Isn’t it crazy to think that the first mobile phone came out in 1973 and 34 years later we were introduced to the first iPhone? Now there is a new smartphone coming out left and right with the latest features of facial recognition, games to play, people to connect with, etc. We have come so far, and as we all have seen…technology advances quickly. If your school is not able to adapt and adjust with technology and wait too long before making any transitions then it is possible that you will be left behind by your competitors. Although we know it is crucial to stay competitive in this industry, it is just as important to make sure that your current admissions tool makes it easier for you, your team and your families. In this post, we share with you 10 signs that will show if your admissions software is holding you back. Let’s go through it, shall we?
#10 – Still exporting contact lists to send emails
Do you have to build a new report of the individuals or groups you want to send a simple email to? Do you still have to export data from your current database into an excel sheet and then copy and paste into your send to? If so, sorry…that can be tedious. It is the 21st century and there are better tools out there for you to use. Easier tools. There are resources that make sending emails to any group of contacts a piece of cake – no exports, no mail merges. If you are using admissions software and still exporting contact lists, it may be time to conduct some research.
#9 – You’ve had to hire someone to “run the software”
It’s not uncommon in the corporate world of behemoth and legacy software that people are hired with the sole purpose of running a single piece of software. But we’re talking dated software and multi-million-dollar corporations. If your school had to hire someone to run your admissions software and promote them for their painstakingly hard work, then it may be time to upgrade your software. Your admissions and enrollment software should be clear on how to use and simple to understand by anyone on your team.
#8 – You have a team member whose sole duty is data entry
We strongly dislike data entry. If someone on your admissions team only job is to do all the data entry, then it is time to let them spread their wings and fly! You have the capability to alleviate the data entry burden and let your team solely focus on cultivating meaningful relationships with your families or even work on marketing. The whole point of admissions software is to eliminate data entry, not increase it.
#7 – Majority of your time is spent scheduling visits, interviews, and tours
We understand you wear a lot of hats, but no matter what size school you are, you are not a receptionist. As an admissions professional, your goal is to build relationships with your families. Your main job shouldn’t be chasing down families to schedule appointments. If you are not able to keep up with the back-and-forth calls and voicemails with parents to find a meeting time that works, you are wasting precious time. We encourage you to find a new admission and enrollment software with online scheduling for parents that will eliminate phone-tag, rescheduling and wall calendars. Save yourself time and make it easy for your parents to get a hold of you. See how SchoolAdmin does online scheduling here.
#6 – You have to get IT to run a report for you
Your IT Manager is not the biggest user of your admissions software, right? No, you are (or should be)! If you have to continually seek assistance in running a report…then that is a bad sign. Collecting your admissions data is important and running a report shouldn’t require the assistance of a database analyst. Granted there are some reports that might be complex, but the majority should only require common sense and a few mouse clicks. If you can’t get to the data you need within seconds, you might be using the wrong admissions software.
#5 – You keep track of family conversations in your email inbox
It is not uncommon for admissions teams to use their email as a filing cabinet, creating tasks and hundreds of sub-folders within containing every message from each member of the family. Their inbox actually ends up becoming their admissions CRM! As a consequence, notes and reminders on contact records aren’t shared across the team. If you have to steal your colleague’s email password or look in their archives to see the last conversation they had with a family, it might be time for a change.
#4 – You still rely on sticky notes
Well, I can’t blame you here. I love sticky notes and put them all over my desk.
While sticky notes can be useful and provide some colorful decor, they can quickly get overlooked, disappear and often clutter up our desk way too much. Even adequate admissions software will support notes and reminders that can be shared across the team electronically. Ones that will also remind you “hey this is overdue!”, your sticky notes can’t do that. Not to mention, they also render those little notes of paper, making more room for family pictures!
#3 – You keep track of your admissions checklist in a paper file
I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself at this point, but…why did you even buy admissions software!? Seriously though, if this is the case then it is time get a tool that helps and eliminates most of your paper files. There are now online checklists that exist, so you never have to check another little box on any piece of paper or track down anyone’s file ever again. Many of the software options out there even provide parents with tools to view the checklist status online and complete steps, like filling out forms, uploading documents and scheduling appointments right there!
#2 – The fear that technology interferes with relationships
There is a big debate in the social media world. The question is: does social media improve or cripple human relationships? Some say, “get out there and be with people face-to-face!” And, others will say that they get to keep in touch with people that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Both sides have excellent points. But, if technology enables you to forge strong personal relationships, why not use it?
Technology also saves time. If you are using technology to spend less time entering data from applications, scheduling appointments, doing mail merges, answering basic questions about the admissions process, then you can spend more time having very personal and meaningful interactions with families.
#1 – Your team doesn’t know how to use it
Technology should save time and not cause a headache. It should help you and your team be more efficient. Everyone on your team should be able to use it to their advantage. Do you have to send new members of your team to seminars to learn how to use the software? Do you have only one power user on your admissions team because they just get it? Would you be lost if they went on vacation?
Good admissions software is like email. It is the first thing every member of the team opens when they get to the office in the morning because the information within and the tools provided make their job that much easier. There are many reasons that can demonstrate that your current admissions software is holding you back. Don’t let it, do your research and find a tool that works best for you, your team and most importantly to your families. Preferably one that is easy to use, helps build relationships and keeps you on track to reach your goals.
SchoolAdmin is a powerful, customizable CRM with beautifully clean records, flexible workflow management for your school and sophisticated search and reporting, with unlimited custom fields. Click here to watch a quick overview of SchoolAdmin.
This post was originally written by James Collins on June 12, 2013, and has been updated by Cassandra Breeding on November 20, 2018.