The education sector is booming. In the eight years from 2008 to 2016, the number of students in Indian universities and colleges doubled and touched a massive 28.5 million, and the number will keep increasing. The Department of Higher Education has made an objective to increase Gross Enrolment Rate in higher education to 30% by 2020. With such growth, the need for education CRM has increased drastically.
This means that a lot more students will pursue higher education after their college and in between (or with) jobs.
But as an educational institution, you cannot afford to relax thinking that an increase in students will automatically lead to an increase in enrolments for you. In 2015, India had 760 universities and 38,498 colleges, according to the MHRD, and the number is higher now.
This means that while students are competing with each other scores, educational institutions must also compete with each other to attract brighter students and fill their enrolments.
What an institution needs are an edge – a professional experience that it provides to students and their guardians. By following up consistently, promptly sharing relevant information and updates, and staying on top of things, educational institutions can gain this edge and delight their customers.
How Educational Institutions Can Use an Education CRM to Gain an Edge?
Technology has enabled us to take important action at the right time. This makes it simpler to achieve business goals and not fire-fight all the time. In fact, embracing technology will make your people more efficient and productive, and let you focus on the bigger picture.
The technology we’re talking about is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
What is CRM Software?
CRM software is a tool that enhances relational intelligence. In other words, it’s a system to manage relations with customers. Improved relations with customers leads to better top-line and bottom-line. A CRM system enables businesses and brands to identify their customers, stay connected with them, interact in meaningful ways, and reap the rewards in the form of revenue and profit.
Here are six ways in which a CRM system will benefit your educational institution.
1. Managing Customer Information
With the wide number of platforms from which leads get generated – your website, third party portals, social media, exhibitions, walk-in inquiries, and more – it becomes difficult to store and manage these leads. When information is scattered, taking action on it becomes tougher.
A CRM system enables you and your team to store and access relevant information captured across various platforms in a single location. This doesn’t just make it easier for your team to reach out to prospects quickly; it also shows you which platforms are yielding the highest number of relevant leads.
Thus, you can streamline your strategy to invest more in platforms that are effective and less on ones that are not.
2. Sending Automated Messages
Customers want real-time information in non-intrusive ways today. This means they want to be updated about whatever is happening while having the freedom to consume this information at their convenience. They see periodic phone calls as a massive disturbance today and can even get put off.
Automated messages can solve this problem for educational institutions and their customers. You can automate sending messages about seminars, admission cut-off dates, results and more to a large number of customers through email, text and even WhatsApp. This means your people don’t forget sending messages. At the same time, your customers can get all the information they need without disrupting their schedules.
3. Setting Reminders and Alerts in Education CRM
Merely sending messages to customers and prospects is not enough. The human factor plays an integral role in relationship management. Following up in a timely manner after sending messages is important to keep your institution on top of your customers’ minds. This becomes impossible to manage without technology.
A CRM tool enables your people to set reminders so they can follow up with students and their guardians and share information that they will find useful in order to take better decisions. They can call prospects to check whether they have taken the necessary action regarding the messages – like registering for a seminar or filling the form.
Such timely follow-ups automatically increase your institution’s enrolment rates.
4. Working from Any Locations
The most productive organizations today are those that don’t keep people chained to their desks but enable them to work from anywhere. They use mobile CRM tools to get on-the-go access to all the benefits that a desktop CRM offers.
By using a mobile CRM tool, your people can handle tasks on the go and not be restricted to an office space. Alongside this, you can track whether your people are doing what they should help your educational institute achieve its business goals.
5. Collecting Feedback and Referrals in Education CRM
Feedback from customers is essential for any organization to improve its processes to delight its most important asset – its customers. This feedback highlights patterns in what customers like and what are areas of improvement for the organization.
A CRM system allows your team to collect all feedback in a single repository and access it to identify trends and patterns. This information is invaluable for your institute to understand how it can perform better than competitors and grab a larger portion of the market.
Along with feedback, your team can also collect referrals and run referral schemes using the CRM and improve your enrolment rate.
6. A More Accountable Team
People cannot be called productive if they’re not accountable. And people cannot be accountable if what they do cannot be measured and improved.
An education CRM is a great mechanism to track the working of not just your sales team but other departments as well. You can track the number of interactions through various channels between your sales team and prospects. Alongside, you can track whether the marketing team has shared the necessary information with prospects and customers.
A CRM can also be implemented across various locations of your offices (locally and globally) and also with education counsellors. This will enable your leadership to track which locations, partners, and counsellors are most effective in generating admissions for your educational institute.
Using data collected in the CRM and turning it into useful reports, you can conduct reviews of your sales and marketing teams to identify what’s working and what needs improvement. You can also identify where bottlenecks are and move them forward.
A first impression always leaves a lasting impression. How your business development team engages with prospects gives your prospects an indication of how professional your institution is and whether it will live up to the promises you’ve made – regarding marks for students, placement options, and so on.
Make sure that you leave the best possible first impression on every aspect that matters. Embracing technology to do so will give you a much-needed edge in a crowded market space, reap the rewards for your hard work, and contribute to the improvement of the nation’s youth. To know how an education CRM can enable your institute to achieve its goals, click here