Accelerate Digital Transformation for Higher Education
Today, every organization faces the challenge of adapting to massive technology changes. The most successful ones not only adapt; they also leverage those changes to transform themselves and accelerate their influence in the world. This is true for colleges and universities as much as it is for manufacturing and retail businesses. That’s why decisions about CRM in higher education are so critical.
Staff efficiency depends on setting up business processes that are “how we do things around here.” But when the culture and technology around us change, all those processes must be examined and re-formed and turned into a new way of working. Innovative solutions such as Creatio CRM recognize this and integrate business process management with constituent management.
Currently, many universities are using a mosaic of software solutions to manage relations and interactions with constituents including prospective and current students, alumni, donors, corporate partners, and volunteers such as board members. Each of those groups requires targeted communication consistent with their interests and needs at the time.
This mosaic approach to how work is done needs to change. To illustrate why, let’s go back to Any State University (ASU), the hypothetical place we introduced in our last post about the student experience, and look at it from the inside – the staff point of view.
Admissions and marketing
The admissions and marketing team up to connect with prospective students. They start with a spreadsheet, then migrate info into two different communications programs, one to send emails and one to send texts. The student information then all goes into a free version of a CRM where it basically sits until someone needs a phone number.
As students apply, they get put into the university’s student information system, or SIS. Yet another spreadsheet is created to hold info from web forms and admissions counselors’ personal interactions with them. This spreadsheet must be updated and manually synced with the communications programs every week. Every week.
The count: 4 programs, 2 spreadsheets, lots of staff hours, who knows how many errors
Student development services
The student services area gets all the students info once they are enrolled. Staff in various departments manage ongoing communication with students relating to registration, courses, student life programming, academics, financial aid and health services. It’s all manual, and so are the reports they all run, including the ones on student progress and necessary academic warnings.
The count: More of the above, plus untold hours of staff time on manual tasks, a few students who fall through the cracks
The development department continues to use the limited SIS to track students once they graduate, while shifting their status to alumni. ASU’s staff here consistently struggle to keep the information on each student up to date, and so they lose touch with too many of them. They extract data from the SIS into yet another spreadsheet to track and manage communication, which is not nearly as strategic as it could and should be because segmentation of the list is a challenge. Money is left on the table that could be funding scholarships, capital projects, or other campus initiatives to improve the educational offerings.
The count: Same program, multiple spreadsheets, lower donor retention, fewer legacy gifts and new student referrals.
We live in an “experience culture.”
We rank and share our experiences with our friends and associates all the time, from ordering books online to restaurant service to organizations we engage with. An important facet of higher education staff’s job descriptions is to deliver positive student and donor experiences. But think about the experience of the staff themselves. If they don’t have the digital tools they need to do their job well, they become frustrated, which impacts those they serve. No one likes to waste their time struggling with convoluted, archaic systems. And why should they when transformative options exist?
One example of CRM transforming the way higher education works is the British University of Vietnam. It is a leader in the Asia-Pacific region in equipping students with top-notch knowledge in international business management, accounting, finance, marketing, and economics. Creatio CRM accelerated its transformation by centralizing its data and providing omnichannel communication tools and analytics.
Time spent on reports management was reduced by 300 percent.
Download this document to learn more details about the impact of the Creatio CRM solution on the British University.
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