Isn’t It Time For Student Relationship Management?

Customer relationship management

Imagine that someone enters your place of business and offers you a way to reduce costs, increase profitability, solidify customer satisfaction, build loyalty, and improve advocacy. After pointing to the “no solicitation” sign on the front door you might decide to give him two minutes to tell you about this brand new form of magic.

This certain someone would mention the miracle of customer relationship management (CRM*). Ok, so maybe miracle is a bit of an overreach, but CRM is the #1 buzzword in Corporate America and, on most accounts, has been very effective in delivering on these points. After getting a promotion for taking the advice of this complete stranger, your next thought might be, “How could this marvelous tool be leveraged to increase critical stakeholder relationships within the K-12 and higher education community?” In reality, CRM as applied to the education industry (student relationship management or SRM) has an almost unlimited opportunity for practical everyday use.

Support_Help1-300x199With the goal of tightening relationships between students and their educational mentors, SRM can be a powerful resource to ensure any number of positive outcomes(e.g., increased enrollments, retention, and graduation) for our students. For the sake of brevity I will only focus on three areas that I believe will drive the creation of long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between all those with a stake in improving our educational system.

 

These three focus areas include:
• Increasing levels K-12 college preparedness
• Positively affecting high school dropout rates
• Increasing alumni participation and donation

Educators1-105x150A successful SRM program helps educators at all levels collaborate to instill and promote a college-going culture focused on arduous coursework and high expectations very early in a student’s educational experience. This holistic approach translates to better lesson plans, a greater sense of shared mission, and the development of students better prepared to cope with the rigors of college.

 

It is often difficult to inspire a child/young adult to see beyond the moment. As a rule, teenagers aren’t very good at following the advice of their parents. Peer pressure often has the most lasting effect on their level of motivation. Finding and cultivating long-term mentoring relationships between students at all levels has been a proven path toward inspiring students to excel throughout their secondary school experience. It is much harder to drop out of school when your peer group is cheering you on and showing you the real-life benefits of an education.

 

Alumni empathy represents the culmination of every personal and educational experience a student has up to the moment of graduation and beyond. More specifically, if there is not a strong connection to a particular person, place, or thing related to their post secondary educational experience, engaging alumni would be a very difficult if not impossible task. SRM provides higher education institutions with a path toward developing deep and lasting relationships with its most important constituents. These relationships endure from the moment students express interest in attending an institution to the first time they receive requests from their chosen school and, ultimately, when they gain acceptance.Corporate America leverages CRM to develop and grow important revenue-generating business relationships. The education industry version, SRM, seeks to do the same with a laser focus on developing and growing life-long learning professionals. Do you think implementing an institution-wide SRM program will ensure students are better prepared for college, lower high school dropout rates, and produce a growing and highly-engaged alumni association?Tell me what do you think….

* Customer relationship management (CRM) is a company-wide business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer satisfaction, building loyalty, and improving advocacy. True CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to provide a holistic view of each customer in real-time. This allows customer-facing employees in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing to make quick yet informed decisions on everything from cross-selling and upselling opportunities to target marketing strategies to competitive positioning tactics.

 

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I am a serial high-tech entrepreneur with expertise in developing new markets (discovering, developing and scaling business ventures with high potential). Subject matter expert in Decision Management Systems, Complex Sales, Advanced Analytics, Cognitive Computing, Systems Integration, Product Development and Sales Team Enablement. Recently enjoyed In-region global market development experience across six markets including Hong Kong, Philippines, Africa, Canada, LATAM, and Brazil. I enjoy pursuing high risk/high reward business opportunities that offer a path to improved skills and knowledge.
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