The power of data

Posted: 16/05/2018

The power of data: Why a University-wide CRM could be the answer to many of your organisational problems

With increased competition and restricted funding, capturing data effectively in universities, not only for operational efficiency and enhancing the student experience but also for marketing and student recruitment, is crucial.  

But for many universities, the reality is still that faculties and central units are working independently of each other; there is a lack of understanding around what data needs to be captured and what should be done with it, and no effective way of filtering or using the data your University or institution receives for suitable outcomes. 

The good news is that many of these frustrations can be resolved with an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The right CRM can provide a complete view of your organisation and store much of your customer information in the one area.

A holistic, integrated approach to managing customer data not only saves staff significant time and frustration in trying to source this from various spreadsheets and ad hoc databases, but it also improves the student experience by facilitating efficient nurturing of enquiries to increase enrolments and contact points. While the results of implementing a CRM can be transformational, it is important to realise that not all CRMs are equal. 

What do you need to consider when looking for a CRM? 

With so many CRM systems on the market, you might be wondering what you need to look for and where you need to start. Here are some tips to make sure you get the best solution and outcome for your organisation. 

Plan upfront 

It can be easy to be shortsighted with your CRM purchase particularly when there are key problem areas that need to be resolved urgently. But this myopic approach will often fail to consider future needs and other organisational frustrations that could be incorporated into your CRM solution. 

CRMs are significant capital investments, both in terms of financial outlay as well as staff commitment in setting them up. They are best implemented university-wide for greater integration of information management. This means significant organisational wide planning is needed. All faculties and central units should be consulted. The changing needs of students should also be considered, to determine the full list of features and capabilities you need your CRM to contain. 

Map your processes first 

Mapping your ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ processes will also give you greater clarity around your CRM needs, and it will ensure you avoid a critical mistake we see with system purchase and implementation – fitting processes around a system instead of getting a system that fits your processes. 

Consider integrations 

When comparing CRM systems, it is also essential to look at the integrations that it offers. While having one program doing everything across your organisation would be ideal, the reality is that you will need other systems for accounting, project management, human resources, infrastructure management, student administration and team communication, and you will want them to working together seamlessly with your CRM. 

Call in outside help 

Finding and implementing the right CRM for your organisation is an enormous undertaking, and the last thing you want to do is purchase and implement the wrong solution and negatively impact confidence and buy-in for future systems, projects and changes.  

 Choosing and implementing a CRM is not a task that you need to keep in-house. In fact, you will get a much more robust result if you bring in experts. When you’re planning the purchase of a new system and try to do it yourself without the proper knowledge or support, you risk poor implementation with a system that does not meet all of your needs or objectives.  

 An implementation partner like DVE Business Solutions,  will come into your organisation, help you map your processes, determine your requirements, assess multiple platforms, and help you choose the system that best aligns with your existing systems, processes and culture.  We then can also help you implement the solution in the way you need it, to ensure maximum buy-in and use. 

 Need to increase efficiency and communication across your university? Want to leverage the power of data across all faculties and central units? At DVE Business Solutions we can help you source and rollout your new CRM system effectively and efficiently. Contact us today on 1800 870 677 to discuss your needs.