A Holistic Approach to the Student Lifecycle – Everything You Need to Know About CRMs

Claudia Reiners
September 22, 2021

A Holistic Approach to the Student Lifecycle – Everything You Need to Know About CRMs

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a software tool that enables businesses to manage and build customer rapport.

With one, businesses can store and access valuable customer data. This data is integral to seamless communications with customers across their entire buying journey.

A solid CRM system is the backbone of any successful educational institution, helping them nurture relationships with learners across the entire student lifecycle.

Let’s break down what CRMs are and why education providers need them.

CRMs and how they fit into the education sector

There is no one-journey-fits-all in education – the modern learner interacts and engages with many platforms and messages across their learning journey. 

There are so many ways to communicate with today’s students – SMS, email, phone calls, video and social media. But how easy is it to regularly engage with learners across their entire journey? 

The answer: not easy. 

Unless you have a robust team that can achieve a high level of engagement or a CRM system specifically designed for your business.

A custom-built CRM will streamline your marketing efforts and customer interactions. This ensures that there are no opportunities for students to get lost with their studies or become frustrated with your brand. 

Many CRMs now offer integration options to store student data and act as a two-way communication tool.

Benefits of using an education-focused CRM

Providers that adopt a strategic approach to CRM can uncover valuable insights into their students and help them build a better understanding of their target market. 

Along with operational efficiencies, an education CRM can:

  • Provide access to a central repository for customer data – a single source of truth.
  • Unlock analysis features to help you better understand your customers.
  • Streamline contact management and post-enquiry processes.
  • Enable integrations that enforce timely communication with students, reducing negative student sentiment.

These factors all contribute to better optimised marketing campaigns and improved student experience. An better overall student experience leads to:

  • More brand trust
  • Increased enquiries and student leads
  • Better enrolment conversions
  • Less student drop-outs and increased student success
  • Improved ROMI

Learners who feel more connected to your brand are more likely to enrol and stay enrolled. According to Hubspot, CRMs can help you increase sales (or enrolments) by up to 30%.

Maximise your opportunities with these CRM tips

  • Identify which CRM works best for you.

    Determining which CRM works for you depends on a number of factors, including your goals, customisation level, flexibility, pricing, integrations and more. Critically research and assess your options depending on your requirements and want-to-haves.

  • Invest in a marketing automation system for your institution.

    CRMs and marketing automation systems go hand-in-hand – combined, they can help scale your business. With marketing automation, you can identify and distribute targeted emails to prospective students, maintain regular communication with current and graduated students and track engagement in real-time.

  • Integrate CRM use into your post-enquiry lead management process.

    Having a strong CRM system provides you with a holistic overview of all your prospective students – allowing you to assign, manage and nurture leads. A strong pipeline management enables you to easily prioritise leads, provide adequate nurture time for each learner and improve your internal workflow.

  • Regularly maintain and audit your database.

    CRMs are designed to track and store your most valuable asset – your student data. Your CRM should track opportunities at every stage of the lifecycle, especially the learners’ progression from prospects to students. Don’t let a good lead go to waste – regularly review and segment your contacts to ensure you’re making the most of your database.

  • Analyse your data and use it to optimise your campaigns.

    Your CRM boasts an often-untapped wealth of data and insights. CRM technology can provide you with a cross-section snapshot of your target audience to help you easily identify your audience’s preferences, motivations, behaviours and pain points. Translate these insights into the development and optimisation of your marketing campaigns.

As you begin to adapt and trial new technologies, it’s important to have a system that can help you build, manage and nurture relationships with students. CRMs can provide valuable insights about your customers, allowing you to develop more tailored communications and campaigns for your audience.

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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