Optimizing Student Recruiting with CRM
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Optimizing Student Recruiting with CRM

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Learn how how CRM technology is successfully being applied to the full range of recruiting challenges faced by today’s colleges and universities.

Learn how how CRM technology is successfully being applied to the full range of recruiting challenges faced by today’s colleges and universities.

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  • 1. OPTIMIZING STUDENT RECRUITING WITH CRM PROVEN BEST PRACTICES FOR A COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE ©2009 RightNow Technologies. All rights reserved. RightNow and RightNow logo are trademarks of www.rightnow.com RightNow Technologies Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 9007
  • 2. OPTIMIZING STUDENT RECRUITING WITH CRM PROVEN BEST PRACTICES FOR A COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary .......... 1 Recruiting Challenges in the 21st Century .......... 2 Critical Recruiting Capabilities for the Next Generation .......... 3 CRM’s Role in Recruiting Success .......... 6 Case in Point: Minnesota Online .......... 7 Case in Point: Victoria University .......... 8 Case in Point: Imperial College London .......... 9 Case in Point: University of Houston .......... 11 Optimized Outcomes for Schools and Students .......... 12 About RightNow .......... 14 www.rightnow.com
  • 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY With thousands of institutions competing for an applicant pool that is projected to decline in the coming years, student recruiting is a critical discipline—especially in light of current economic conditions. For colleges and universities to survive and thrive, they must cater to the changing needs of today’s students. That means being highly effective and highly efficient across the entire student acquisition lifecycle, from marketing and first contact through acceptance and registration. Technology obviously plays a key role in this lifecycle, especially since email and the web are the primary communication channels for schools and prospective students. Colleges and universities must be able to: · Deliver the right message to the right target prospective student (or group of prospective students) at the right time via all communication channels · Give prospective students easy access to the information they want and need via whichever communication channel they prefer · Track each prospective student’s individual process through the end-to-end recruiting lifecycle · Quickly discover and respond to recruiting issues as they arise · Provide a highly consistent personalized experience across all communication channels · Leverage the social web in the recruiting process · Readily determine which recruiting investments are yielding results and adjust activities accordingly · Create an inviting environment for prospective students that will minimize “the chase” These capabilities align directly with those provided by advanced CRM solutions. In fact, many institutions of higher education successfully use CRM technology to meet and exceed their numerical, quality, and diversity recruitment goals. This white paper outlines how CRM technology is being applied to the full range of recruiting challenges faced by today’s colleges and universities. Based on the real-world experiences of institutions that have achieved quantifiable results, it offers proven best practices for operating in an increasingly competitive marketplace. By adopting these best practices, recruitment managers can optimize their performance within their existing budget and staffing constraints. .......... 1 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 4. RECRUITING CHALLENGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY Institutions of higher learning face significant challenges as they seek to achieve both enrollment goals and institutional standards in the coming years. Several factors contribute to this challenging environment: Declining Post-Secondary Population As the “echo” of the Baby Boom fades, the number of high school graduates is projected to decline after 2009. Colleges and universities will be competing for a smaller number of qualified prospective students. Source: National Center for Education Statistics Erosion of the “Stick-and-Stay” Model A variety of social and market forces are eroding the traditional model of the student who enrolls at a school, lives on-campus, studies full-time, and completes a course of study within a fixed time-frame. Instead, schools must be prepared to more effectively recruit students who have already earned some credits elsewhere, want to study part-time, of different ages, and/or will be distance learners. A Shift in Global Recruiting At one time, colleges and universities could count on an influx of students from abroad. Tighter controls on immigration into the U.S. limit this influx. At the same time, institutions in other countries are aggressively pursuing American students. The combination of these two phenomena is further intensifying competition for prospective students. A Culture of Value and Choice In a tight economy where education costs represent a proportionally greater investment of family wealth, prospective students look for assurances about their ultimate return on that investment. Recruiters must be able to respond to a diverse range of questions about academic programs, financial aid, student life, career placement results, and other decision factors. 