During the pandemic-prone year, when the world is isolated and businesses are closed temporarily, digital communication remains the only feasible way to convey the message to the prospects effectively. One such section that is worst hit by the COVID crisis is the Education industry. Probably not in terms of an economic turnaround, but on operational grounds. The shutdown of educational institutions across the globe has impacted the entire education framework, and India is no exception.
Global Impact on Education Admissions
According to Education Dive, the coronavirus has upended virtually every one of these admissions standards globally too. As it took hold in the U.S. over the past month, splendorous events were scrapped. Campus tours went virtual. Though the May 1 commitment date was already diminishing in relevance for admissions officers, many institutions formally abandoned it in favour of a June 1 deadline(and beyond). Some large institutions and public systems that use standardized tests to filter the tens of thousands of applicants they get each year decided to stop asking for SAT or ACT scores, at least temporarily—much to the delight of advocates who have campaigned for test-optional policies.
Reboot on Education Marketing Landscape
Apart from that, the general marketing landscape has changed like never before. Though prospects are indeed accessing multiple digital touchpoints, a huge disconnect can be seen between marketers and prospects.
There are lapses and ambiguities in the communication strategy that leads to abrupt customer behaviour. It undeniably calls upon the need to deploy unified communication mediums. With businesses going online, it is imperative to know how to communicate and reach your prospects online. As the corona crisis goes on, businesses are going through unusual times. Marketers are in a challenging situation, looking to find answers to these questions, respond to the current crisis, and align with consumer behaviours during these times. With the prolonged and indefinitely increasing lockdown, there is a massive shift in the market from the supply and demand sides, making it difficult to run the businesses. Also, reaching the customers has now been very difficult as there is a considerable volume of customers shifting from offline to online services. Let us look at some of the different mediums to communicate with prospects during the current lockdown.
Chatbots for Admissions – the instant mode to reach prospects
According to RtInsights –
ChatBots have become the fastest response channel while communicating with students during admissions, and as per a report, over 59% of the millennials and 60% of Generation X had an interaction with the chatbots.
Amid COVID, it’s unquestionably essential to deliver a fluid shopping experience, and Chatbots are one of the ways to improve your marketing tactics. Chatbots for Admissions are one of the easiest ways to reach every customer visiting your website.
Chatbots can initiate conversations, gather customer information, and their requirements simply and easily pertaining to Admissions. The chatbots can also be used to solve customer queries and all their initial doubts regarding your organization within a few seconds. Chatbots can surely increase your service quality and boost your customer satisfaction.
In a time of rapid digital change, Chatbots are the potential mode to strengthen your communication with your customers seamlessly. You can answer your customer queries quickly in no time. When you resolve your customer queries regarding your product or services efficiently in real-time, it results in acquiring potential sales leads. ChatBots for Admissions are specifically designed for the educational sector and empower educational institutes to grab enrollment conversions by three times, save admission support costs by 30%, make your business available beyond regular working hours, and much more.
Emails via Drip – the most formal and personalised way of communication
According to BlueCore research, when looking at preferred email providers, Gmail reigns as the most popular choice across generations. What’s more interesting is how drastically Gmail’s market share increases as we look at younger audiences. While 35% of Baby Boomers use Gmail, adoption increases only slightly for Generation X(39%), then jumps to 22% for Millennials(61%)then finally peaks with Generation Z at 70%.
Source: Blue Core Research
With the lockdown, people have shifted majorly to online platforms and thus increased their online presence. Emails are one of the key ways to communicate with your prospects with a personal touch. Reaching out to prospects and initiating a conversation can prove beneficial if you revert to them whenever they fill out forms on your website or after their team’s initial call.
During this unprecedented medical outbreak, emails remain a potential and the most prevailing way to retain existing customers and gain new ones. As a marketer, you might be having a great idea, or creating new deals for your buyers, but are you delivering it to your potential customers? Are you emailing it to get leads?
Since it is impossible to arrange for physical admission workshops, the institutes can opt to deliver admission-related information to future students through emails. Institutes can share the latest admission updates with the candidates on a regular basis to keep them informed. Email when used via a drip marketing service can truly help you with this and make it easy for you to shift to email marketing during these times.
Video Counselling- a way to maintain the trust of a physical world
According to Business Wire with a 175 per cent increase in their regular live video usage in the last three years, millennials represent the largest group of live video users and one-fourth of young people video chat on a daily basis. Almost half of the people aged 35-54, and 25 per cent of those 55 and older, report they are video chatting more than they were one year ago. Businesses are pretty unusual at the moment. Marketers and buyers don’t find a practical way that can resolve their issues and concerns potentially. No doubt, Video Counselling platforms have recorded an enormous rise in demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In Admission engagement video counseling is another great medium to communicate with your prospects by giving them a personal touch and making the candidates understand their importance to you. Since, due to the lockdown, physical walk-ins are not happening, moving to video counseling will surely be an excellent way to replace your physical presence and support.
