If your higher education institution really wants to increase community engagement with your continuing education program, you have to be deeply focused on understanding your audience. But, when you’re spread thin running a program that includes course management, seminars, continuing education certificates, professional development and more, how do you possibly carve out the time to manage customers and achieve the right level of engagement?
Perhaps it’s time you evaluated whether or not you were running your continuing education program like a mission driving, revenue generating business. For most businesses, customer relationship management (CRM) software is key to their ability to understand their target audience.
In your case, imagine the benefits of being able to consolidate all of your internal and external communication with course attendees and students, especially if that system was purpose-built for the higher education industry and served as a central repository for critical customer information, like registration data, marketing, and more.
Take your continuing education program to new heights
Here are six ways CRM software specifically helps your continuing education program further its mission to increase community engagement, enrich lives, and increase institution revenue:
- Understand what each student wants: By creating accounts for each student and tracking their class history, and even how they like to learn (online, in person, or both), you can feasibly make future course suggestions and increase participation.
- Understand what many students want: Use reporting from your CRM software to identify patterns and trends, and ensure your continuing education program is offering what your community seems to value.
- Measure success of adult learners: Maintain contact with past adult students so you can measure their success after they have participated in your continuing education program. You can track job-related factors like promotions and understand how your continuing education program helped them further their careers. Then you can use this data in your student return on investment (SROI) conversations.
- Identify enrollment gaps: As another benefit to having customer data, you can see what courses are not performing as well as you’d like, and make adjustments to course offerings – even follow up with individual students to see which offerings might increase their chances at future enrollment.
- Become firmly established within the institution's strategic plan: Through campus-wide adoption and system integration, your continuing education program can be seen as a critical part of the higher education institution’s full plan. Integrating with other departments is another great way to see all contact touch points and further your understanding of your valued students.
- Spend time doing other important things: With improved quality and efficiency from your software, you can spend more time increasing awareness for your continuing education program in your community, building your online education strategy, focusing on internationalization efforts and more.