— VANDANA DEVI SREEJITH
HOW HAS CRM BEEN A GAME CHANGER FOR THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY
Have you ever wondered what is it that motivates many of us to make a beeline for certain schools or colleges? How is it that these institutes manage to edge over their competitors in attracting a plethora of new admissions year after year?
The answer lies in three simple letters – CRM – an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. A revolutionary software that leverages the power of technology to manage your institute’s relationship with your existing and potential leads, thereby augmenting your marketing efforts and improving your centre’s competitive edge. CRM is a crucial strategic tool that helps you enrich the relationship of your institute with your potential leads, thus helping your school/college grow by leaps and bounds. In fact, Michael McCafferty, renowned American entrepreneur, also known as the Father of CRM, once remarked, “CRM is rather boring in itself. It’s the fortunes that you can build using CRM that makes it so interesting!”
So, how does CRM help institutes build up their business fortunes?
- By helping them establish and manage a positive relationship with their clientele
CRM is an amazingly powerful tool that helps institutes develop a strong relationship and personal bond with their prospective clientele. It offers detailed insights about their preferences, behaviours, as well as their financial status, and also offers an overview of these leads’ past academic performance. Institute counsellors, in particular, will find the lead history available on the CRM especially useful, as it will assist them in tailoring the course modules or fee payment structure in accordance with the prospective lead’s needs.
- By streamlining and stabilizing their existing relations with their lead body
CRM is a highly advantageous tool that helps institutes, especially colleges and coaching centres, to attract and retain their leads. Not only does this tool help improve existing institute-lead bond, but it also helps in strengthening relations with the centre’s alumni as well. Loyalty to your institute is guaranteed with the help of an advanced CRM software. If proactively used, the exhaustive lead data available at your fingertips on your chosen CRM platform can be used to enhance your leads’ experience.
- By letting them stay one step ahead of their competitors
As a strategic business tool, CRM helps supercharge the institute’s marketing efforts and advertising campaigns, thus empowering its counsellors to get better lead conversions and recruit more leads than its competitors. It helps simplify the entrepreneurial burden faced by institute heads by bringing together their administrative, recruiting, academic, counselling, marketing and financial responsibilities under a single roof. A smartly used CRM model also ensures positive lead outcome, increased donations and long-term institution success – both in terms of revenue as well as lead loyalty and goodwill.
- By helping them simplify and streamline all their processes and operational procedures
One reason why CRM has gained popularity in recent times is due to the fact that this multi-purpose tool can provide structure and organisation where you need it most. CRM ensures everything is in one place and easily accessible – be it institute data, staff information, teachers’ workflow, lead history, examination records, fee invoices or payment updates, thus ensuring that administrative tangles are kept to a minimum, benefitting the institute immensely in the long run.
- By positively impacting their lead recruitment efforts
An advanced CRM tool can help enhance all the efforts of an institute’s counsellors by providing intelligent dashboards that organise, update and filter prospective lead data real-time. The software can offer radical data analytics to institutes, helping them plan their course of action, track interested enquiries, optimise forthcoming lead data from various sources, and finally convert them with the assistance of information collected on the CRM database with regards to the leads’ course preferences and financial capabilities.
- By balancing out revenue versus operational costs
As a data sharing platform, CRM is crucial in understanding the underlying operational costs, whether visible or unseen, and analysing them in the context of revenue generated on an annual basis. This helps institute heads make informed decisions on various cost factors involved, re-think their advertising or marketing costs and streamline expenses in order to generate a decent year-end balance sheet.
- By assisting in organising data and providing them with a unified platform
Powered by the advances in technology and artificial intelligence, cutting edge CRM provides institutes with a superior dashboard designed to let them store large amounts of data in an organised manner, that’s not only convenient to view or monitor, but is absolutely easy to retrieve. The inbuilt features of a CRM tool ensure that the institute data has been stored securely, with next to no chances of getting lost, manipulated or misplaced.
- By scaling up their admission process to secure a stronger lead foothold
When it comes to securing admissions, an advanced CRM platform lets institutes stay ahead of the game by helping them impress prospective leads, allowing them to personalise each lead visit on campus, while still maintaining an efficient back end process, resulting in better on the spot conversions and immediate fee payments. It also helps augment efforts directed towards recruiting lead s on various networking channels, promotional mailers as well as social media. Also, through its connections with the institute’s alumni, a CRM software aids institutes in getting prospective and interested lead references, which leads to increased lead count every academic cycle.
- By helping them attract quality staff members
Any institute owner undoubtedly rates his/her staff and teachers as a prominent reason for the institute’s good reputation and success in the market. A CRM tool inevitably attracts high quality staff to the table due to the increased visibility it lends to the institute on every front, enhancing its workplace appeal.
- By reducing their lead attrition rate
By adopting a sophisticated CRM tool, institutes are better equipped to manage their existing leads throughout their course period, and are empowered to practice a more inclusive and solution-based approach towards their concerns. Utilising CRM in a proactive way enables institutes to identify risk prone leads and assist them in a timely manner, thus ensuring that the institution-lead bridge is fortified, resulting in leads completing their courses for the actual tenure.
- By being easily accessible on any device
Most of the software features offered by a CRM platform can easily be accessed by the institute’s members, not only on their work desktop, but also on their smartphones or tablets, thus helping the admin, faculty, sales and counselling team function at their peak any day of the year.
- By fostering improved communication within the institute
Any educational institution, big or small, stands to gain immensely from adopting CRM technology, as it not only provides detailed insight into leads’ progress and batch performance, but also nurtures a positive and open communication channel within itself, thereby facilitating better understanding between various branch members and the faculty. Different departments that tend to lie intertwined get a voice with the help of CRM, which increases rapport and team work among the admission, counselling and finance teams, as well as among leads, teachers and even the alumni. This eventually leads to a better run and efficiently managed institute, thus increasing its repute and loyalty among its patrons.
To sum it up, adopting a reputed and reliable CRM software is surely a profitable investment for any educational institute, as it not only increases the institute’s visibility among existing and prospective leads alike, but is also guaranteed to provide your institute complete academic and administrative success!