1. CRM challenges in higher education
In today's digital era, higher education institutions face numerous challenges when it comes to implementing and managing customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This could be:
One of the main hurdles is the sheer size and complexity of these institutions. With multiple departments, faculties, and student services, many of which are often decentralised, it becomes challenging to consolidate all the data into a unified CRM system under a single source of truth.
The need for customised and personalised communication
Higher education institutions must cater to the unique needs and preferences of each individual, whether it's providing academic support, career guidance, or alumni relations. This requires a CRM system that can segment and target different audiences effectively.
Variety of decision makers
Higher education organisations often include other roles additional to the typical CRM decision-makers seen in most businesses (CTO, CIO, Sales etc.) such as governors and trustees. The diverse range of stakeholders involved, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors, further complicates CRM implementation and more general decision-making processes.
Data security and privacy
These are paramount concerns in the higher education sector. Educational institutions handle sensitive information, including personal and financial data, which must be protected from cybersecurity threats. Overcoming these challenges requires careful planning, a robust CRM system, and a dedicated team to ensure successful implementation and management.
Smaller than average marketing and admissions teams
Higher education institutions often have smaller teams handling marketing and admissions, particularly when compared to other B2C businesses. This, considered alongside the fact that there might be a wider variety of channels (online as well as in-person events, working with schools and academic publications, etc.) means not only is data coming from more places but automation off the back of the data collected becomes more important. When smaller teams are already stretched, the fewer manual tasks required of them, the better.