Using Student Recruitment CRM to achieve a single view of the student
Using Student Recruitment CRM to achieve a single view of every student’s journey is one of the fundamentals of effective student recruitment marketing – which we will look at shortly. But why is this so important I hear you ask? Well, it then becomes easy to see what has happened with any students’ journey with you – during every stage and across every touchpoint.
It is easy to see what stage they’re at, what has happened recently and what is due to happen next. If all of this information is stored in one central database you no longer have to look through spreadsheets or multiple data sources to work out their current status and situation.
Every student wants to be treated as an individual and not as a series of disconnected accounts, one view of the student helps better understand relationships, marketing impact, drop-off points and also to increase the likelihood of conversion. Later on in the student lifecycle, all the data collected helps with promoting post-graduate courses and fundraising.
Before a student “becomes a student” there will be contact with the University. This will often be in the form of an enquiry – perhaps a prospectus request or a request for information about a particular course. These could be by email, telephone, from the website or perhaps in person. A single view of the student allows staff to see all of these different requests for information in one place. This allows staff to see that a particular student requested a prospectus, then made a course enquiry before attending a general open day. It can help prevent silly little things such as offering a prospectus to a student who has only recently just received one.
All of this data is stored in one place, is easily accessible and can also be used for reporting. This can be used to evaluate what interventions result in conversions. What route is the most common and conversely what are the most common drop-off points. This information is extremely valuable when it comes to planning communications, events and how enquiries are managed.
Integrated Customer Service Channels
Most Universities offer multichannel customer service, offering a variety of methods in which to communicate with students. These can include Twitter, live chat, telephone, website, in person, etc. The best way to offer these channels is to do so in a seamless experience, meaning that no matter how a student is engaged, it is in a consistent manner.
This can be achieved by each team using a particular method having the same information at their disposal. It is very common for each communication method to be run by different teams, with different agendas and priorities so it is easy for a student to have a different experience depending on how they engage. One view of the student greatly helps a University in providing a consistently high-quality experience across all channels.
As time passes, having one view of a student proves to be even more insightful. Producing reports showing the route current students took before enrolling can be run, data such as how many students came to an open day, the seminars on the day they attended, how many were sent a prospectus – all valuable information when planning future recruitment.
Alumni students can also be managed in the system. Here you can see their route to the University, what they attained and what they did during their time at University – even storing recent details such as fundraising and what newsletters they receive, open and click.
Removing Silos of Information
One view of the student means that all staff have one place to go to find out information. This means that silos of information should be a thing of the past and you are always looking at the “true picture” of a student. Staff can see when the last communication was sent to a student, as any emails sent by the enquiry team through to the marketing team are all stored in the system in one place. This means that duplicate emails and “over contacting” can be managed much better.
Of course, to have just one view of a student, it is important that your student recruitment CRM system talks to other systems, such as your Student System, for example SITS, and also to other important data sources such as UCAS. This truly allows for you to have one place to view all the latest information allowing you to see pre-enrolment data as well as UCAS and term time information.
The obvious benefits of having a single view of the student is having the ability to track communications across every channel. This leads to improved customer service, higher conversion rates and a better overall student experience. This can help attract students, retain them and also keep them happy and enthused about their time at University.
One view of a student means that the large amount of data being pulled in from different sources can be used in one place in a meaningful way. By building a full picture of the student journey, the University will have a more insightful guide to improving conversions and making informed improvements to future student interactions.
To find out how the University of Huddersfield use AES (Achiever Education Software) Student Recruitment CRM to deliver one central point where a complete, joined-up history of each prospective student can be viewed, please click here.