ADMISSION CLOSURES – A movie perspective
Hitch is a great movie starring Will Smith, Kevin James later remade into a bollywood flick called Partner starring Govinda & Salman Khan. The plot is simple, the protagonist helps the candidate steer through the funnel in order win the women of their dreams. If you have watched the movie you will vividly recall at each steps quick nurturing tips on making the first move, do’s & don’ts, communicating aptly & finally going for the declaration helps them in closure.
A candidate maybe inherently the right fit but he needs a combination of right moves to reach a closure.
The parallel runs true for Education Marketing too. Lead Conversion is the better half of Lead generation. Industries love this part of deal making. FMCG, Retail, Logistics spend millions every year in terms of better processes, funnel optimisation, trainings and advanced technology to ensure conversions. In Education however, there has always been a lag when it comes to the admission process on a whole.
INCREASING CONVERSION RATIO’s OF ADMISSIONS
There are very few institutes that actually give adequate importance to this crucial part of the admission process. In this blog we shall look at
“How to achieve the optimal conversion ratios for your institute in an Indian setup”
The admissions cycle is a very crucial process that decides the quality and quantity of the intake into any college or university. In our earlier blog we discussed about lead generation and also the apt approach towards Hot, Warm and Cold markets/leads to aid better results. The admissions cycle also demands a different set of needs, unique to each of these target audience. Also an added factor is the changing market trends. Our audience today i.e. 21st century learners & their parents are smart, aware & educate themselves via social, online & content across the internet. They have various options to choose from.
The admission cycle, is a journey for a student, a journey like the movie HITCH of picking one golden egg from a basket filled with carefully chosen white eggs that leads to him fulfilling her ambitions. So what are the factors that make her turn that one egg into a Golden Egg?
MOST CRITICAL TENETS FOR ADMISSIONS CLOSURES
Education in India has evolved into a highly competitive industry. One of the first aspects that can impress a student is a friendly, consultative, brief response on his first attempt to get information. It can be verbal, through the website, a chat window, an email or SMS. Students today need an answer to their question as soon as the thought has crossed their minds.
1. Response Time – Time to Value
You response time is the time taken where you deliver the first admission inputs & career guidance to a student. Think of it like people who need help, they need it now!
The longer you make the enquiry wait, the higher chances of losing it. Currently consider this to be no more than 1 min. Needless to point out that response time should mandatorily be the least at any cost. An enquiry is not worth spending on, if the counselor is unable to even begin the conversation. The response by nature should help him answer his questions & moreover educate him. Not sell but rather educate.
“The first impression is the best impression so educate & do not sell”
Response time is merely as important as the Call itself. Study shows that a student/parent would have decided by 80% of the times whether she wants to enroll in the institution or not at the end of the first call. In the least of cases, it would be the deciding factor towards a walk-in which conceals the ratios of conversion further. A well trained, trustworthy and mature admissions counselors will help you win this battle any day with ease. Language, tone, content, confidence, interaction and conversation are some pointers to get started on. So recruiting the right people for this position and spending adequate time educating them about the culture of the organisation is a crucial step often ignored.
“A single call can make or break because tone accounts for 86% of communication over the phone compared to 14% from the words we use, according to Contact Point research.”
2. Conversion Tools and Technology
There are various key elements that are essential to drive conversions it. Some of the technology tools that foster conversions are:
- Virtual Campus Tour
- Personalised Chat Bot
- Mobile App for Admissions
- Easy Form & Application Capture
- Payment Gateway Integration
- A “Click-to-Call” dial option
Apart from the Campus tour and personalised human touch, does the college provide an Online Virtual tour for outstation students or a personalised chatbot that helps the student navigate your website at 12 am in the night. Technology has indeed advanced, exploit it to your advantage. Your students most certainly do even if you choose to ignore it.
Something as simple as a Tablet PC with a digital Enquiry Form will make an high impact on your audience when he/she walks into your campus.
3. Measurement and Improvisation
In education no same course sells the same way in a different area, city or state. So Automation, Analytics, Reports to measure performances and strategies are something that no longer needs a say. We have seen many large as well as small setups moving towards CRM / LMS, IVR etc to ensure control and improvisation.
Metrics like mentioned below very important in this regard:
- Contacts to Lead Ratio
- Lead to Walk-in Ratio
- Walkin to Enrollment Ratio
- Enrollment to Drop Ratio
With the government working towards raising the current gross enrolment ratio to 30 per cent by 2020 and target to achieve an augmented Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 50 per cent by 2030, the way education is sort after and sold in India is set to witness a drastic change. Not to mention the growing E-Learning platforms and options a student can choose from.
THE GREAT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY FOR INSTITUTES
The education market in India is currently valued at US$ 100 billion and is expected to nearly double to US$ 180 billion by 2020. Currently, India’s higher education system is the largest in the world enrolling over 70 million students while in less than two decades, India has managed to create additional capacity for over 40 million students. It witnesses spending of over Rs 46,200 crore (US$ 6.93 billion).
Alongside this rapid growth, is the growing demand to cater to the needs of the industry. Online payments, Automations and chatbots are just the beginning. There are many tools out there that aid the admissions processes today and help win those last 4 admissions.
So if you are still not giving enough attention to the conversion cycle of you admissions, then you are sure to lose this battle sooner than you know it. From having regional language speaking counselors to AI driven bots, the need to have deep thought process in education is a soon to be reality.
We live in an age of options & accessible information. So, proactive marketing gives a competitive advantage & all institutes should embrace this reality.
ExtraaEdge is a data-science backed cloud-based pioneer in Admissions & Marketing Automation software for the education industry. We are the category leaders when it comes to understanding education marketing & technology that powers educational enterprises. This blog is an effort to share our learnings from the Industry and help education marketeers, admissions counselors and all associated stakeholders of education enterprises learn and grow together.