2 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 5. The Arrival of the “Digital Native” The new generation of prospective students has grown up with digital technology— socializes; researches on the web; communicates via instant messaging, text, and social media; and expects prompt responses to emails and inquiries. This adds tremendous pressure on colleges and universities to more effectively leverage digital communication channels in the context of their recruiting efforts. Constrained Resources Few institutions are in a position to respond to recruiting challenges by dramatically increasing either staff or capital IT spending. They must become significantly more efficient in the way they satisfy the needs of prospective students and their families, as well as track their progress through the recruiting lifecycle. Simply put, institutions of higher learning can no longer afford to proceed with business as usual when it comes to recruiting students. Failure to adapt to emerging market conditions will result in a reduction in enrollments or a reduction in standards. Neither of these outcomes is acceptable. To avoid them, recruiting managers must proactively pursue strategies that enable more effective engagement with prospective students who are increasingly selective and who increasingly favor online communications. CRITICAL RECRUITING CAPABILITIES FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Given the increasingly intense level of competition for students, higher learning institutions face three basic alternatives. They can allow enrollment to dwindle over time. They can lower their standards for admission. Or they can significantly re-engineer their recruiting operations. The first two alternatives are obviously problematic. Dwindling enrollment will mean dwindling revenue, which will obviously have significant adverse impact on the institution. The lowering of standards can also have adverse impact by compromising both the quality of the student experience and eroding the value of a school’s brand. In fact, schools that garner a lower number of applicants—and wind-up admitting a larger percentage of those applicants—will be seen as less selective. This can seriously undermine the institution’s brand and trigger a vicious cycle by further reducing applications from better students. The only viable course of action for any institution seeking to maintain enrollment, revenue, brand, and/or quality of student experience is to re-engineer its recruiting operations. Colleges and universities that do this effectively can maintain or even increase their pool of qualified applicants, fulfilling all of their recruiting objectives. And, as the examples below demonstrate, such re-engineering efforts can yield quantifiable results for a diverse range of educational institutions. Several capabilities have proven to be particularly critical for successfully recruiting the current generation of post-secondary prospective students. 3 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 6. Deliver the Right Message to the Right Prospective Student (or Group of Prospective Students) at the Right Time via All Communication Channels Today’s institutions of higher learning must be more proactive about reaching various types of prospective students with well-targeted communications. They must also be more adept at using the full range of communication channels available to them—including the web, email, chat, text messaging, social web, and automated voice. So rather than continuing to rely on conventional print media, smart recruiting managers leverage online channels to manage relationships from first contact through enrollment and registration. Additionally, a consolidated approach to managing and capturing incoming communication channels with outgoing channels is a must. Today’s student expects to get the same level of service and information whether the communication is received proactively or if the communication is instigated by the student via phone, chat, email, mail, social web, etc. Give Prospective Students Easy Access to the Information They Want and Need via Whichever Communication Channel They Prefer Prospective students—including those who have already applied and those who have been admitted—often have questions. Institutions that answer these questions quickly, clearly, and accurately are more likely to keep a greater number of prospects moving through the recruiting lifecycle. Those that can’t will lose prospective students, especially those whose personal qualifications allow them to be more selective about which institutions they deal with. Colleges and universities can no longer afford to keep callers on hold, take three days to respond to emails, or force website visitors to hunt around to get the answers to simple questions. Instead, they must be able to respond to any prospective students question via their communication channel of choice—regardless of what channel that happens to be or what channel they contacted you through previously. And with more channels of choice it becomes even more imperative to have a knowledge foundation to ensure consistency of the information being delivered. Ultimately, the goal is to create a more inviting environment for the prospective student. This will eliminate “the chase” many institutions experience today, as well as set a solid foundation for transition into the next stage of the student lifecycle. Track Each Prospective Student’s Individual Process Through the End-to-End Recruiting Lifecycle To effectively communicate with a prospective student, it’s essential to know exactly where they are in the recruiting process. Has a prospect visited the campus but not yet applied? Which prospective student’s applications are still only partially complete as the deadline for submission approaches? Are there highly qualified prospective students with multiple outstanding issues awaiting resolution who might appreciate a phone call? Recruiting teams that have instant visibility into these types of situations and others can communicate appropriately. Quickly Discover and Respond to Recruiting Issues as They Arise In addition to being able to respond to the needs of individual prospective students and groups