the-important-crm-in-higher-education

7 Reasons CRM for Higher Education Can Simplify Your University

Sep 27, 2018

CRMs are generally used by businesses to streamline their processes, but why not use CRM for higher education?

More and more organizations from private to public sectors are pursuing better customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. 

With the same intent, higher education institutions are also adopting customer relationship management (CRM) to attract, retain and serve its students.

In the context of higher education institution, students are your customers. However, this realization that students should be treated as customers and technology investments must be made to support this relationship to support student outcome and drive institutions success over the long term.

Surprisingly, not many higher education institutions use CRM software as they lack adequate knowledge about it. Many of us thought that CRM software are for conventional businesses and corporates only, which is not true! CRM is a powerful student management tool which if properly leverage can offer valuable insight to your stakeholders to develop strong and personal relationships with current students, prospectus and alumni.

CRM for higher education helps your university to run smoothly and more efficiently. It can be used to track each student’s progress and foster better communication and understanding between the members of the institution.

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So what do you need to look for while choosing a CRM for your educational institution?

In this post we will be talking about what CRM actually means, how it can be used for your educational institution, what are its benefits, and what you must look for when you plan to use CRM for higher education.

What is CRM?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about what CRM is and how it is used for various institutions and businesses alike.

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is a type of software that enables easy communication and data sharing between members of a team.

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It helps you store large amounts of data securely and keeps it organized so that it is easily accessible to every member of the team or institution.

CRM greatly streamlines workflow, making your systems simpler and faster.

How Can CRM Be Used For Educational Institutions?

Higher education involves a lot of documentation and large amounts of important information. Using CRM for your institution will help you organize all that data in such a way as to keep information accessible and easy to process.

CRM also helps keep track of the admission process and all the finances involved. It will help you secure your financial transactions, making administration a breeze.

Since all information concerning the students, staff, and administration can be collected in a single place, you can now provide every single student with a unique and pleasurable experience – right from the time of application to their graduation, and even after that as they turn into alumni.

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CRMs are far more powerful and robust than Excel sheets, which are still very commonly used in many educational institutions, Using CRM will definitely give your Higher Educational Institution (HEI) an edge over the rest in terms of student experience.

CRMs for higher education allow educational institutions to process gigantic amounts of information so that you can understand your prospective and current students, supporting businesses, donors, and even your alumni. This way you can figure out how to streamline processes and serve them better.

7 Benefits Of CRM For Higher Education

CRM is revolutionary and can help you gain vital insights about your students, who need to be treated as your customers. You can then use these insights to develop strong and valuable relationships with prospective students, your current students, and also the alumni of your institution.

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Here are some of the major benefits of CRMs for higher education that will help your institution stand apart from all the others based on student experience.

1. CRM Helps You Streamline The Admission Process

There are so many steps involved when a new student is enrolled in your institution. From the application form being processed to the student finally paying the fees and getting admitted, there’s a lot to be taken care of.

CRM allows you to manage the student lifecycle in one place. You can access all the details about a student’s admission such as the course he has enrolled for, the student’s roll number, all past academic documents, and other important details the student registers at the time of admission.

You can visualize all the data in one place and take in the best students for your educational institution.

2. It Helps You Track The Best Candidates

These days, students are influenced by media. They search for the best universities to apply to and are looking for information. Using CRM, you can track potential students for your educational institution and engage them even before they want to apply to your university.

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You can easily track which websites and social media platforms these potential candidates are spending more time on. You can then leverage that information to build a relationship with each student and show them why your university could be the best fit for them.

CRM also allows you to plan your marketing budget efficiently since you know what platforms you need to focus your efforts on. This way you can make your marketing campaigns more targeted and effective.

3. CRM Helps You Deliver World Class Service

Students should be treated as your customers. Your everyday interactions and follow-ups with each student needs to be documented so that you can understand each student’s needs better.

 

Once you have a thorough understanding of each student, their struggles, and their details, you will be able to provide them with high quality, world class service.

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This is especially important before the student enrols, because they will be wanting to know what sets your university apart from the rest. 

When you make a prospective student feel like they are already a part of your institution, they will feel more welcomed and at home. This is bound to get them to choose your institution over others.

4. It Helps You Simplify The Evaluation Procedure

Educational institutions deal with a lot of test papers and student evaluations. It is a painstaking process for teachers to evaluate and keep track of student tests and assessments. CRM will help you streamline this process such that you have all the grades, marks, and certifications of each student in one place.

It helps teachers keep track of student performance and to study their progress throughout the course/ degree.

5. It Allows You To Track Payments

Educational institutes deal with a lot of money, especially during the time of admissions and term commencement. 

Automating the fee collection process will allow for smoother running of the administration department without human errors. It also saves a lot of time and resources. 

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Accounts can be viewed by administration members and all information can be saved securely.

6. CRM Helps You Maintain Alumni Relationships

Your relationship with the students of your institution do not end once they graduate. Some educational institutions reach out to fresh graduates and help them transition into the corporate world.

CRM gives you the tools necessary to foster strong relationships with your alumni, help them reach their career goals, and also help them with their job searches.

Keeping in touch and helping the alumni community could build your institution’s network. This will be very useful when you need to raise funds from donors.

7. It Helps You Create MIS Reports And Track Performance

MIS reports, or Management Information System reports, are used by most businesses to generate reports and track the performance of their organization.

Higher education institutions can also make use of these MIS reports generated with the help of CRM to create reports on student performance, daily activities, etc. to evaluate their performance as an institution.

Here’s How Second CRM’s Software Suite for Higher Education Institutions Can Help You

  • An efficient on-demand model that is customized based on defined requirements and objectives of the business users of a higher education institution.
  • Functional features and modules that manage different touch points of the student lifecycle in Second CRM like Lead Management, Campaigns/Event Management, Student Issues Management, Donor and Alumni management.
  • Inquiry management module in a CRM ensures that all the inquiries generated from marketing activities of the institution are tracked effectively till the admission stage.
  • Automate messaging and email templates to provide a warmer engagement process.
  • Pick up every future conversation with the prospective students with full knowledge as to where the last conversation or engagement was.
  • Students request and complaint’s history can be recorded in the Second CRM so that it makes the management more effective.
  • Maintain and attract new corporations for campus placements based on 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.

 

Conclusion

CRM that is unified, integrated, and converged would be ideal for higher education institutions. You must also check whether the CRM is cost effective and adaptable to your institution before you invest in it.

CRM for higher education is an effective solution for institutions for better visibility and communication across campus structures. 

CRM helps with enrolments, monitoring student process, identify and assess students, coordinate staff and activities and strengthen the relationship with alumni. Incorporating CRM into higher education institutions drive fast and efficient services.

Various communication and management elements can be automated to speed up the response time. A CRM software like Second CRM also provides real numbers which can be used in making important decisions. 

With the ability to track each aspect of student’s life cycle, you can easily find out where in the process you lose prospective students. Once bottlenecks that impeded processes are identified, betterment becomes easy.

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