Integrate Your CRM & Student System For Better Student Communication

Posted by Tribal Group

Exploring how you can improve your student communication by integrating your student management system (SMS) with customer relationship management (CRM) software? Or curious about what you can do with some of Tribal’s most popular solutions?

With a growing number of APAC region universities looking for better ways to integrate their platforms — and improve communication with students — we wanted to shine the light on one of our favourite integrations: CRMs and student management systems.

On their own, CRMs and student management systems are both valuable tools, but when you combine them, you get something even more powerful.

Here are 5 reasons to connect your student management system with a CRM:

1. More Data Means More Personalisation and Better Insights 

Most CRMs come with advanced personalisation capabilities that are only limited by the data you have on each contact. By integrating your CRM with your student management system, you enable rich data (that’s continually updated). This creates a whole lot more potential for personalised communication.

 Meanwhile, you can do a lot more with your student management systems’ reporting capabilities when it can also tap into insights from your education CRM.

 These capabilities are really what make everything else possible…

2. Automate Student Communication

Increasing communication frequency has been shown to increase students’ sense of community, according to a study of students enrolled in a large Australian metropolitan university. Fortunately, automated tools can help you communicate more regularly without necessarily putting more demands on your comms team.

By integrating your student CRM and student management system, you can automatically trigger campaigns and communications based on data entered into your student system. For example, you could create the following campaigns:

  • Attendance campaign – Use self-reported student absences or lesson attendance data to create a campaign that encourages disengaged students to re-engage with their courses and campus life.
  • Academic support campaign – Use assessment marks and learning progress data to reach out to students that might benefit from additional support with their studies.
  • Campus opportunities – Use class timetable information to target students with information about on-campus events they can participate in.
  • Last minute changes – Provide relevant, timely information to students impacted by last minute changes on-campus due to a crisis or event, based on their timetable or location.
  • Student wellbeing campaign – Provide targeted communication to promote student wellbeing and offer support at the right time, based on student actions.
Case study:

University of Waikato

The University of Waikato in New Zealand were using multiple systems for student outreach, marketing enquiries, and event management. They wanted a way to see each individual student’s journey and interactions — and help to improve their processes and efficiency.

Since they were already long-term users of Tribal's student management system, SITS:Vision, The University of Waikato decided to try our CRM solution, Tribal Student Marketing & Recruitment, and integrate it into their existing system.

Since then, they've seen positive changes in the way they engage with each prospective student. Many essential communications are now automated, allowing teams to use their time towards building a personal connection and engaging with students. And staff across the university can support student enquiries, with each enquiry carefully tracked and matched with the staff member best suited to address the enquiry. Plus, many other benefits.

According to The University of Waikato's Deputy Director of Business Process and Change, "The visibility that it provides of where people are through their journey helps us target the right students at the right time."

Read more about how the University of Waikato are using Tribal.


3. Measure and Improve Student Satisfaction

According to our Global Student Experience 2022 report, overall student satisfaction in Australian universities lagged considerably behind global averages (at just 79%). But student satisfaction is a critical metric no matter where your institution is located. And a CRM — especially one that is well-integrated into your other systems — can play an important role in keeping your students happy.

One study found that implementing a CRM in a college setting led to benefits like improved customer data and process management, greater student loyalty, a more student-centric focus, and improved student loyalty, retention, and satisfaction. Meanwhile, another study reported that managing the student lifecycle using customer relationship management strategies helped increase the likelihood that students would recommend a university to others.

But what about integrating your CRM with your student management system?

It turns out that in order to accurately measure performance and student satisfaction, you need to evaluate data from both systems together. Research into the evaluation of CRMs and their impact on student satisfaction found that higher education institutions should analyse their market performance by combining insights from all three categories: class-related activities, management, and supporting processes. In other words, you need to combine insights from both your CRM and student systems to properly measure student satisfaction.

4. Predict Student Success

More data can help you more accurately predict student success. According to a literature review, potential factors influencing student academic success include:

  • Student demographics – Gender, age, race/nationality, socio-economic status
  • Prior academic achievement – High school background, pre-admission testing, course marks, assessment marks, GPA
  • Environmental attributes – Class type, semester duration, program type
  • Psychological attributes – Stress/anxiety, study behaviours, motivations, interest, self-regulation
  • Student activity – Time accessing the classroom, number of tasks, materials views and time spent viewing them, e-learning logins, assessment activities, discussion board entries

A well-connected CRM and student information system makes it possible to analyse available data across these attributes so that you can better understand your students’ overall likelihood of success. You could even use this analysis to offer targeted support to individual students who need it most, tailored to specific areas of weakness.

Case study:

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi is a publicly owned tertiary education institution based in Whakatane, New Zealand. 

The institution selected Tribal Group to provide their Student Management System (ebs), along with Tribal's CRM (Student Marketing and Recruitment). The CRM integration will help to extend on the capability of ebs to construct and maintain a full 360-degree view of each student, from initial enquiry to alumni management. Awanuiārangi also plans to adopt Tribal's Student Engage mobile app so they can provide a private social network that will connect the entire community, engaging students, staff, departments, and businesses in a collaborative environment that enables learning and support. 

Compared to the institution's previous system, Tribal offers more powerful workflows, extended reporting solutions, integrated timetabling, and various stakeholder portals.

Read more about how Tribal are supporting Awanuiārangi.


5. Make Data-Backed Decisions

It’s much easier to make a case for change when you have clear data to back it up.

With a better connected CRM, you can get insights into your student demographics, student journey, subject choices, and characteristics — and how these impact student satisfaction, results, and attendance further down the line.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a study found that a CRM can support university management boards to make a case for better and more student-oriented practices — that not only increase student satisfaction but also improve organisational efficiency.

By integrating Tribal Student Marketing & Recruitment (CRM) and Tribal ebs / SITS (student management system), 



Learn more

Curious about how you can experience seamless native integration between Tribal ebs / SITS and our Student Marketing & Recruitment CRM? Contact Tribal to learn more about how we can help you integrate your student systems or book a demo to see our systems for yourself.

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Want tools that integrate seamlessly to help your team streamline student management and improve student experiences? We can help.


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