At times, it may become difficult to identify who is the customer for an educational institution. Is it the student, or is it the parents? The entire Customer Relationship Management strategy may change depending on who is identified as the primary customer.
Customer Relationship Management helps Educational Institutions increase satisfaction of students, parents and the community.
However, to simplify things, we may consider following scenarios:
- For a K-12 School, the decision of enrolment depends mostly on parents. Yet abandonment can be reduced if the student is properly taken care of.
- For Colleges and University, the student itself is the primary customer, but parents are the influencers too.
- For Training Centres or Classes, we can safely say that the student is the customer.
Majority of the educational institutions do not give sufficient emphasis on CRM, although it is among the more complex industries with huge volumes of customer’s to take care of. Customer Relationship Management begins while the customer is still a prospect. The first impression contributes to almost 40% of conversions in the education vertical. Hence it is important to identify the “First Touch points” and create a focused strategy to ensure a pleasant experience for the prospects.
First Touch Points
First Touch Points could be an advertisement, your website or even a directory listing with user reviews. With the internet age, more and more prospects will be touching your institution online. So you need to have a good web presence. If you can provide enquiry forms, admission forms and others online, then your prospects immediately build a good opinion about your institution.
Last Touch Points
This is the point which could be just before someone commits to en-roll, or it could even be when the student is graduating from your school. The demeanor of your staff definitely plays an important role during this time, however, taking exit surveys and acting upon them is a definite differentiator.
Interim Touch Points
During the journey of the student in your institution, you will come across various touch points to ensure the satisfaction of your customers. This is what makes it one of the most difficult industry vertical for Customer Relationship Management, since the customer remains engaged with you for a very long time.
Such complex relationships when handled manually without goal measurements, renders it ineffective. Automated CRM system is a must and it should also be tuned for educational institutions. Let us itemise where all will you need automation.
- You need to have a system with which you can create online web forms. These could be for enquiry generation, admission forms, interim and exit surveys, and many more.
- The data collected from these forms should be available to you in an easily accessible manner so that you can extract meaningful information form it, segment them into stages, or plan your actionable.
- You should have a convenient system to broadcast messages to prospects and customers, while also being able to segment them into relevant categories, and be able to track the outcome of your communication.
- You should also have an analytics dashboard with which you can monitor your performance in real time and in visual charts.
SchoolTime has designed such an application specifically for Educational Institutions that can give them a wholistic experience with Customer Relationship Management. We call it Student Relationship Management, SRM.