by Priyalshri Chattar | Nov 22, 2022 | ExtraaEdge’s Blog
As per a recent report by Statista on higher education enrolment:In the financial year 2020, the number of students enrolled was about 40 million across India. This is expected to increase to 92 million in the financial year 2035. Isn’t this a mind-blowing number?
Now just think of managing this multitude of leads manually!
What a chaotic scenario it will be when your admission team is struggling to communicate with the leads, managing the lead data over multiple Excel sheets, and still missing out on a few of them. Also, it can be overwhelming at times to get a huge number of leads but lack somewhere in providing timely information, which results in low conversion rates.
Looking at these challenges and the emerging growth in the higher education industry, most of the institutes are currently undergoing fundamental changes in the way they operate and interact with their leads, students, and admissions teams. The most significant change among these is the swift shift towards automation and a customer-centric management system like a CRM.
Around 65% of higher education institutions are currently using CRM to streamline their admission process and have experienced an 80% hike in their conversion rates.
Do you want the same conversion hike for your institute? Then do read the complete piece, which provides you with enough insights on higher education CRM and the impact it will have on your admissions rate.
What is a Higher Education CRM?
A CRM for higher education is a Customer Relationship Management software exclusively designed for the higher education segment to assist the admission team with lead integration, management, and nurturing to increase conversion rates and quality admissions.
A higher education CRM system compiles each individual’s contact information, activities, and attributes. The system also provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with your leads, such as Bulk SMS, emails, Whatsapp, IVR calls, and much more.
Why do you need a Higher Education CRM?
An efficient higher education CRM is capable of solving the major challenges faced by the higher education admission team, i.e., managing enquiries and events, nurturing communication, targeting their marketing campaigns, reporting and analytics.
To dive deeper, let’s focus on some unique benefits a higher education CRM can provide you with:
Managing the Lead Influx
For any higher education institute, lead management is the trickiest. A series of wide-reaching strategies are needed to pull in the interest of the target audience. On top of this, dealing with a constant influx of applications from different regions and overseeing various lead channels is too overwhelming to manage manually.
Here, a higher-ed CRM can help you in two ways:
Integrating all your lead channels ensuring zero lead leakage: A CRM integrates different lead generation channels such as Facebook, Google Ads, Just Dial, Sulekha, Publisher websites (eg. Shiksha, Collegedunia, Careers360, etc), and the University website.
Evenly distributing the leads among your admissions team: Once the leads get into the CRM, the next significant task is to allocate the leads. Through a CRM you can assign each lead to the apt counselor, based on conuselor’s efficiency, course, demographics, etc.
Additionally, a CRM tracks and automates the tasks involved in the admission process, such as storing applicants’ data, sending timely reminders to inform them about their enrollment status, etc.
Automating all Communications
Exceptional communication provides a maximum conversion rate, but what persuades students to take admissions to a certain institute is: communicating the right information at the right time. Every student enquiring about a higher education program is in the digital age and is very impatient when it comes to their queries being answered.
A dedicated higher education can definitely help you with the above scenarios:
Automating all your communication through rule engines will result in faster responses.
Eliminating manual communication will increase your counselor’s productivity.
Integrating all the communication channels into a single platform eliminates the dependency on third-party applications.
Through automating your communications you can have regular follow-ups on your leads, thereby increasing the chances of conversions.
A CRM provides various options for communication such as Bulk SMS, Emails, Whatsapp, Calling, and Video calls. Additionally, for 24*7 communication, you can also opt for an education chatbotto answer students’ queries at odd times and collect channelized lead data.
Tracking Fee Payment and Setting Reminders
As a higher education institute, you offer multiple courses, and each of these courses has a different fee structure. To manage these varied fee structures you need to have an effective fee management application to run the payment process smoothly.
A dedicated higher education CRM can help you here in certain ways:
It tracks the overall payment activities related to student enrollment and courses offered
It helps your administrative department to avoid discrepancies in the payment process
Timely reminders will notify students about their due fees, thereby optimising the counselor’s time to call and remind.
Making payment easier and accessible to everyone by integrating all payment gateways.
Additionally, with a quality CRM, you can send an auto-generated link and send it via SMS, email, or WhatsApp. This will make the payment process seamless and smooth for your students. Also while tracking the payment status, if a student gets stuck somewhere you can automate reminders regarding the due fees.
Analysing and Reporting
Typically, gathering a range of data and putting it manually into excel sheets is something of an exhausting and time-consuming task. Besides this, organising the completed data into a readable format is a whole new task.
Through a powerful CRM, you can replace this manual labor and cumbersome task with reporting dashboard which,
Help you track multiple verticals of your admissions such as the performance of lead generation sources, various campaigns your marketing team runs, counselor performance, team performance across campuses, return on ad spend (ROAS), call-to-conversion ratio, and many more.
Measure the outcomes of your admission strategies and marketing efforts to put your money at the right channel. It will allow you to make data-driven changes to your admission strategy.
For any higher education institute, it is vital to store the academic information of its students and alumni as they are more likely to provide support in the future. Hence, including alumni in your email list for newsletters on announcements for fundraisers, networking events, job fairs, and reunions are inevitable. For this reason, you need a better way to save this data securely.
With a dedicated higher education CRM you can:
centralise academic data.
access the data anytime.
send target email campaigns conveniently.
Having a clean physical and email addresses database means newsletters, announcements, and invitations are getting delivered. It also allows you to share the event’s success through announcements on how much funding was raised.
What to look for while buying a higher education CRM?
There are multiple products available in the market that claim to be the best, but your best is defined by your use case. So while choosing a CRM do consider every vertical of your admission process.
However, there are a few points you can strongly put into consideration:
Easy to use: CRM should be very easy to use for your admissions team with a minimal learning curve
Smooth Integration: Make sure all the lead generation channels & other apps that you use can be easily integrated with the CRM you choose.
Adaptability: if required the software should be easy to modify as per the changing use case.
Customer support: there should be a dedicated account manager that would be handling your institute’s CRM
It’s our wind-up and your warm-up
In the face of 2022 when students are overwhelming themselves with educational modernization, your institute needs a highly efficient system to stay ahead of their needs with tools such as proactive communications and chatbots.
Here, a higher education CRM can be a boon that benefits the students and increases the efficiency of the admissions team. Additionally, it increases alumni engagement and fundraising.
So now is the time for you to drop all your back-breaking admissions strategies and hop onto a seamless admissions process through a “quality higher education CRM”.