With technological advancements, we are looking for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that can become a solution for our customers and help companies manage them with a pinch of personalization.
But due to lack of resources, maybe, we prefer outsourcing this significant operation to the contact centers.
What is so different about them?
Well, they use the most high-tech call center solutions that now have an integrated CRM.
This enables them to cater to various industries like finance, insurance, education, mortgage, IT and so on.
Customers are now changing the way they communicate with the companies.
To adapt to these changes, companies are using the software technology that can help them manage all their communication channels and stay on toes.
All the time while if you couldn’t connect how a CRM system could be relevant to the education systems, let me get you through with some theory and a practical example of how it has helped the education businesses.
Education businesses provide service and, unlike any other, cater to a market where their students may or may not be their direct customers.
For such institutions, it is essential to provide quality service and maintain a good rapport with students as well as their parents (who might be the payer-direct customer at times).
In other words, these institutions cater to the youth – a set of audience prone to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
In recent times, higher education systems have started noticing a change in the way their audience communicates with them.
Additionally, their audience demands instant service; hence, they are experiencing a change in their operations and are adopting customer relationship management systems.
To define their audience well, educational systems serve students, parents, alumni, and last but not the least prospective students; so does their CRM system.
Their CRM systems cater to their audience and help them manage communication with them and maintain all the customer information across various channels; this in return, helps the institutions offer personalized programmes, send customized messages and track all the interactions.
Below are a few pointers on how it has helped the educational institutions:
Faster Service: Using a good CRM system enables institutions to provide faster service.
This could be one of the reasons why they use call center software technology with an integrated CRM.
The system lets institutions automate their responses through emails and other communication channels.
Furthermore, the system also helps them track the latest trends through any feedback shared with the admissions, marketing, and any other department involved in the process.
Real-time data: Online call center software is popularly known to provide real-time data, graphs, and figures that are helpful in the decision making process.
It shows them the exact number of female students or male students, the region they come from and their age group. Furthermore, it lets the institutions track the students’ lifecycle.
Work-flow automation: This is yet another feature of the CRM system.
How does this help?
It makes sure that institutions don’t skip any query and respond to each one.
It can assign tasks to each staff member who may be relevant for the job and yes, all of this can be designed to be automated.
For instance, any query about the admission or course is assigned to the admission department.
Tracking the website and other platforms: This feature enables the institutions to track all the responses and keep an eye on all the communication channels.
In other words, it allows institutions to track the first interaction of their student with them, letting them plan their marketing strategy smartly and allocate resources appropriately.
If you are still not convinced of the advantages it brings along, let us further understand the benefits of CRM systems for the education business with a case study.
The case in point is an educational institution providing higher education courses.
Established in the year 1990, the institution used to provide more than 15 courses and used to hire industry specialist that are best for every course.
To point out the uniqueness of the institution, it allocates live projects to their students giving them an exposure to the working patterns of the industry.
With time, the institution has grown its branches and spread across 6 locations in Mumbai and Pune.
A common misconception about the education business has been that it has remained constant over the years; whilst human activities have undergone numerous changes.
However, educational systems continue to follow the same protocols, established years ago.
Recently, students are becoming demanding and need teachers or authorities on request.
Students now want to make events bigger than ever, using digital mediums.
However, the institution needed to change the look of their website to keep up with these requirements.
Secondly, the recruitment activities had to be channelized in a proper way.
Additionally, to keep up with their high-end reputation they needed to come up with courses and design a coursework that is in sync with the latest trends in the industry.
This was a concern handed by the management to the department coordinators.
Majorly, they had to find out a workable way to track, maintain and automate their interactions with the students, parents or even alumni members followed by a solution over the other concerns.
Initially, they considered telemarketing software as the possible solution.
However, it had its own limitations; it was unable to record customer interactions over the other platforms.
In parallel to this, they were looking to do some research and find out the gap between their current operations and the student expectations.
A survey suggested that students nowadays are looking for online information, writing reviews and sending in their inquiries online.
However, most of the inquiries did not receive a response.
In other words, many students began their first year without any clarity.
This showed that the institution clearly needed to streamline their operations and improve their management to boost their prospects of generating revenue.
The findings further stated that the institution needed a CRM system.
The search began and they tested various systems and decided to pick the call center software solutions, as this will help them keep a balance between their telemarketing operation, marketing, and customer management operations.
The institution needed to create a holistic management system and needed a system that would let the institution leverage its all-inclusive functionality.
Hence, they picked the best call center software.
It was now the time to empower students and study about their life-cycle was conducted.
The institute learned that the life-cycle of a student began from the time they enrolled with them; then came the phase that involved monitoring the progress of students and their needs – we could refer to this phase as the retention phase.
Their life-cycle ends when they become alumni.
The CRM system enriched student interactions and helped the institution personalize their communication channels to deliver actionable results.
The system further simplified the admission process and helped the institution store all the information like course name, student information, batch number, admission data and academic history on one dashboard.
The reputation of any institution is determined by its students.
This made it important for the institution to attract and enroll students with high potential.
The findings of the survey had already clarified the fact that more than 90 percent students go online every day.
It was now the time to track leads and online channels to generate leads and engage the students.
Post an inquiry is registered through any social media channel the management would receive all the information on one particular platform – the cloud call center software.
This enabled them to respond to all the messages at a rapid pace and increased their chances of getting excellent students enrolled.
The next step was to use their assets – the alumnus, to nourish their prospective students.
This was done using the CRM system which compiled data of alumni and enabled the institution to communicate with them about the institutes’ achievements and stay connected with them.
This further allowed them to invite their alumni back or ask them to guide/ mentor students, helping the existing students with networking support for their graduation to employment transition.
The most important achievement post the implementation of the CRM system was that it became their digital event management system due to its functionality allowing barcode registration scanning, email reminders, online booking forms, and confirmations.
This enabled them to improve user experience and reduce the time required for data reconciliation.
The system also helped them streamline their recruitment activities and communication with the students.
The communication was now more personalized and they could now track the level of engagement of their audience.
The system has become a tool for targeting leads and identifying the latest trends, change workflows and analyze their campaigns for the future growth.
Empowerment and engagement have become significant due to the strong persona and bold attitude of the young generation.
Each and every member of the institute is a marketer – be it a student, alumni, staff or the parents.
This makes it important for the educational institutions that they ensure that all its representatives are aligned with their values.
The advantages brought by a CRM system cannot be denied; however, many institutions are yet to understand the role played by these systems in their well-being.
This has led to an increasing demand in the call center software industry to provide software with an integrated CRM system.
You can surely look for a few which top the list, but Tentacle Cloud is just one of them.
To understand how it works, you can probably take a free trial.