of prospective students, recruiters must be able to quickly detect and address any potential problems in the process. Are prospective students suddenly asking a lot of 4 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 7. questions about a particular financial aid program? If so, recruiters may have to become proactive about distributing information regarding that program—since such an influx may indicate that many other prospective students have the same question. Are email response times stretching from less than 24 hours to more than 48? If so, it may be necessary to improve automation or add staff. But these issues can only be successfully addressed if they can be pinpointed quickly and reliably. With powerful, real-time analytics and easy to configure rules and workflow, institutions can pinpoint issues early and take action. Provide a Highly Consistent, Personalized Experience Across All Communication Channels Anyone contemplating a major investment hopes for a reasonable level of service from any potential recipient of that investment. So it’s natural for prospective students (and their parents) to expect personalized service from institutions—especially since most prospective students consider the level of service they receive during the recruitment process as a good indicator of how they will be treated after they enroll. Prospective student’s expectations are raised every day by their interactions with online retailers, banks, and other companies that deliver exceptional levels of service via phone, the web, and email. Schools competing for these prospective students must meet or exceed these expectations in order to drive up applications among qualified candidates. Leverage the Social Web in the Recruiting Process A personalized experience carries across into the social web in the recruiting process. Many prospects use sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter as channels for daily communications as well as for research—so a presence on these sites eases communication and helps eliminate the chase. Prospective students form and express their opinions about you in the cloud so it is important for recruiting teams to incorporate these sites into their overall strategy. Such presence also extends your physical brand and identity in online environments. The Ability to Readily Determine Which Recruiting Investments are Yielding Results and Which Ones Are Not No recruiting team can afford to waste money on campaigns, web content, or staffing strategies that are not effective. It is essential that they compare the results yielded by their various investment decisions. To do this, they must have reporting tools that provide quantified insight into recruiting activity across all channels. They should “pilot” multiple approaches, so they can compare the effectiveness of these approaches before making large investments. They also must make changes and reallocate resources based on the results to achieve success. These capabilities will significantly differentiate the effectiveness with which post-secondary institutions compete for prospective students in the coming years. Of course, not every institution will achieve excellence in every one of these abilities overnight. But institutions will not succeed if they allow a substantial deficit to go unchecked in any of these areas. And excellence in at least two or three is an absolute requirement for maintaining competitiveness in a market of declining numbers and increasing internet-centricity. 5 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 8. CRM’S ROLE IN RECRUITING SUCCESS For colleges and universities to gain critical recruiting capabilities, they must develop a strategy for success in line with their mission and then acquire and effectively deploy the appropriate technology to execute that strategy. Once a strategy is developed, only with the right technology can they manage and distribute information wherever and whenever it’s needed—whether a prospective student is asking a question about an admissions policy or a recruiting manager is letting all prospective biology majors know about a big, new research grant. CRM technology is especially applicable to student recruiting. With the right CRM solution, institutions can readily acquire all of the capabilities outlined in the previous section. They can also minimize the costs associated with acquiring and exercising those capabilities. And once the student is enrolled, their interaction history can remain with them across the student lifecycle. Institutions need a single contact record so that they can track each prospective student’s individual process through the full recruiting cycle. With the right CRM solution you can see any and all interactions in a single contact record, from any channel, no matter which department is speaking with them. You’ll improve constituent satisfaction and increase operational efficiency across all channels—helping you better meet your recruiting goals. With the right CRM solution you can continue to manage important data and interactions—from enrollment to alumni—in a single, integrated record. With robust integration your on demand CRM software can be integrated with numerous other systems—including student information systems, learning management systems, document imaging, and student portals. CRM functionality of particular value for institutions engaged in competitive recruiting includes: 360 Degree View of Constituent—From First Contact Through Post-Graduation 6 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 9. CASE IN POINT Minnesota Online Optimizes Student Experience from First Inquiry Through Course Completion The online education market is booming. Analysts estimate that it will grow to $52.6 billion by 2010. So it’s essential for online providers to make the most of every lead and to differentiate themselves from the growing competition. Minnesota