Higher education institutions collect massive amounts of data and information on multiple fronts. Consider how many prospective and current students, donors, faculty, and staff each week your college or university interact—where does that information go? Many institutions use a higher education CRM system. When you invest in customer relationship management tools, you can store and retrieve valuable information easily and simplify a variety of processes from admissions to alumni programs.

This article looks at why colleges and universities need CRM systems, including how these software solutions can keep your institution on the cutting edge of efficient operation. We’ll also provide some links to free templates that you can use for student life management on monday.com.

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Why use a CRM management platform in higher education?

Documentation related to recruitment events, fundraisers, outreach efforts, and practically any activity that a college or university engages in related to students needs a place to reside. Decision-makers can turn to that information when they need to approve programs, and stakeholders from admissions and academic departments can use customer relationship management software to keep data organized and current. CRM in higher education creates a one-stop-shop that helps higher education institutions remain responsive to students.

Of course, that’s only true if you choose the right CRM for your school and its needs.

Choosing the right CRM for use in higher education

Before deciding on a CRM, consider some key questions and factors. Think about how your institution will use the CRM. A system you use for marketing purposes will function differently from one that will serve several departments. Will you require something basic, or will you need something complex for multiple communication functions? How can this CRM help your staff increase efficiency?

A custom CRM platform may provide more flexibility. Designing a CRM platform for your institution’s unique needs can help you succeed in reaching the intended audience.

Consider set up, training, and ease of use. How much time will it take to get the CRM platform up and running? Will staff get training from the vendor, and what type of assistance is available if problems occur? You also need to know if the CRM can grow as your institutional needs grow.

One of the best ways to consider CRM options is to think about them in terms of use cases. Will the CRM do what you need it to? Check out some common use cases for CRMs and the data they hold in higher education below.

A few use cases for CRM in higher education

Your CRM platform is an essential tool for outreach and relationship building.

When a student engages with your website, social media, or another online platform, you benefit from keeping up with their interactions. When prospective and current students express interest in specific courses or majors, the CRM makes it easy to help them engage departments directly, creating personalized content and opportunities to get the information they seek.

When institutions, large or small, stay connected with students, it helps build a relationship that feels personal, which can mean the difference between a student choosing one institution over another. Having a record of student engagement helps higher education institutions focus on those who seem most interested. In an academic landscape where competition for students is keen, the right CRM platform can make all the difference.

Stay engaged with real-time responses

When a prospective student visits the college website or social media page, the CRM platform makes it easy for staff members to respond immediately. Automated messages and reminders help recruiters stay in touch with interested applicants.

Streamline the college application process

Your CRM platform can help manage the admissions process, reducing the need for paperwork, spreadsheets, and extra staff to sort through traditional applications. Individuals complete their applications on the platform and upload the required documents, resulting in a positive user experience. The platform organizes the information, and staff can see all documents in one place. Applicants can get updates within seconds rather than spending valuable time calling or sending emails.

Improve donor engagement

Keeping donors engaged means maintaining funds. CRM solutions help you keep track of donors, donation amounts, and patterns. Keep in touch with donors, implement campaigns, and invite donors to events and fundraisers using a fully automated process.

You can also track donors and donations in real-time and categorize donors based on giving history and campaigns and then use personalized communications to show appreciation. Managing donor information using a CRM also makes it easier to recognize donors publicly, such as when you publish reports showing specialized donor levels.

Engagement throughout the student lifecycle

Once a student enrolls at a college or university, CRM software provides benefits throughout the student journey — from the first class through graduation, career planning, and placement. Engaging with alumni builds the donor base and can bring those with undergraduate degrees back to graduate school or university-sponsored events. Maintaining contact with alumni can also help boost recruitment by encouraging them to reach out to prospective college applicants in their areas.

The bottom line: means choosing a good one is important. monday.com offers a customized approach to CRM and other collaboration and data management, making it a choice for many organizations.

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monday.com as a CRM for higher education organizations

monday.com offers a range of collaborative workflow and communication tools. You can start with a board to manage admissions processes, for example, or create a dashboard that lets department heads know whether their teams are making goals.

Our Work OS integrates with a wide range of solutions, from Slack to Google to Microsoft Teams, so you can import content, manage communications, and customize workflows so they’re optimal for all your departments.

monday.com’s customizable templates help higher education administrators design communication and outreach methods to fit their needs. From setting reminders that help with timely communications to automating messages, monday.com functions give higher education teams the tools they need to keep current and aspiring students, alumni, faculty, and staff connected and informed.

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Higher education and student templates on monday.com

The Office of Student Life Template is a convenient tool for maintaining contact information for students, faculty, and graduates. It provides the capacity to link to events, campus organizations, and schedules. The template works for event management by tracking attendance, budgets, location, and timelines. When individuals must register for events, they enter information on a digital form. The system retains data that the institution can use to collect feedback for improving events and inviting interested individuals to similar events in the future.

This Student Organization Essentials Template lets busy student leaders, organization members, board members, and faculty advisors budget and plan for student organizations. See all organizational events at a glance with the overview and calendar tools. Review executive board activities, share documents, manage budgets, and plan events in one centralized space.

Still not sure why higher education organizations need a CRM solution? Check out our FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

What is a student CRM?

A student CRM is a platform that enables higher education institutions to collect and analyze data from enrollment to graduation. Student CRMs automate application and enrollment processes and keep institutions engaged with applicants and students. A student CRM makes it easy to plan and execute events and provides an organized way to accept registrations, track attendance, and manage budgets. Keeping all data in one platform allows administration and other stakeholders to use the information for marketing automation, recruitment, engagement, and retention.

What is Salesforce education cloud?

Salesforce Education Cloud is a customer relations management platform for educational institutions. It is customizable and scalable and works as a data collection tool for marketing and recruiting. After a student enrolls, Salesforce Education Cloud provides an enhanced student experience through engagement and is helpful for retention and advancement activities.

Does Salesforce have an LMS?

An LMS is a tool for managing online learning. LMS platforms allow students to participate in asynchronous or synchronous learning opportunities. Businesses and educational institutions use LMS solutions to offer courses and other learning activities. While Salesforce doesn’t have an LMS, it can integrate with learning management systems.