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5 ways universities can drive greater value from the student lifecycle with Microsoft Dynamics CRM


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5 ways universities can drive greater value from the student lifecycle with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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5 ways universities can drive greater value from the student lifecycle with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  1. 1. This paper provides detailed analysis of the challenges that universities face and looks at 5 ways CRM technology from Pythagoras can help overcome them 5 ways universities can drive greater value from the student lifecycle with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  2. 2. Contents The challenges faced within Higher Education 3 Attracting students 3 Converting interest to enrolment 3 Reducing student attrition 4 Boosting post education employment opportunities 4 Five ways CRM can help you overcome the barriers 5 1) Integrated Recruitment & Campaign Management 5 2) Student ‘one stop shop’ 5 3) Data integration with existing information systems 6 4) Maintaining strong relationships with the Alumni community 6 5) Utilising commercial relationships to increase revenue and improve the student experience 6 Summary 7 About Pythagoras 8 2
  3. 3. The challenges faced within Higher Education 3 With over 300 higher education institutions in the UK, competition to attract top performing students is fierce. This is set against a decline in student applications experienced since tuition fee levels for universities in England were increased to a maximum of £9,000; approximately 13% on average in England (source: UCAS). There are several significant challenges within the student lifecycle that must be addressed if a university is to overcome the challenge of a competitive market and shrinking prospect base. The solution lies in its ability to take on a business orientated approach to the management of the student lifecycle and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is key to enabling this. Attracting students In recent years, universities enjoyed an almost effortless conveyor belt of students as demand for places increased year on year, but in 2012 this trend reversed. Applications from international students have played a role in boosting student numbers, but these have also fallen for the first time in 16 years, suffering as a result of increased competition from improving Asian institutions and from changes in government immigration policies. A lack of strategic impetus in the light of the new challenges faced, combined with an inability to transfer student behavioural intelligence from department to department, will negatively impact some universities’ ability to compete as strategic decisions may not be based on factual representations. Challenges - Lack of strategic targeted campaigns utilising existing knowledge held within the university - Remaining competitive and agile enough to influence and attract top students before others Converting interest to enrolment A university may generate healthy levels of interest and may attract a good number of prospective students to their open days, but they must ensure they turn that initial interest into enrolment within as short a timescale as possible? Challenges - Retaining and building the student relationship once initial interest has been established and having the means to track, record and manage this engagement - Identifying and reducing lead-to-enrolment timeframes - Lack of student self-service Total UCAS applications and accepted applicants (source: UCAS) Applications Accepted applicants 2007 2,355,069 534,495 2008 2,195,637 588,689 2009 2,387,415 639,860 2010 2,720,498 697,351 2011 2,847,012 700,161 2012 2,636,252 653,637
  4. 4. The challenges faced within Higher Education 4 Reducing student attrition Once the university has done enough to convince a student to enrol, they must then focus on student retention. Maintaining student satisfaction and promoting a positive student experience is essential, if this is not achieved then the net result is a large amount of wasted time, money and a negative impact on reputation. In figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 1 in 5 students are failing to complete the first year. Across Britain, the number of students dropping out increased from 28,210 in 2011 to 31,755 last year – a rise of almost 13%. The government itself has put in place a student retention programme, investing £1 billion on initiatives designed to reduce the average 13% drop out rate, but more is needed to be done by the universities themselves. Challenges - Predicting dissatisfaction, low engagement and the potential for student departure - Putting in place the correct resources and measures to support students at risk - Educating and enabling staff as part of resource management Boosting post education employment opportunities Now, more than ever, universities need to demonstrate an active approach to supporting student’s post- graduation, particularly when it comes to seeking employment. With 40% of students failing to obtain graduate-calibre posts more than two years after leaving education (source: Higher Education Careers Services Unit Futuretrack survey), it is essential for universities to become better at managing and developing commercial relationships. Challenges - Building a trending pattern of post education employment to develop predictability and industry alignment into course development and management - Retaining a repository of industry knowledge and connections to enhance the alignment between student, course and career - Continuing to develop, enable and maintain support with Alumni - Building strategic relationships in key sectors to compliment core academic focus and specialisms
  5. 5. 5 Five ways CRM can help you overcome the barriers As the enrolment of students into higher education becomes more competitive, there is a need to view the student relationship as more of a commercial ‘customer/provider’ dynamic. The result is that universities have to deepen their commercial capabilities so they can adapt and succeed within this changing environment. CRM technology can play a defining role in helping universities make the transition to meet these challenges head-on. The heart of the solution allows the university to develop a commercial approach to the management of students, by capturing and connecting data intelligence from across disparate departmental silos. This can then be presented in a single relationship view that spans the entire student lifecycle. From this intelligence, universities can develop far better strategic plans and undertake repeatable activities that result in a higher degree of enrolment success and student retention as a result of the predictability that historical information provides helping to: a) Attract a greater number and quality of student b) Incentivise prospective students during the enrolment process with relevant initiatives c) Enhance and improve the student relationship management process to reduce the numbers of students dropping out before completing their degrees d) Increase and grow professional connections to develop future post-graduate employment opportunities and increase opportunities for research revenue 1) Integrated Recruitment Campaign Management Building, managing and monitoring a new business pipeline is essential for any business for monitoring its health and success. From initial enquiry through to enrolment, an integrated CRM system will also enable universities to build similar pipeline clarity into their campaign management processes. Representing prospective students in a new business pipeline, CRM can create dynamic automated responses depending on the identified situation and need. This ‘self-aware’ process of management ensures that opportunities for engagement are not missed and that students feel as though more thought has been given to their future and a more personalised approach to recruitment is delivered. 2) Student ‘one stop shop’ Monitoring and isolating individual instances of student dissatisfaction can be difficult. In the same way businesses will use CRM to identify, react and respond to changing customer behavioural patterns, the same process can be applied to the management of students. CRM can build a profile of a student’s behaviour; are they avoiding certain lectures, are they absent on specific days, are they behind in their work, in order to identify and predict changes in those patterns so remedial actions can be implemented. Creating a ‘one-stop-shop’ of relationship based services tailored at the individual level, such as engagement programmes and teacher management procedures as well as non-academic services such as finance, disability and health and well-being advice, that can be implemented help make the education experience feel more personal to the student thus reducing dissatisfaction.
