Articles uses of a centralised customer relationship management (CRM) system at a regional Findings emphasise the value CRM systems can provide to of Incorporating a CRM System in Sales/Marketing Education. Automated CRM system is a must and it should also be tuned for educational institutions. Let us itemise where all will you need automation. This article is about what customer relationship management systems are and why should higher education institutions should consider purchasing one.
Is it the student, or is it the parents? The entire Customer Relationship Management strategy may change depending on who is identified as the primary customer.
Customer Relationship Management for Educational Institutions
Customer Relationship Management helps Educational Institutions increase satisfaction of students, parents and the community. However, to simplify things, we may consider following scenarios: For a K School, the decision of enrolment depends mostly on parents.
Yet abandonment can be reduced if the student is properly taken care of. For Colleges and University, the student itself is the primary customer, but parents are the influencers too.
For Training Centres or Classes, we can safely say that the student is the customer. Customer Relationship Management begins while the customer is still a prospect. First Touch Points First Touch Points could be an advertisement, your website or even a directory listing with user reviews. With the internet age, more and more prospects will be touching your institution online. So you need to have a good web presence. If you can provide enquiry forms, admission forms and others online, then your prospects immediately build a good opinion about your institution.
Last Touch Points This is the point which could be just before someone commits to en-roll, or it could even be when the student is graduating from your school.
Then, the research team was composed of the five members involved in the previous cycle plus two programmers, one project manager and another system analyst. In this cycle, we focused on 1 defining the best methodology to implement the CRM solution; 2 analysing the work process of all departments involved in the project and 3 adapting HEI work processes to CRM strategy.
Action Research - The Sigma Institute CRM project Sigma Institute is a European school of business and economics with approximately students undergraduate and graduate studentsacademic staff and 50 employees. Sigma Institute has built a good reputation in Portugal with very positive financial results, a renowned academic staff and former students in successful careers. The concept of this CRM project was not only focused on the retention and satisfaction of students Trocchia et al. Besides that, Sigma intended to develop programs to attract talented students.
CRM ADOPTION IN A HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION
First Action Research cycle: Selection of a CRM software As organizations go through the process of selecting a CRM solution that best suits their needs, they need to design clear and objective requirements Payne, To meet these needs, the first action research cycle took approximately nine months to be concluded.
Through the analysis of four different software selection methodologies Chau, ; Ahituv et al. The phases are described in the following sections. As mentioned above, the research design was divided into two cycles and each cycle contained five phases: The first cycle, CRM selection, was structured in 10 steps.
Diagnosing In the first cycle, diagnosing, was structured into four steps. Table 4 describes the four steps of the diagnosing phase. Defining project objectives The main issue was how to create a strong relationship with stakeholders students, organizations and other higher education institutions in order to reach high levels of satisfaction and loyalty. After debriefing, we realized that adopting a CRM strategy would help the organization to centralize the institution as well as increasing staff productivity.
Customer Relationship Management for Educational Institutions > SchoolTime Stories
Analysing IS solutions available in the market In this phase, we defined the guidelines of what has to be done to select the right solution that would better fit organizational needs. We analysed the alternatives available in the market and also analysed software solutions adopted by other HEIs. Analysing business needs and services issues We interviewed employees of 11 different customer services: Defining and selecting potential vendors and IS consultants During market analysis step we selected five different suppliers that offered the best CRM software, according to the institution's needs.
The selection was based on aspects such as technical characteristics of software solution i. Action Planning The goal of action planning phase was to get institutions members and researchers to write the action plan for the implementation of a CRM solution. In this phase, we also defined future goals and the strategies to achieve them.
The document was divided into three sections. The first section described the institution's view of the CRM solution. The second section described the 38 business requirements for the CRM solution. The third section presented the 60 functional requirements Preliminary analysis of CRM software solutions Potential CRM software suppliers were invited to present their solutions before the project team and institution board. Action Taking The objective of action taking phase was to implement the previously designed action plan.
At this phase, researchers and institution members worked together to ensure the successful implementation of the CRM solution. Analysing supplier proposals After receiving the proposal from the five potential suppliers, we started the technical analysis of each proposed software solution. We evaluated the following aspects: Evaluating the overall perspective of the supplier proposals After analysing the proposal of each supplier, the project team used a method to create an assessment map, which was divided into five groups: The school board analysed the pros and cons and other relevant details.
Choosing the software supplier that best met institution's goals The board selected the CRM software after analysing the software houses' credibility, their in-house expertise and the level of integration of each software solution with the institution's information technology architecture.
Evaluating In the evaluating phase, we assessed the results of the selection process comprised in the 10 steps of the three previous phases. Top Management commitment was fundamental during the selection process.
As the institution's board was fully involved in the process, we noticed that the project evolved more smoothly. Through communicating CRM strategy effectively, it was possible to ensure a clear vision of the CRM needs in addition to defining more accurate requirements for software selection.
The CSF for end-user involvement was high from the beginning of the project. Throughout the whole action research, end-user involvement was very important as it allowed researchers and institution members to have a close relationship with end-users and to understand their expectations regarding CRM solution.
Identifying corporate needs and breaking general objectives into specific targets allowed the project team to define technical requisites for the CRM software more effectively. Specific Learning The most relevant lesson learned in the learning phase is that we focused on the institution's CRM philosophy from the beginning of the selection process.
In fact, the interviews we conducted with staff members helped us to develop a CRM philosophy more suitable to the institution's needs and culture. As we interviewed these staff members, they would become more motivated, enthusiastic and committed to the project.
This one-to-one communication allowed us to minimize user resistance and understand their individual perspectives. It is also important to mention that in Sigma's case, CRM philosophy was incorporated into every daily activity through a bottom-up process. However, some end-user suggestions could not be incorporated into CRM software.Introduction to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Dr. Nancy Rauseo
Managing user expectations was one of the major concerns of the project team. Second action research cycle: The Agile methodology aims to conclude implementation processes through short and fast periods sprints so that the project is delivered to clients in small parts or modules Beck, These sprints are not linear, which make software development more flexible and dynamic. In fact, in the Agile methodology, the final product software is developed through a trial and error process and the requirements are continuously adjusted according to user requirements Schwaber, In turn, the Scrum method of software development inherits basic concepts of the Agile methodology.
In the Scrum method, the software development phases analysis, design and development cannot be predefined. Each sprint is unpredictable. To manage this instability, a control mechanism is established to monitor the overall process of software development Schwaber,