In line with improving enrolment management plans, educational institutions are integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to make admission and retention processes easier. When selecting a CRM solution, education managers have a more diverse range of choices now than in the past. Here are some considerations when choosing a CRM solution for your school:
Compatibility With The Existing System
Ensure that your enrolment CRM application works with other systems used for managing information in your campus. This includes not only software, but also the hardware where the CRM will be installed. It’s important to check if the hardware in place meets the specifications of the CRM solution. The CRM application must also be able interoperate with the other software used for maintaining student information, financial records and other relevant databases in the campus. When compatible, it becomes much easier to streamline operations especially during enrolment.
ROI in enrolment CRM software
Educational institutions that want to operate more efficiently and gain returns within a short period of time are taking advantage of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. These CRM packages are maintained and upgraded by the solutions provider, which means that the operation managers don’t have to bother with individual installations and manual upgrades once a new version of the CRM software comes out. This feature saves lots of time for the IT department of institutions and reduces the cost of having to deal with errors in the CRM application that could delay operations.
Feature integration should also be a key consideration in selecting CRM enrolment solutions from a single vendor. Integration of the enrolment key components will save time with less IT involvement. For instance, an admission counsellor who needs to do an enrolment mailing targeted to the right students can put the elements of the project together using only one software without needing technical assistance. Using a centralised online system with in-house web applications and tools, students can easily request information and communicate with the educational institution staff through the internet.
Buying an enterprise-wide suite is not advisable since this type of software is tailored towards running business organisations, not educational institutions. Instead of suites, you can opt for ‘best of breed software’ built by vendors with educational institutions in mind. Best-of-breed applications are optimised to meet specific solutions to student management issues, such as reaching out to prospective students through custom communications.
You can become successful in retaining and attracting students by picking the right CRM software solutions provider for your educational institution. Since there are many CRM solutions competing in the market, consider the essential factors listed above to carefully choose which aligns to the specific needs of your own institution for relationship management.
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“New Report Explores the Impact of CRM on Institutional Effectiveness in HE.” Hobsons Education Blog, 3 November 2014. Web. 19 March 2015.
“Choosing the Right CRM Solution for Your Campus.” Campus Technology, n.d. Web. 19 March 2015.
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