  6. 6. Five ways CRM can help you overcome the barriers 6 3) Data integration with existing information systems The right CRM implementation can connect multiple silo’d systems and data sources. Automating the flow of information between departments and unconnected systems provides the capability of inserting structured insight into strategic decision making. These insights empower universities with the information needed to make informed decisions based on an increasingly predictable series of events, gathered through the monitoring of student behavioural patterns. 4) Maintaining strong relationships with the Alumni community Now more than ever, the Alumni communities help universities retain links to departing graduates and work as a means to transfer knowledge to other students coming through. They are vital in helping students define the shape of their future career by providing key networking contacts and skills designed to aid the transition from graduation to employment. CRM is used by businesses to manage personal connections and networks so that knowledge is retained internally for the benefit of future engagement activities. Adopting the same strategy, the historical knowledge gathered by retaining contact with graduating students can be moved from a silo’d environment into part of the single CRM solution, helping guide universities in the development of increasingly effective communications that define the shape of Alumni support. 5) Utilising commercial relationships to increase revenue and improve the student experience CRM allows the university to accurately track and manage connections and networks of key commercial relationships. The purpose of this is to develop closer ties for research and for the bridging of the gap between graduation and employment. The effective management of these commercial relationships is essential for two reasons: a) Students enrol at university to undertake qualifications that increase the chances of following a chosen career path. If the university is able to present a greater graduation to job conversion message then they are more likely to gain prospective student interest. Positive links with industry are key to this b) Managing and maintaining commercial relationships is essential for the growth of university institutes as centres of research and knowledge exchange. In 2011 total research income to universities reached £629m from large businesses compared to £587m in 2010 (Source HEBCI). CRM provides an effective engagement mechanism for the process management of these relationships, ensuring that opportunities for revenue generation are identified early in the decision making process to increase the chances of conversion. Total income by partner 2003-04 to 2010-11 (real terms) income(£m) Academic year 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Not elsewhere classified Pubic and third-sector organisations Large businesses SMEs Individuals
  7. 7. 7 Summary Universities must increasingly take on a more commercial approach around the management of the student lifecycle if they are to: 1. Continue to drive interest from within a challenging prospect market place 2. Positively influence the step from interest to enrolment and reduce conversion timeframes 3. Retain enrolees once they are actively studying 4. Create as seamless a graduation to employment path as possible Managing prospective enrolees, existing students and post-graduates by effectively joining disparate systems and data sources is the most effective approach to achieving this. Businesses are increasingly looking to CRM as a means of achieving greater ROI from their sales and marketing. It is a working formula and approach that universities should look to adopt if they are going to compete more effectively in the future. The key to success is in the universities technological capability in managing the point of connection between each department. In many institutes that connection is broken and departments operate in silos with no physical way of connecting the flow of information being generated. When there is a lack of data intelligence it becomes very difficult to develop strategies and campaigns that can be implemented with any degree of certainty. The time for universities to invest in new technology is clearly now and whilst it is key to weigh up the significant investment in the solution against the return on investment, the cost of doing nothing will be considerably more.
  8. 8. About Pythagoras 8 Pythagoras is a top 5% global Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner with expertise in delivering integrated; tailored CRM solutions to some of the leading universities in the UK, helping them overcome their barriers to success leading to: • Increased revenue through improved conversion / enrolment rates • Improved student retention through a greater understanding of the relationship path • Reduced administration time through data and process automation • Greater awareness and understanding of commercial relationships / opportunities across the university Our technology solutions are equipping universities with the tools they need to effectively manage the entire student lifecycle from initial enquiry through to graduation and beyond. This expertise has been gained through the successful implementation of a significant number of Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions into renowned Higher Education institutions across the UK. However, unlike many other CRM providers we don’t stop once the solution has been implemented. Instead we continue to work with our customers to ensure that the value they gain isn’t just short term and they continue to extract return way into the future.
  9. 9. T: 01628 519 000 E: W: Twitter: @EducationCRM LinkedIn: Our Head Office: Ashwood House , Grove Business Park White Waltham, Berkshire, SL6 3LW Our London Office: 17th Floor , Centre Point 103 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DD Our Midlands Office: Central Boulevard, Blythe Valley Business Park Solihull, Birmingham, B90 8AG For more information