Education is evolving, so is the admissions process: the process that allows aspirants to access information quickly without having to wait for hours, if not days. It becomes the onus of the admissions team to stay in tune with the rapid technology growth so that their schools stay relevant to the applicant’s needs. To achieve this, they must first list some of the common issues admissions team face. Topping this list is relying on manual labor for carrying out admissions processes. This is what I will be stressing on in this article, and the many dangers of the same.
Manual admission system and redundancy go hand in hand
In the past, the world progresses at a much steadier pace, without cutthroat competition. In this scenario, having a manual system, usually paper files, and excel worksheets, made sense. In fact, it was quite prevalent in the most admissions process. But, the world has changed: the technology more intelligent and the competition much tougher. Having a manual process now is almost a synonym for redundancy. I’ll tell you why.
Let’s take a look at how an inquiry is handled by teams still doing things manually. Traditionally, the marketing team generates leads from any of their marketing endeavors and collates them in an excel spreadsheet. This is then forwarded to the admissions team. The admissions officer will then add another excel sheet to his pile and try and follow up on the lead, without any context of the applicant’s motivation and needs
But there are some loopholes in this process.
Admission teams fly blind
Using a manual admission system (without source tracking) means that no one is exactly clear about where the prospects are coming from, what exactly do they need, what is their behavior? Which of our ads did they see, and which one worked the best? What intrigued them? This is the sort of information that helps admissions teams create more relevant lead generation and management processes.
What is not measure is not improved. Stakeholders can only see what the excel sheets show them, which snowballs into the next loophole.
Tons of excel sheets. Tons of headache
As mentioned before, tracking manual data is a hassle. For any marketer, having to keep track of leads on a spreadsheet can be tiring. Imagine, having to input a thousand leads by themselves week after week. This also means, every time the team wants intel on a lead, they have to manually fetch it from the document. And let’s not ignore the problem of lead duplication which is way too common in higher education admission process.
As nothing is automated in the admission process, responding late to inquiries is inevitable. It becomes worse when there’s no one to manually input an inquiry in a spreadsheet. Which means has no idea when a new inquiry is placed. And sometimes, they don’t know until the marketer finds time to add the lead information into the system. This dependency is a major set back of a manual system. No one does anything until someone does is something.
Competition is getting the job done
By the time an admissions officer finally contacts a prospect (after being scuttled around so much), the damage has been already done. The applicant is not only applying at your school. Maybe someone else acted faster and established a relationship with the applicant. They may not enroll with the one who contacts first but whoever strikes the first conversation has a great chance of conversion then the others.
Leveraging automated admissions systems
The counter to all these challenges, you need to embrace technology through the adoption of automated and online admissions systems. Some of the benefits of having such a system are-
Create more efficient admission teams
Remember how your marketers have to manually input inquiries in an Excel spreadsheet? This has definitely given the impression that your admissions team is not very efficient. Adopting an online admissions system strengthens your conversion funnel, from inquiry to closure. your marketers have to manually input inquiries in an Excel spreadsheet?
The instant notifications to members of the admissions team also help them contact the applicants instantly. It also helps them understand which means of communication a prospect prefers, as well as the most suitable time for contacting them.
Know where your applicants come from
A robust online admissions system will instinctively give your team an overview of your lead generation funnel. Nothing is lost in translation. Even the channels that where your prospects inquired. This information allows you to mend your acquisition strategy so that there are no loopholes. This is not a privilege that you get with manual admissions. Your communication with your prospects is also more enriched. This is because you understand why they wish to enroll in your school.
Get the job done even when you’re not there
Admissions team won’t always be around. And that’s fine only if you have a system that caters to their unavailability. Online admission systems allow you to be available 24/7 without necessarily being physically present. This is achievable via the personalized messages sent to applicants as is the case with LeadSquared’s admission system. It keeps the applicants engaged until human intervention is possible.
There is a gaping hole between the admissions team that adopt automated admission systems and those who don’t. The evidence is in the levels of enrollments that both are able to amass with their respective methods. One giving exceptional returns, and the other not so much. And, no prizes for guessing which one. This is a call to traditional admission teams to change course and synchronize with what the market is saying loud and clear; leverage on technology to increase your admissions.