Forward-looking colleges and universities are embracing CRM in their business processes to recruit and retain the most desirable students. These are challenging times for institutes providing higher education, and to compete successfully it is important to adopt best practices that can enable them to consistently interact with their diverse stakeholders (Students and corporates) in a highly personalized manner. For Universities and business schools, students are their customers, but as CRM usage is widespread in the corporate sector, higher education is far behind with CRM implementation. CRM in higher education encompasses the methodologies and software that help institutions develop and manage relationships with different constituents. Institutes are also looking to improve their conversion ratios, from prospect to enrolment and reducing the number of lost applicants/opportunities.
Many higher education institutes, universities began restructuring and reengineering their operating processes to cut costs. Many turned to enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. ERP helped them automate and optimize their internal business processes—in areas such as finance, grants management, student information, inventory management, and human resources—and freed them from some of the day to-day operations. The focus is currently shifting from improving internal operations to concentrate more on their customers – Students, Corporations, and Alumni. Proactive institutions are now adjusting their practices by refocusing their efforts externally. Because of the need to concentrate more on customers, many institutions are once again turning to technology—this time to customer relationship management (CRM) software. Similar to ERP, CRM solutions focus on automating and improving processes, although the focus is on front office areas, such as enrollment, marketing, customer service, and support.
Modules that manage different touch points of the student lifecycle
• Admission – With competing institutions just a click away, prospective students expect prompt responses to online inquiries, emails and phone calls. Manual tracking of enquiries could result in leakage of leads and since each enquiry represents a potential business opportunity, this would translate into high value business loss. Enquiry management module in a CRM ensures that all the enquiries generated from marketing activities of the institutes are tracked effectively till the admission stage.
• Placement – Attract new corporations for campus placements basis the past successful placements and students profile like education, specialization, summer training etc., and run vertical specific customized campaigns to attract corporations and increase visibility in the corporate world
• Alumni – Connect with Alumni, to promote alumni programs that can generate contributions, and participations. Target the right alumni for the right opportunity and promote continuing education programs by identifying those who are likely to have high levels of interest in executive level courses.
The value proposition
• Higher application and enrolment rates
• Higher “brand” awareness with prospective students
• Higher outreach to corporations across different verticals leading to higher placements
• Develop lifelong relationship with Alumni
A well – designed CRM software enables the institution to build deeper relationships with different constituents of the student lifecycle by managing student enquiries, corporate relationships and alumni communications from a single, intuitive interface. The end result is a stronger knowledge of these audiences and better admissions and alumni relations outcomes for the institution. Whether you’re looking to recruit more students, shape your enrollment funnel, retain students or engage alumni, a CRM solution is a must early in the student engagement lifecycle.
Sage India is one of the companies whose product can fit best in CRM for education in India. Their solutions like ACT! And Sage CRM fits for education sector India.