SugarCon 2013: Customer Experience: Implementing CRM from the Customer’s Perspective

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Marc Bailey, Macquarie University
Marc Englaro, Insightful


Macquarie University, based in Sydney, Australia has identified that improved engagement with students, staff and industry are all critical elements in supporting the University’s strategic vision of being one of the top research institutions in the world. Investing in a university-wide CRM platform has enabled the university to bring together over 1,500 staff to manage the relationships with 40,000 students and prospective students, 5000 staff and 8000 active industry contacts.

This presentation looks at how a university can invest in “customer” experience, and delivered a CRM platform to support the many and varied “customers” in a university ecosystem.

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  • Based in North Ryde, 20 mins from the Sydney CBD, Macquarie University is named for Governor Macquarie, a significant figure in the development of the Colony of New South Wales. There are 42 Universities in Australia, in a market traditionally dominated by the 8 oldest Universities, which form a coalition called the Group of Eight in a roughly analogous to the Ivy League. Macquarie University is 50 years old next year, which is young compared to many other, and in many measures Macquarie University, is among the best in Australia, and in a few areas among the best in the world, however still struggles with the reputation of not being one of the original Sandstone Universities. Macquarie Univeristy has four FacultiesBusiness and EconomicsArtsScienceHuman Sciences and relaed entities, MGSM MAFC SIBT
  • The University sector in Australia has undergone structural shifts recently, which has increased the pressure on the Universities dismantling of the quota system of student allocation per UniIncreased competition from student mobility Commercial entities offering Bachelor degreesAppearance on the horizon of MOOC and distance educationA mining & commodities boom, and global financial has lead to a record high exchange rate of the Australian dollar relative to all major currencies, reducing the attractiveness of international students choosing to study in Australia
  • The customers Single experenceImprove student experience Improved relationships with Industry and Community and other institutions.Improve the recruitment of International Studentstudents ask all sorts of questions from general questions like “Where do I catch the bus” to formal academic requests “Can I be excused from this exam please?. I’ve stubbed my toe, and can’t walk”Connecting Investment with Strategy Unusually, Macquarie has connected their investment in CRM with measurable business outcomes. The first phase of the project was focussed on student experienceConsider the Student’s Experience in every interaction Increase response rates to 100% Reduce time to resolution Reduce number of interactions to resolution Increase transparency of process and policy, and improve consistency across faculties, school and departments.
  • Unusually, Macquarie has connected their investment in CRM with measurable business outcomes. The first phase of the project was focussed on student experienceConsider the Student’s Experience in every interaction Increase response rates to 100% Reduce time to resolution Reduce number of interactions to resolution Increase transparency of process and policy, and improve consistency across faculties, school and departments. StrategyCentralise enquiry services, to avoid the proliferation of decentralised and unregulated info email addresses, many of which would become black-holes, with no-one monitoring them, as organisations changed and people moved on. Analyse student enquiries, improve reference materials and clarify confusion. Monitor and improve time to resolution, and number of interactions Write and publish a FAQ about process and policy and make this available to students online
  • , to avoid the proliferation of decentralised and unregulated info email addresses, many of which would become black-holes, with no-one monitoring them, as organisations changed and people moved on. Only one platform, not fragmented data. Single university - single customer experience The system will scale to thousands of users. Must integrate with OneID central ID and provisioning system - LDAP Must be scalable and securePreferably outsourced Success Factors in CRM Ensure executive sponsorship Maintain a focus on business objectivesDecide the business metrics that are importantMeasure things before and after Consider the Customers Experience Think Big, Start Small, Move Quickly
  • Only one platform, not fragmented data. Single university - single customer experience The system will scale to thousands of users. Must integrate with OneID central ID and provisioning system - LDAP Must be scalable and securePreferably outsourced
  • Implementation PartnerConsulting, Requirements Project ManagementArchitecture, Design, Development, Testing and ReleaseHosting, Management and Support of platform2nd level support for usersMacq TeamPMRequirementsProcess DesignScreen mockupsUATTraining
  • multiple use cases on same underlying platform- challenges that this creates - permissions to data - data and functions on the data dependent on the roles of the individuals. other Use CasesInternational - customers are international students and international agentsHR - staffPACE - IndustryAccessMQ - Industry MGSM - all of the above.
  • Approach Overarching data and security architectureRolling phases implementing small self-contained units of functionality, often for different departmetnsThe Bubble concept. Increase porosity of the bubbles to share more informaiton progressively Intially doing 6 week phases, but slowed the pace of change to 4 releases per year. Successfully released 11 phases, 450 active CRM users, 1000 academic
  • 1500 staff using the system40,000 students and prospective students100,000 student enquiries and academic requestsin past year, over 5 Million page views of the knowledge-base portal Effecieny savings in 2012 of $1m through process effeciencey and retiring legacy systems. Projected savings of $2m in 2013.
  • CRM is a hard problem. Life in business and universities, would be easy without customersCustomers believe (somewhat inconveniently), that they are important. Providing a consistently good customer experience potentially involves changing many, if not all, organisational and functional processesOverall, relative to other implementation roll-outs of this size, the adoption of SugarCRM has been smooth and without significant issue. Success from Focus on the customer, Executive Sponsorship
  • Success from Focus on the customer, Executive Sponsorship
  • SugarCon 2013: Customer Experience: Implementing CRM from the Customer’s Perspective

    1. 1. Customer Experience atMacquarie UniversityImplementing CRM from theCustomer’s Perspective
    2. 2. Macquarie University• Sydney, Australia – 30,000 students• Not one of the “Group of 8”• Fierce battle for student recruitment• 4 Faculties + controlled entities
    3. 3. Environment• Increased competition from– Traditional universities– Commercial alternatives– Emergence of MOOC• Decreased international competitiveness
    4. 4. The initial brief• Improve student experience• Improved relationships with Industry andCommunity and other institutions.• Improve the recruitment of InternationalStudents
    5. 5. CRM withObjectives & Strategy• Consider the Student’s Experience in everyinteraction• Increase response rates to 100%• Reduce time to resolution• Reduce number of interactions toresolution• Increase transparency of process and policy,and improve consistency across faculties,school and departments.
    6. 6. Strategy• Centralize enquiry services• Analyse student enquiries and improveresources• Write and publish Policies and FAQs• Monitor and improve time to resolution,and number of interactions
    7. 7. Design Brief• Single university-wide system• The system will scale to thousands of users• Integrate with OneID• Scalable and secure• Outsourced
    8. 8. InsightfulCRM’s Role
    9. 9. Implementation Challenges• Executive Sponsors• Concurrent Projects• Conflicting Req’s• User Role Definitions• Process Change• Org Structure Change• Communication• Training
    10. 10. Design Challenges• Multitudes of• Departments• Stakeholders• Processes• Access Control• Volume of• Users• Data• Data Interchange
    11. 11. Approach• Underpinning Data & SecurityArchitecture• Bubbles• Custom Views on common data• Phased Implementations• Focus on Customer Experience
    12. 12. Platform ArchitectureSugar Enterprise PortalAcademicPortalLBApp1 App2 App3Db2Db1NFS MemcacheStudentsand StaffAcademicCourseConvenorsUsersCase PortalKB
    13. 13. Results• 40,000 Students and Prospective Students• 100,000 enquiries processed in 18 months• 5 Million page views on Knowledgebase• Better customer experience• Efficiency and productivity savings• Retirement of legacy systems
    14. 14. Success Factors• Focus on the customer experience• Executive Sponsorship• Think Big• Start Small• Move Quickly

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