How CRM works for Higher & Further Education Organisations

CRM Thought Leader, Paul Greenberg defines CRM as:

'A philosophy and a business strategy, supported by processes and a technology, designed to improve human interactions in a business environment.'

So what makes it relevant to further and higher educational organisations?

Often CRM solutions are discussed in terms of managing sales and servicing customers but these functions have little direct relevance for education teams. But regardless of the industry CRM is about the relationship between an organisation's processes, the supporting technology and the people who use it.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM generic commercial processes including sales quotes and support cases are replaced with workflows and relationship structures that fit educational institutions.

These can be separated into two distinct activity types. Student lifecycle management processes and business community engagement.

For Student Lifecycle Management to improve the student experience Dynamics CRM handles workflows that include:

Pre-Application - tracking event attendance, literature request fulfilment & enquiry management
Applications - processing application forms, tracking application progress & offer management
Registration - managing student agreements & tracking fee payments
Induction - communicating welcome events, registration instructions, skills assessment & enrolment

More student lifecycle processes can be tracked in Dynamics CRM including academic management, graduation management, alumni communications and retention management.

In Business and Community Engagement, a CRM application connects all stakeholders and supporting processes to a single system for developing relationships and funding streams.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM will manage BCE relationships for:

Funding Partnerships to develop relationships with government agencies, sponsors and donors
Strategic Partnerships helping teams connect with development agencies and employers for graduate placements
Knowledge Exchange relationships with other educational providers and associations
Knowledge Transfer to manage processes for training postgraduates, commercial partners & other parties

With UK educational organisations facing the unprecedented squeeze of reduced funding, increased student expectations, greater competition and fewer placements the need for a clear CRM strategy has never been more urgent.

Implemented effectively with a scalable platform like Microsoft Dynamics, a CRM strategy helps educational organisations develop better collaboration, improves processes, increase reporting insight, provide faster responsiveness and enable teams to create better value.

Preact have 20 years' experience of helping organisations implement and support their CRM strategy. With specialist expertise gained from working with higher and further education teams our clients include Cranfield University, East Berkshire College, University of Liverpool and Motherwell College.

For CRM planning advice and to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and how it is personalised for education teams call 0800 381 1000 to speak to one of our consultants.