A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is software that helps to centralise communications and data in one place. Workflows and timely administrative tasks can be streamlined and are often automated through a CRM system, and are typically deployed to manage marketing campaigns, keep track of contacts and responses and measure success.
In the education sector, an education CRM can be designed specifically to meet the needs of institutions and the students that they serve and hope to attract. Therefore, education CRM systems are typically geared towards students to enhance their overall experience regardless of whether they’re a prospective student, currently studying with the institution, are a graduate, or otherwise.
Education institutions are increasingly complex. They operate in a highly competitive market and have had to adapt in recent years to meet evolving student expectations. As such, an education CRM provides the ideal platform to help manage and bolster operations - as well as student recruitment and engagement - with improved outcomes and greater efficiency.
An education CRM can enhance processes across your education institution, helping to automate and improve workflows across the student lifecycle. It can also be leveraged to measure and improve the student experience, standardise communication between the institution and students, and even monitor attainment levels. Education CRM systems are particularly popular for today’s student recruitment process as you can launch and manage complex campaigns within it, monitor and track success, as well as make improvements - all from one dashboard. Institutions can gain insights by centralising this data, improving access to analytics and reporting.
In this guide, Tribal explores the benefits of deploying an education CRM within an education setting and why you should consider implementing this alongside any existing systems.
Why should education providers use CRM systems?
Education providers often rely on manual processes or separate education software in the provision of day-to-day education. By unifying and managing workflows and processes with an education CRM system, they can reap the benefits of widely adopted CRM systems and fine-tune them for application in the education sector.
In practice, this means customised workflows geared toward students and inbuilt connection with common education systems and software. Education CRM systems are deployed to improve the whole student lifecycle - from initial enquiry, student recruitment, admissions, and enrolment, to graduation and beyond. By managing student communication in one place with integrated systems, there are considerable efficiencies to be made and the added benefit of being able to analyse trends in real-time.
Using education CRMs to automate workflows and campaigns within student recruitment results in lowering the dependency on inefficient manual processes and reporting. Manual administration can be time-consuming and resource-intensive – especially with the challenge of ever-increasing recruitment targets - and an education CRM provides a way to automate and personalise these workflows. Likewise, student enquiries may come from multiple sources, but these can be effectively managed in one place. Phone calls, emails, social media, and website chats can all be captured and managed within one centralised education CRM.
CRM systems have become increasingly popular within the education sector as they help to measure engagement – and success - across the entire student journey. They bring tangible metrics and measurements into one centralised place, supercharging the potential of reports and insights.
The 5 benefits of an education CRM include:
- Streamline and centralise manual processes and workflows to improve efficiency.
- Save on resources by automating different manual workflows and administration.
- Gain insights and analytics across the whole student journey, from initial enquiry through to enrolment and beyond.
- Set clear metrics and measurements for student recruitment campaign return on investment.
- Improve the student experience through fast response times and case management.
The benefits of education CRM for education providers
Student recruitment across higher education is increasingly competitive, and in the post-pandemic world, doing more with less is often a requirement. With growing targets and high student expectations to meet, an education CRM can be used to improve the automation of applications and personalised communications at multiple touchpoints.
For example, Durham University utilised Tribal to transform its student recruitment, engagement, and retention rates. Tribal’s Student Marketing & Recruitment solution has been developed specifically for the education sector, which significantly improved the speed at which it could be implemented for the University. It was used to fine-tune and streamline recruitment and pre-application support, as well as the launch of an agent portal to enhance international recruitment and integrate a third-party product to facilitate its event management.
In addition to student recruitment and enrolment, education CRM systems can enhance the experience of prospective students, current students, alumni and beyond. Examples of this may include improved case management in the university support services, fast response times to initial enquiries, attendance, and engagement monitoring to help pre-empt withdrawals, or refining marketing based on course interests.
The five benefits of using an education CRM in higher education include:
- Tracking and reporting on recruitment campaigns for prospective students and international student campaigns.
- Improving the speed and quality of student enquiry responses, automating simple workflows.
- Monitoring student attendance or attainment to trigger effective interventions.
- Ensuring effective case management for student support services.
- Providing a platform for end-to-end management from enrolment to alumni marketing.
How to implement a CRM in your education faculty
There are a wide range of CRM systems available on the market and selecting the right option for your institution can seem like a minefield.
It’s worth considering the following three factors when implementing an education CRM:
- Seek a specialist education CRM
- Identify the reasons for implementation
- Cloud-based CRM systems are more accessible
Seek a specialist education CRM
CRM systems are hugely popular in the sales and marketing sector, offering organisations a way to track and report on complex campaigns and customer journeys. Increasingly, CRM systems available are adapted for specific sectors and are designed for different tasks and environments. Choosing a CRM system designed specifically for the education sector will be the most effective way of implementing a CRM in your organisation as it has already been tried and tested within the sector.
A specialist education CRM will typically be designed and created with the student journey in mind, with prebuilt report templates and workflows. It will also be ready to connect to systems and products commonly used throughout the education sector, meaning easy integration within your existing systems. Successful CRM systems rely on the integration of different data sources, so compatibility with student information systems is vital.
Identify the reasons for implementation
It’s important to identify the processes and workflows your institution wants to streamline with an education CRM. Your focus might be solely on student recruitment, or instead might be an improvement to answering student enquiries and student support. Understanding the process type you want to manage with an education CRM will help you to identify the functionality you’re seeking. The different data points that should be captured or ingested by the CRM should also be considered, whether that be application numbers or student recruitment campaign results.
For example, CRM software that can connect to social media platforms would be vital for student recruitment campaigns which include social media activity. Where possible, end-to-end education CRM integration offers the most powerful option for an institution. Managing and tracking the entire student recruitment journey from initial engagement to enrolment makes an education CRM a powerful tool and source of insights.
Cloud-based CRM systems are more accessible
Decide whether your institution prefers a local or cloud-based education CRM. As the name suggests, a cloud-based CRM is hosted on cloud servers. It removes the need for your IT team to maintain and manage the CRM on your local servers. On the cloud, the CRM can be easily scaled up and down to meet demand.
A cloud-based CRM system can also be accessed remotely across most devices. This improves increased accessibility for stakeholders, putting the data at their fingertips when they need it. A centralised database on the cloud means insights are always accessible, reducing siloed information.
How Tribal can support your education CRM strategy
From initial engagement to recruitment, Tribal’s Student Marketing & Recruitment solution is an education CRM that revolutionises the student recruitment process. Our platform will help you monitor, and measure return on investment, plan, and deliver campaigns, and gain in-depth insights across every platform.
With detailed audience segmentation and seamless automation, you will be able to unify your marketing and recruitment with Tribal.
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