, education KPIs, student funnel movements, as well as ROIs will make your decision-making process much faster, and more data driven.
10. Build a 360-view of your student journey
With an end-to-end Education CRM platform, building and tracking student journeys is much easier. Right from landing page visits, inquiry form fills to having segmented prospects based on application stages. These pieces of information will be readily available to you and your team to make strategic decisions and hold personalized conversations.
Having a 360-view of the student’s journey will ensure moving highly engaged students down the funnel. It will help your counsellors predict their needs and resolve queries without even picking up the phone for context.
Engagement Tip💡: Tracking the source of your inquiry to understanding their journey to conversion will help you identify the channels and strategies that have worked for you and the ones that need to be scrapped. This will also have a direct impact on inquiry-to-enrollment ratios.
Student engagement in higher education requires both a human and tech-first approach. The more personalized conversations, the more qualitative insights you derive the better results you see in getting a response from your prospects.
You can ensure that the student and counsellor are more involved right from the first step of that inquiry. It will also impact the overall student experience and retention after the student has been onboarded.
With these 10 student engagement strategies, your counsellors will be better equipped to handle:
- Large volumes of inquiries
- Deliver a better student onboarding experience
- Improve their conversion ratios
You will have a more detailed insight into how:
- Your inquiries are moving down the funnel
- To improve admission rates
- The counselling team is performing
Engage better with your students with LeadSquared’s end-to-end Admissions Platform. We’ve helped over 500 universities build better student engagement. Colleges like St. Andrews improved how they communicate and approach students with a simplified admissions process.