The benefits of using an education CRM

Posted by Daniel Barrass

A CRM system designed specifically to meet the needs of universities and the students they hope to attract is a must these days. These systems are geared towards an overall experience, regardless of a young person’s status: a prospective student, currently studying with the institution, a graduate, returning student or otherwise.    

Universities are complex; they operate in a highly competitive market and have to adapt to meet evolving student expectations. A CRM centralises communications and data, streamlines administrative tasks and automates workflows to enhance experiences. It also helps manage and bolster operations, including recruitment and engagement, with improved efficiency.  

Why should universities use a specialised CRM system?  

Because they make your job easier! ‘But how do they make my job easier?’  

Through simplified workflows, personalised student communications, and automated campaigns, you [as a student recruitment expert] can get on with the real business of identifying the best-fit students for each course – maximising potential revenue at the same time. Gone are the days of manual processes and trawling through endless enquiries – some of which inevitably get missed. 

The key behind all of this is not just selecting the best students for your university but creating a seamless, slick and intuitive experience via all potential touchpoints. You may miss quality students if they have a poor digital experience. It is widely accepted that a poor initial experience will ensure they look to one of your nearest competitors. 

CRMs also provide real-time analysis and bring metrics and insights into one central place to measure student engagement and success. Phone calls, emails, social media, and website chats can all be captured and managed in one place helping to measure engagement across the entire student journey. Having real-time data at your fingertips makes decision-making quicker and more accurate. 


Ten benefits of a specialist 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 to enrolment and beyond.  
  • Set clear metrics and measurements for student recruitment campaign ROI.  
  • Improve the student experience through fast and accurate responses.  
  • Tracking and reporting on recruitment campaigns for prospective student campaigns.  
  • Improving the speed and quality of 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.  


Education CRM systems can enhance the experience of prospective students, current students, alumni and beyond. Other great benefits of a CRM can be: improved case management in support services, fast response times to initial enquiries, attendance, and engagement monitoring to help pre-empt withdrawals or refine marketing based on course interests.  

Durham University utilised Tribal to transform student recruitment, engagement, and retention rates - see the case study 


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