Online also has to manage information about a diverse range of educational programs—and make that information readily available to whoever needs it, whenever they need it. This is a significant challenge when you consider that the programs Minnesota Online offers are actually run by 32 independent institutions located across the state. Minnesota Online has made RightNow a key component of its strategy for both growth and differentiation. Minnesota Online can track prospect and student progress and issues at every stage of their lifecycle in order to quickly and effectively respond to their changing needs. The result is that Minnesota Online is well- positioned to maintain its leadership in the online education market—and to do so quite profitably. One way Minnesota Online uses the database is to track the status of contacts as they go from merely expressing interest to actually applying to a Minnesota State College or University and registering for a specific program. This process can be somewhat complex, since students need to submit the necessary transcripts and test results. Minnesota Online makes it easy for its advisors to keep an eye on this process and send alerts to students via RightNow’s automated customer services when they need to get something done. They also automatically send out a wide range of notices and reminders based on any definable set of conditions—such as when a deadline is approaching, a new course offering becomes available in the student’s area of interest, or a certain amount of time elapses since the last contact with a prospect. In addition to keeping track of students, Minnesota Online also has to manage information about a diverse range of educational programs. Information about courses and programs from all participating institutions is incorporated into Minnesota Online’s knowledge foundation, where it can be easily updated and modified as required. More importantly, it can be readily accessed by both advisors and students via a variety of intuitive and accurate methods—including topical browsing, keyword search, and a “Top 20” list of the most currently popular subjects. Campaign and List Management Recruiting teams need to be continuously proactive with prospects, applicants, and accepted candidates. Communications with these various groups must be segmented (meaning that information should only be delivered to those for whom it is relevant), personalized (meaning that messages should include the prospect’s name, declared major, or any other data field that will prevent the recipient from feeling like just an entry in a database) and in context (meaning that it should, as required, make reference to the conditions under which it was initiated—such as the receipt of an application or the offer of a scholarship). A good 7 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 10. CRM system will generate dynamic lists based on selection criteria rather than pull a list once and use it repeatedly. To communicate this way, institutions need a CRM solution that provides: · Flexible list management. To effectively segment message recipients, recruiters must be able to “slice and dice” databases according to any attribute or set of attributes. They must also be able to “merge and purge” multiple lists in order to optimally leverage all data sources. · Opt-in/opt-out controls. To ensure compliance with regulatory mandates, institutions must scrupulously enforce opt-in and opt-out requests. In fact, CAN- SPAM standards require that an opt-out link be provided in every message. A good CRM solution should be capable of automatically making the appropriate change in an institution’s list management system whenever a message recipient clicks on that link. · Collaborative content development. Before you send anything out to prospective students, recruiters will want to make sure it is reviewed by the right people internally—which may include academic program managers and legal staff. That review process can become unwieldy without the right collaborative tools. · Message testing and analysis. Before doing large-scale mailings, it’s wise to send test messages to sample groups to determine which wording, layout, color, graphics, and timing work best. An effective CRM solution will facilitate this testing by making it easy to experiment with different message parameters and measure their impact on response rates. · Delivery management. In today’s spam-sensitive world, it’s essential to comply with industry email standards (such as CAN-SPAM) and to work closely with large domains (such as AOL and Yahoo) to avoid having messages blocked or winding up on server blacklists. Institutions that can’t or don’t want to develop this kind of specialized expertise in-house will want to work with a CRM vendor that can help them avoid such delivery problems. CASE IN POINT Victoria University Uses RightNow To More Effectively Draw Students From Around The World Like most institutions of higher learning, Victoria University of Wellington has a variety of marketing objectives. First and foremost, the University must continue to convert prospects into enrollees despite ever-increasing competition for international students. The University’s conversation with prospective students from overseas typically begins electronically, since the phone may be impractical because of cost or time- zone differences. In many cases, a prospect’s first contact takes place via the web when he or she looks for answers in the University’s RightNow-powered self-service knowledge base. At this point, the prospect typically “opts in” to the University’s email program. Once a prospective student is entered into the University’s database, every 8 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 11. interaction with that individual is tracked. This allows the University to deliver highly targeted information to each and every prospective