Why Educational Organisations Need an Enquiry Management System

Education is a very competitive industry. With educational institutions sprouting up faster than ever, attracting students to enrol in courses is a prime objective for many universities, colleges, registered training organisations (RTOs) and even tutoring/coaching centres.

Challenges faced by Education Providers

Colleges and universities get a large volume of enquiries from students regarding course details, enrolment processes, eligibility criteria, fee structure and more. Enquiries can come via phone calls, emails, web-forms, as well as in-person when students drop in for a conversation. Given all the different sources or mediums, responding to all the enquiries on a real-time basis, accurately and efficiently, can be quite overwhelming.

The large volume of enquiries also makes it difficult to provide personalised and detailed responses. Additionally sometimes there may only be a small number of subject-matter-experts. The lack of an effective enquiries management system may lead to students getting inaccurate or irrelevant information. Worse yet, some enquiries may go unanswered, damaging an educational service providers’ reputation (in terms of customer service) and may result in students choosing an alternative college, university, RTO, or tutoring centre.

As such improving the quality, ease and convenience of the enrolment process has become one of the strategic goals of education providers big and small. With a focus falling on improving the student enrolment/customer service experience and, reducing any management inefficiencies, businesses are embracing the “Enquiry Management System/Enquiry Management Software”.

Features of Enquiry Management Software

An ideal enquiry management system needs to simplify the student enrolment process and offer real-time verification and validation of course enquiries.  It should be able to consolidate student and course data; and offer analytical data for businesses looking to generate or optimise their marketing campaigns.

Yet another function of an enquiry management system is to simplify, automate or reduce the burden of administration tasks associated with all enquiries. With enquiry management software, education providers and registered training organisations (RTOs) can have their leads/enquiries automatically entered into the CRM. This relies on integration with web/enquiry forms, but automates what are normally manual, data entry tasks, enabling sales people or recruiters to focus on their engagement with students or parents and to expedite the sales process. For company websites based on Word Press or Joomla  content management systems, the integration process is simplified by using the likes of Gravity forms or Wufoo forms to capture the necessary data/enquiry records and transfer them into the relevant CRM fields.

Overall, with an enquiry management system, educational institutions should be able to effectively manage the increasing volume of student enquiries and offer significantly better service.

Microsoft CRM for Enquiry Management

The features and benefits offered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM make it the ideal choice for developing an enquiry management system catering for organisations operating in the education industry.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM used on the foundational level of an enquiry management system, educational institutions can efficiently and effectively: identify prospective students, have student details entered automatically into a database, qualify leads/enquiries against custom rules, and automate responses or marketing communications to keep prospective students engaged throughout the enrolment lifecycle.

The functionality of Microsoft CRM allows businesses to track and maintain the student interactions at every stage helping them streamline their future prospecting efforts. Finally, the return on investment (ROI) can easily be measured by collating all the data and generating relevant business intelligence reports.

If you are from the education industry and would like to increase your ROI, simplify your support processes and reduce costs associated with managing the student enrolment lifecycle; contact the Empower IT Solutions team to learn more about our CRM-based Enquiry Management System.

Blog Update: In November 2016 Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 – a platform that unifies CRM and ERP capabilities into applications that work seamlessly across different business divisions. Henceforth the enquiry management solution will be designed and developed using the latest features and functionalities offered by Dynamics 365.

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