In order to effectively follow up with prospective students, it is vital to have a customer relationship system in place. This could be as simple as an Excel document to capture basic information, or as sophisticated as a full-on system that automates phone calls, SMS and email communication. Whatever route you may choose, it is necessary to understand your organizational needs to find the best solution.
At the end of the day, the system is still run by the organization. We as Enrollment Advisors control how the leads are processed. We set up the email campaigns, schedule phone calls, determine steps to keep the lead interested in enrolling, and determine if the system is adding value to our day-to-day functions. It is important to remember that there is a human element in CRM implementation.
There are certain steps you can put into place in order to make your CRM implementation a success.
- Define a Team: When executing the CRM implementation, there are three key roles you should have in place: an Executive Champion, a Technical Champion, and a Cheerleader. These three key roles will help to improve your organization’s success. The Executive Champion should represent leadership within the organization, and help guide project execution and help put the right team players into place. The Technical Champion implements the backend aspects of the system guided by the requirements from the rest of the team. Furthermore, the Cheerleader is the supporter of the CRM execution and is willing to be involved in the day-to-day functions.
- Execute a Process: You have a CRM, now what? There needs to be a plan in place for following up with the leads that are generated. Do you have team members that can call leads? How many times do you want to email the leads? Who will write the content for your emails? Is there a specific person to answer incoming program inquiries?
- Evaluate the System: The best way to know if you’ve invested properly in a CRM is to evaluate the success. Evaluation can happen in phases. It can begin after the first few weeks of implementation, and then be reevaluated a few times within the first year. Here are a few ideas to consider while evaluating the success of the system
- Have your enrollments increased?
- Does your organization find the CRM easy to use?
- Did the CRM provide the reports that management needs?
- Were there at least two opportunities where the CRM has improved organizational processes?
Systems like a CRM can ease the functions of your organization, as long as key factors are put into place. The system only works as well as its users — so make sure that you set your organization up to succeed by having a key plan in place and key players to help execute the plan. Only then will you receive the full value out of your investment.