student as appropriate. For example, a prospective undergraduate engineering student from India making an initial inquiry receives very different information from a prospective post- graduate business student from Denmark. In fact, RightNow gives the University complete flexibility to mix-and-match content to create highly individualized messages that touch on each prospective student’s likely concerns. A message may combine information about curriculum, housing, and financial aid if the database indicates that those issues could all impact the prospective student’s decision. The system also enables the University to “trigger” messages based on any number of conditions. It can broadcast a message to all prospective law students simultaneously, or send customized reminders to students whose applications are late with specific information about their chosen program of study and/or the particular decision factors they have already expressed concern about. “Our biggest objective in emarketing isn’t to send out a lot of messages. It’s to send out the best possible message at the best possible time to everyone who is considering coming here,” says Charles Brooks, the University’s international e-marketing coordinator. A Collaborative, Easy-to-Manage Knowledge Base The information that prospective students need from institutions is typically dispersed across multiple independent departments: admissions, financial aid, academic departments, housing, student life, etc. This information is also always changing. To ensure that prospective students always get the answers they need regardless of which communication channel they use to get it, institutions need a shared knowledge base that is easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to access. Such a knowledge base must be designed to facilitate rapid creation of content by all authorized contributors. It must make it easy to dynamically update and edit content as conditions change. It should be usable across all communication channels. It should also help constituents find the piece of information they need right away. This can be achieved by leveraging current artificial intelligence techniques, which enable knowledge bases to automatically “learn” from user behaviors—so they rapidly get better and better at presenting users with the specific answer they need the first time. CASE IN POINT Imperial College London Improves Admissions Management Imperial College London’s self-learning knowledge base gives prospective students immediate answers to questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Imperial College London is a world-leading, science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students and staff of the highest international 9 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 12. quality. Due to the college’s leading reputation it receives a substantial volume of prospective student inquiries via email and telephone. A high proportion of these are repetitive inquires in relation to the admissions process and course details. Responding to simple inquiries was impacting the admissions team’s productivity and response times. When a prospective student enters Imperial’s website they can click on the “prospective student” link. Within this area they can view over 100 commonly asked questions and their answers which are powered by RightNow. If the student is unable to find the answer to their question, RightNow provides a simple method for them to escalate their inquiry by email via the Ask a Question facility. Before this email is submitted, RightNow performs a further search of the knowledge base and typically stops 28% of emails being submitted by offering other relevant answers. If this still does not answer the students question the email will be escalated to an advisor who can respond to the student directly. If deemed relevant, the advisor proposes the response for addition to the knowledge base to ensure this same question is not escalated again. Due to the reduction in time spent on requests for repetitive information, RightNow drives a fast return on investment. The Imperial College London knowledge base has a 98% self-service rate for prospective students—reducing phone and email workloads. This has provided prospective students with immediate answers to their questions, the admissions team with more time to deal with specific queries ensuring a more time, and cost-effective inquiry management system. Highly Intuitive and Effective Web Self-Service Today’s prospective students live on the web. So do many others involved with a prospect’s decision-making process. It is essential to use the web effectively to provide information to prospective students, parents, guidance counselors, and even an institution’s own employees. Key attributes of web-based access should be: · The “Top” answer list. A large percentage of site visitors will be looking for the same few pieces of information. So this information should be presented on a Top Answers list that appears on the main page for prospects. This information changes over time as certain deadlines approach or as a result of some event on campus. An effective CRM system will ideally “learn” from user searches in order to automatically replace items in the Top Answers list as appropriate. That way, institution staff won’t have to guess (possibly incorrectly) about what information belongs on the list. · Fast, user-friendly search. Of course, prospects will need plenty of information that’s not on the “Top Answers” list. So an effective CRM system will offer a highly intuitive search interface that includes keyword search, plain-language querying, and topic browsing. It’s important to note that site visitors don’t always think about information according to the same categories as education professionals. So an effective self-service system will “learn” over time about the associations site visitors