With the trusted & secure video counseling service, you can call, chat, send docs, and share recordings with your prospects and make them familiar with your organization. During these difficult times of the global pandemic, when businesses are scrambling to lockdown, video counseling acts as a great way to accelerate your business sales. Indeed, video presence boosts loyalty and increases your brand value, bringing you more sales.
Choosing the right Education CRM coupled with video chat enables you to reach your prospects digitally in the most dynamic way- through video counseling. You can easily explain your product along with its most prominent features to your prospect. Video counseling will help you to refresh your customer experience strategies and give a look at your end-to-end sales process.
WhatsApp Bots – join the most impactful communication platform
Amidst COVID, companies have found many new ways to reach their customers and accelerate their sales growth. WhatsApp Chats, which was once considered the most informal way of business communication, has now become one of the best ways to reach prospect in no time. WhatsApp chats between the brands and their buyers have increased by 500%. Isn’t it mind-blowing?
Source: Business of Apps
WhatsApp is not only a communication channel that allows for quick interaction, but it’s available anytime, anywhere, while on the go. Companies are modifying their marketing and communication strategies, and the trend continues to grow with ongoing pandemic situations. WhatsApp has become the most popular and engaging mobile messenger app worldwide in a short span of time. User engagement on the WhatsApp messaging platforms grows by 44% year-by-year.
What adds to WhatsApp’s popularity is that it is easy to use and is accessed by people of all ages. It has 1.5 billion active users monthly. Using WhatsApp Bots, you can utilize predefined auto templates to qualify prospects on WhatsApp. Now, converse with your customers with a responsive live-chat interface and convince them almost effortlessly.
Admission-focused WhatsApp ChatBots that help you deliver a better customer experience by automating your responses. With WhatsApp ChatBots, you can quickly respond to your customer’s queries in real time. You can quickly transform your customer experience by integrating chatbots. Some of the significant benefits that WhatsApp ChatBots bring along include brand personalization, 24X7 support, exceptional customer experience, real-time query resolutions, seamless chat, and much more.
SMS/Messages- a consistent marketing strategy if done right
According to the Research group EzTexting, Among the 18-34-year-old age bracket, the text is the preferred channel for notifications from businesses. 83% of millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. 75% of millennials prefer SMS communications for deliveries, promotions, and surveys.
Source: Eztexting SMS Marketing Statistics
SMS (Short Message Service) is not a new term in the marketing arena. You can create breakthrough sales opportunities while lowering your communication cost. Nevertheless, SMS campaigns are essential and can be used for transactional messages, payment confirmation, OTP, walk-in, or call schedules.
It is an ideal and cheaper communication mode that helps keep the customers up-to-date with the most recent business information. As huge as 83% of users open SMS within the first 90 seconds of receiving it, undoubtedly, it is the most accessible mode of communication with a remarkable open rate.
Businesses can share their latest deals, discounts, product updates, and other promotional information with their customers through an attractive SMS. Education institutes can share enrolment schedules, enrolment procedures, and admission statuses with the students through SMS. Students can receive updates about their fees, summer break (start and end date), and upcoming intake on their smartphones through SMS. You can spread words about your business in the most convincing way so that it appeals to your customers and improves conversion.
SMS marketing strategy allows businesses to promote their business in the most cost-efficient way amidst the pandemic. SMS brings along a multitude of advantages, and businesses of all sizes- small or large can utilize it for better sales at low cost.
What you must opt for a periodic & constant engagement model for Admissions?
Adapting to new marketing strategies and the most effective communication mediums is the need of the hour. During the COVID outbreak, aligning your communication with the current market needs will help maintain brand credibility and build awareness in the public interest, particularly if you are handling the education business.
Simply put, it is significantly crucial to have a firm communication strategy in place, irrespective of the situation- crisis or no crisis. You can adopt any one or a combination of these different mediums to communicate with your prospects positively and improve your sales amidst the pandemic. Most importantly, you must have access to a well-established communication channel, and the only way to achieve this is through a reliable vendor.
A robust Education CRM is a one-stop solution for all your communication needs- be it SMS marketing, WhatsApp Chatbot integration, email messaging, deploying CRM software, or any other solution. You can employ bespoke admission and marketing solutions to deliver exceptional enrolment services to students right from any geographical location within the country. Accelerate your admission procedure by enabling quick access to program brochures, scheduling calls, and automating replying with accurate responses to the students. The major advantage is that you can use these solutions on any device. You can also customize the Chatbot appearance according to your business-specific requirements. Moreover, it provides instant access to analytics to help you get a more detailed insight into your sales performance.