CRM systems in higher education
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are experiencing vital changes in the way they operate and interact with their ‘customers’, i.e. students, their parents, alumni, employers and staff members. Higher education clients are demanding more attention and instant service and so proactive universities are turning to technology – customer relationship management systems – to cater to this demand in an effective way.
What are CRM systems? CRM systems are software applications used to automate and manage communications with prospective and current students, employees, alumni, donors – everyone in your institution’s community. Customer information, such as lead’s/customer’s name, gender, educational background, telephone, email, marketing materials, social media and any other relevant information across different channels is compiled into a single database enabling easier information access, allowing to personalize and customize messages and the channels used to deliver the message to the student in a timely manner. Every interaction with the “customer” is tracked by the CRM, all in one place.
CRM systems are extremely beneficial to HEIs. Some of the core benefits of using a CRM system are described below.
Firstly, utilizing a CRM system drives faster service. Emails and other types of communication channels may be automated in order to speed up response time. CRM systems provide real-time numbers, data, and graphs that may be useful in decision making. And through CRM systems you may track every aspect of a student lifecycle. Another useful and widely used feature of a CRM system is workflow automation. This feature will make sure that you never forget to respond or follow up on an enquiry ever again. Tracking is yet another great feature that comes with the most of the CRM systems. It enables institutions to track which website(s) a certain student used to find your institution. This allows for smarter marketing budget planning, allocating resources to the most effective marketing campaigns.
While implementing a CRM system is quite costly and time consuming, the return on investment is clear as soon as enrollments start flowing in as students respond to outstanding service.
However, research conducted by StudyPortals and iE&D Solutions revealed that 59% of the surveyed HEIs do not use a CRM system, the main reason being lack of knowledge about these systems, with the lack of budget being the second major reason. These findings encouraged StudyPortals and iE&D Solutions to compile a detailed report comparing various CRM systems on a number of features, as well as pricing, communication, integration, user friendliness, customizability, support, and functionality.
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- What is a CRM system?
- How are universities using CRM systems?
- What are the features of the top 15 CRM systems?
- What are important features for universities using CRM systems?
- What CRM systems are more popular in certain regions?