make between various types of information—and structure itself accordingly. · Email pre-emption. Email often becomes a communication bottleneck. This can happen because many schools don’t have enough people to answer emails. In addition, site visitors often choose to send an email instead of checking available 10 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 13. self-service content because they have had bad experiences with other institutions’ websites. To mitigate this potential problem, a good CRM system will automatically scan incoming emails, determine if any keywords in those emails are associated with existing knowledge base content, and present that content to the prospective emailer. This functionality substantially reduces email volume and increases the number of site visitors who get the information they need immediately. · Proactive chat and co-browse. Based on pre-defined actions or profile, a chat invitation is automatically presented to proactively engage a prospect. You can walk them through your site via co-browse and immediately present them with the information they were seeking. CASE IN POINT University of Houston: “Ask Shasta” System Generates 1120% ROI with Web Self-Service The University of Houston faced a classic business challenge. The state continued to cut the UH’s budget by 5-10 percent annually. Yet, at the same time, UH had to successfully capture and retain students in the increasingly competitive higher education market. It became essential for UH to improve the quality of student services while also reducing costs. And that’s just what it accomplished with its online self-service system—dubbed “Ask Shasta” after the name of UH’s cougar mascot. In fact, the system is saving UH around $1 million annually by substantially reducing its phone and email workloads. That savings—which the university calculates based on the tremendous number of questions the system answers automatically via the web—doesn’t include the more difficult-to-quantify financial benefits that result from providing students and staff with faster, better service. But it does add up to an impressive return of around 1,120 percent every year on the investment UH made in the necessary enabling technologies. The system also allows each functional area of the university to manage its own content and its own individual area of the UH website. And it allows experts in those functional areas to focus on their primary work responsibilities—instead of spending time giving the same answers over and over to UH’s frontline staff. Customizable Workflow Automation and Reporting To ensure they respond to every prospective student’s needs in a timely and appropriate manner, institutions need customizable, well-automated workflow management. A good CRM system will provide workflow management that readily applies to all of a recruiting team’s various processes. These processes may include everything from the handling of a simple email information request to the support of a foreign student’s visa application. Such workflow tools will help ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner and that issues are escalated as necessary to team managers. By using CRM workflow tools to manage everyday processes, institutions can also track and assess those processes. This allows them to measure improvements and detect problematic trends. For example, recruiting managers can see which staff members respond to emails 11 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 14. quickly and which ones are slower. Such reports may highlight the need for additional training or routing-by-topic. Content Syndication Institutions taking advantage of social networking sites can run into difficulties if they have to manage information separately on each of these sites. For one thing, managing information separately creates a lot of extra work. For another, it creates the possibility that the information will become inconsistent, inaccurate, and confusing. That’s why these recruiting teams can benefit significantly from a CRM solution that offers content syndication. With content syndication, information that is added, deleted, or modified in the main knowledge repository gets automatically replicated on any other website according to pre-defined business rules. This eliminates work and ensures the consistency of all information everywhere on the web. Feedback When communicating with prospective students institutions need to capture feedback at the “moment of truth.” This is done by sending short surveys immediately after an interaction with a prospective student—after an email, phone, call, campus visit, and at other interaction points. By gathering real-time feedback you can continually improve your recruiting processes, helping you deliver more targeted information to prospective students. CRM functionality can be useful to recruiters in many other ways as well. Survey or feedback tools can be quite useful for inexpensively gathering highly valuable market research. Voice automation capabilities that can greatly reduce workloads on frontline admissions staff. The list above, however, highlights the core functionality that is currently proving to be especially useful for institutions such as those profiled here. It is important to note that acquisition of CRM technology does not have to be inordinately expensive or inordinately burdensome to an institution’s IT organization. Software-as-a- service (SaaS) solutions empower institutions to acquire the CRM functionality they need without having to build and maintain costly, complex IT infrastructure. The SaaS model also allows institutions to acquire CRM functionality in a staged, modular manner—rather than forcing them to make massive software purchases or completely re-engineer every department all at once. OPTIMIZED OUTCOMES FOR SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS In these