With so many competing colleges, universities and other educational institutions, it can be difficult for smaller higher education institutes to stand out. Large universities have the resources to increase enrollment and student retention rates through their billion-dollar endowments. However, it can be more difficult for private and smaller institutions to keep up with the marketing and recruitment efforts of these larger institutions.
So, what can these higher education institutions do to get ahead in their prospective student recruitment efforts? The answer is by using customer relationship management (CRM) software designed for educational institutions. A CRM is a digital tool that’s proven invaluable to many industries and businesses for various purposes relating to finding and keeping customers.
At first glance, the use of ‘customer’ in customer relationship management may be misleading for universities, but they do have customers — prospective students.
So, how can CRM improve recruitment for higher education?
The Benefits of a CRM for Educational Institutions
Recently, most higher education institutions have implemented CRM software to attract and retain prospective students to their institutions. When thinking of an educational institution as a business, the prospective and current university students are the customers, and the ability to earn a degree is the service that the business offers to the customer.
For individual colleges and universities to stay competitive in the current saturated higher education market, they need a targeted and effective recruitment and retention strategy. By using a CRM, institutions are able to stay ahead without investing additional valuable resources.
In addition to the ability to compete with larger institutions, CRM software has other benefits for higher education as well:
- Insights: By utilizing advanced CRM software, educational institutions have the opportunity to gain insights into their customers. Through potential and existing student data and information provided by a CRM, these institutions are better equipped to attract and satisfy customers, and form relationships with students, faculty and alumni.
- Simplicity: CRM for private schools or universities can also help to simplify multiple processes. Not only will it improve and streamline student recruitment tactics and processes, but education CRM software also has the ability to help different departments communicate and work together — all within the CRM interface. Essentially, education CRM combines information from the recruitment, marketing, student affairs and other departments, to create a more complete look at a customer or prospective student’s journey through the recruitment process.
- Flexibility: Education institutions can integrate any other software they use for various purposes with the CRM software in order to consolidate information. The integration of multiple systems will improve data collection and organize information in order to get a full perspective of both the student body and individual students. It will also improve work processes and save time, money and other resources in the process.
- Value: Another great benefit of using CRM for universities is the reasonable pricing and high return on investment of the lead management software. High-quality systems, such as Simple Sales CRM software, have all of the features higher education institutions need to enhance and maximize their recruitment efforts. Using CRM for education industry marketing, recruiting and retention can decrease department costs while increasing the number of students coming to the university, therefore maximizing return on investment.
CRM for Higher Education Institutions
How do CRMs for universities help the institution’s relationship with students? Before modern technology and social media, it was common for students to lose touch with university information and events post-graduation. However, alumni relations have grown in importance over the past few decades as schools become increasingly reliant on their endowments for funding recruitment and retention efforts.
Many alumni provide essential financial support to their alma mater, and for that reason, good alumni relations are extremely important for universities. CRM software for education creates a map of each student from the point of interest in the university to when they have been alumni for many years. CRM software is revolutionizing the connections between universities and their students.
CRM for Private Schools
Similarly to public institutions, CRM software can improve private schools’ recruitment, retention and communications efforts. As institutions within two competitive markets — both colleges and universities and private colleges and universities — it can be even more difficult for private education institutions to be viable contenders. However, with the help of CRM software, smaller private schools can throw their hat in the ring.
In addition to the myriad of recruitment process improvements that CRM software provides, private institutions can also utilize them to increase their communication and marketing efforts. To stand out, an institution must offer or do something that others don’t. A CRM can help private schools integrate their social media, website and online and in-person marketing efforts, essentially creating a private school marketing machine. With the combination of all of these resources, private schools will be able to compete even with larger public institutions
How Simple Sales CRM Helps Improve Enrollment
Simple Sales was created as a company-wide pipeline to collect data from customer prospects to closed sales. It has helped companies and departments become more organized and connected, and has led to increased sales. For higher education, Simple Sales CRM can completely transform and enhance your recruitment efforts.
Imagine knowing all the relevant information about a prospective student in order to attract their interest. Having this data could help your recruitment office personalize messages and materials, making this customer more likely to choose your school. Now, envision that the same student graduated from the school and became a successful businessperson.
If you utilized a CRM when that person was a student, your alumni or development department could quickly find their contact and personal information, reach out to them with a customized message and make it much more likely that they would give back to the university.
Additionally, if your school enrolls under a certain number of students each year, you can use a CRM for enrollment simplification. For smaller institutions, CRM software can integrate enrollment data, admissions and even tuition payments and processing.
Start Your Free Trial of Simple Sales CRM Today!
Many higher education institutions are already utilizing CRM software for their recruitment, marketing and retention efforts. If you want to stand out from your competitors, it’s time to get CRM software for your educational institution. Simple Sales provides effective communication while consolidating information to streamline departments and whole organizations. With better data and a bigger picture of your organization, you’ll be able to target and adapt to the needs of your students.
If your university or college wants to recruit more students or needs a way to connect existing technologies, Simple Sales is the solution. Contact us today to learn more about how CRM software can revolutionize your institution’s processes.