CRMs for Independent K-12 Schools: What You Need to Know and All the Major Benefits
As you know, all the interactions you have with families add up while they’re weighing many school options. But does it ever seem like you’re understaffed and it’s curtailing your ability to get in more face time? Fortunately, there is an easier way to manage all your admissions responsibilities that frees up your schedule so you can spend more time getting to know your prospects. A CRM can help you more effectively manage every relationship and even enhance the connections you’re building with prospective families without sacrificing any of the relationship-building required in admissions.
What is a CRM?
A CRM or Client Relationship Management is the system and strategy for managing your relationship with current and potential students.
Using CRM software in your admissions office will help you get a clearer view of all the communication occurring between your team and prospective families. Your CRM can also give you more opportunities to:
- Personalize touchpoints to cater to each prospect’s needs and drive your inquiry to enrollment figures.
- Streamline the way you share stories and details. Prospects need to see themselves in the longterm story of your school.
- Automate reminders to provide an easy-to-follow path during the application process.
To add to this, here are some additional benefits schools take advantage of by using CRM software.
Get both a high level and a more specific view of bottlenecks within the enrollment stages. From the conversations you have with prospective families by email and phone, you can record their aspirations and objections into your CRM. Then hone your school’s messaging to drive enrollment and retention in a way that directly reflects their needs and concerns.
Anyone with your school can add and view notes related to specific prospects whether it is regarding campus visits or phone conversations. Based on these notes you can provide more specific communication and follow-up to keep new families engaged and excited to complete the admissions process.
Highly Customized Messaging
CRM systems can analyze each candidate’s profile and suggest appropriate individualized follow-ups based on their unique needs so you can communicate faster and smarter with your prospects.
The latest report from the National Association of Independent Schools shows schools generating roughly five inquiries for every newly enrolled student. Through SchoolAdmin, you can use an online inquiry form to direct families to take action, such as sign up for an upcoming school event, request financial aid information, or select what academic and athletic programs they are most interested in learning more about. Each of the actions taken by a parent within an inquiry form can help you tailor your communication in your outreach.
Schools that made the switch to SchoolAdmin show on average an 18% increase in inquiries and a 13% increase in the number of applicants in their first year of adopting our CRM.
Read on below to learn more about how you can schedule touchpoints in a CRM to help you create more targeted messaging.
Setup touchpoints around incomplete student applications to address their concerns and shepherd them to completion. You can send application deadline reminders, application status updates, and even financial aid information if they’ve shown interest.
Or let’s say you want to invite multiple prospects to an open house. You can send invite emails out faster to a larger group and even schedule reminder emails if they haven’t yet RSVP’d.
Post-event, after noting who attended, you can email out personalized thank you’s more efficiently compared to a traditional platform like Outlook and even create an internal reminder for your admissions team to text or call them. Throughout your admissions cycle, any notes recorded in your CRM can be easily retrieved and incorporated in follow-up communication so you leave a great impression that moves conversations forward.
You can also quickly send prospective families information or an invite around a specific interest they’ve shown. Did they share their favorite sport or want to learn more about your school’s STEM program? Your CRM can segment your prospects based on those interests. Then you can email information related to their interests or invite them to a relevant on-campus event, giving you an efficient way to send personalized communication.
Optimize Your Communication
Through a CRM you can view where each initial inquiry came from whether it’s a referral, your school’s website, a digital ad, or any other channels you use to promote enrollment. SchoolAdmin’s reports let you quickly see other data-driven insights including how much an open house or other school efforts impacted your admission counts.
From this data you can:
- Reallocate your outreach efforts based on the most successful strategies.
- Eliminate channels that aren’t serving your school’s growth.
- Create a high yield communication plan.
- Boost your school’s yield and help build a stronger campus.
Cleaned Up Records
Within a CRM you can quickly see the status of each prospect and every point of contact with them. This has many benefits to ensure your team can run successfully year-round:
- If someone on your admissions team is sick or on vacation, another team member can see the notes and status of a prospect to be able to quickly pick up where they left off.
- Admission directors can set/assign a task to a team member to follow-up on a prospect one week later so all your prospects keep your school top of mind.
- Avoid any potential duplicate communication; your admissions team can check who contacted a family and when in real-time.
Plus, many of our schools happily report spending less time on paperwork and manual data entry so they can focus on spending more time in front of families.
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