challenging times, colleges and universities have to balance many different institutional priorities. They need to create curricula that are well-aligned with marketplace demand. They need to maintain and enhance their physical facilities to provide a compelling campus experience. They need to attract and retain great faculty and staff. They need to better leverage technology to deliver superior educational services to students on demand. They need to build and nurture relationships with local communities, government agencies, and private-sector partners. None of this can happen if an institution doesn’t maintain and grow its enrollment. It is essential for all institutions to make wise investments in student recruiting. Investment in 12 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 15. the right CRM technology and best practices can have a particularly positive impact on the overall performance and health of an institution by delivering the following benefits: Higher Enrollment Rates Selective, cost-anxious students and their families require more information and assurance than ever as they decide where to spend their money. Institutions that provide this information and assurance will be significantly more attractive to prospective students— and will achieve higher enrollment rates, even as competition intensifies. This means more tuition dollars to invest in every other aspect of the institution. More Effective Recruiting of Targeted Demographics Colleges and universities don’t just need to fill seats. They need to fill seats with students with the right level of academic aptitude and appropriate diversity. They need to populate their various programs based on capacity and program priorities. Effective CRM implementations help them achieve these goals by optimizing the overall attractiveness of the institution to the prospect pool as a whole, and facilitating recruiting activities that target specific desired demographics. Substantially Reduced Costs CRM technology produces cost savings in many ways, even as they improve the effectiveness of recruiting activities. It eliminates the need for repetitive phone calls and emails. It reduces the need to produce and send as much printed literature. It streamlines management of web content. It eliminates the waste associated with poor targeting of promotional communications. It also allows institutions to increase the scale of their recruiting activities without commensurate increases in budget. These savings can be used to enhance recruiting programs—or passed along to other institutional activities desperately in need of additional funding. Stronger Institutional Brand The ability of an institution to communicate effectively with prospective students doesn’t just affect the decisions those students make. They also affect how the institution itself is more broadly perceived. Effective CRM implementations help build the overall brand of the institution—which can impact everything from how the institution is reviewed in comparative publications, to the level of long-term engagement alumni maintain after graduation. Better Resource Allocation and Decision-Making In addition to controlling recruiting costs and optimizing recruiting efficacy, institutions need to allocate recruiting resources as intelligently as possible. This allocation can’t be static either, but should be continually modified as required by changing results and conditions. CRM enables this kind of decision-making by providing recruiting program managers with continuous visibility into which programs, content, and communication channels yield good results—and which need to be modified or abandoned. Extended Geographic/Global Reach Many colleges and universities are looking to extend the geographic reach of their recruiting activities as prospective students demonstrate a greater willingness to travel further—even internationally—to obtain the best possible education and as electronic courseware delivery 13 www.rightnow.com Share This
  • 16. enables them to serve students across the internet. CRM technology complements these strategies by empowering recruiters to target prospective students anywhere in the world via email, the web, and other online communication channels. The bottom line is that CRM can do more than just improve recruiting performance. It can significantly alter the economics of student acquisition and retention—and have a substantial impact on the performance of the institution as a whole in terms of financial health and fulfillment of educational mission. All colleges and universities hoping to survive and thrive in a dynamic and increasingly digital global marketplace should strongly consider investing in the kind of CRM technology and best practices that automate, unify, streamline, and enhance core recruiting processes. .......... ABOUT RIGHTNOW RightNow (NASDAQ: RNOW) delivers the high-impact technology solutions and services organizations need to cost-efficiently deliver a consistently superior customer experience across their frontline service touchpoints. Approximately 1,900 corporations, government agencies, and institutions worldwide depend on RightNow to achieve their strategic objectives and better meet the needs of those they serve. RightNow is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana. For more information, please visit www.rightnow.com. RightNow is a registered trademark of RightNow Technologies, Inc. NASDAQ is a registered trademark of the NASDAQ Stock Market. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create the best possible customer experience for your customers. Our solutions: RightNow CX RightNow Social Experience RightNow Engage The Customer Experience Suite RightNow Web Experience RightNow Contact Center Experience RightNow CX Cloud Platform Be social with us: RightNow.com Twitter Facebook YouTube LinkedIn RightNow Blog 14 www.rightnow.com Share This