How to Connect with Students as Customers

October 17, 2016 Jiordan Castle

A student isn’t your average customer. Fortunately, Salesforce isn’t your average CRM platform. Salesforce focuses on 5 key areas in higher education: targeted recruiting, a 360-degree view of students, relationship building, personalized content, and community engagement. There’s a great deal to consider when tackling the end-to-end student experience. How does Salesforce help colleges and universities differentiate?

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Targeted recruiting

Prospective students moved from physical college guidebooks to online forums and social media long ago. Students may be a unique breed of customer, but their ultimate purchasing decision (so to speak) is every bit as dependent on marketing as their next clothing purchase is. Salesforce for Recruiting takes the prospective student courting and selling process into the digital age; it allows you to improve recruiter productivity, increase yield, and see a fuller picture of your recruiting efforts. Salesforce for Recruiting meets students where they actually are — on mobile, in real time, anytime and anywhere.

A 360-degree view of students

Just like any other happy customer, a student can be a brand ambassador. A surefire way to develop a successful student and alumni population is to provide personalized, seamless student experiences along the way and cultivate a thriving, supportive community. Salesforce for Student Success helps you identify top complaints, positive experiences, at-risk students, and even provide staff with the tools they need to succeed. Salesforce can help you build a campus community that mitigates risk and confusion, and advocates for students and staff on a 1:1 basis.

Build lasting relationships

Graduation isn’t the end; it’s a critical transition point for students and their schools. Salesforce for Advancement makes it easier to stay connected to alumni, find new donors, increase gifts from existing donors, and manage all of the technical facets of fundraising. (To anyone in alumni relations at my alma mater reading this: I still have no money for you.)

Deliver a personalized experience

There’s a good deal of chatter online around college applications, campus concerns, and culture. You need a way to keep up with your alumni, manage emergencies in real time, and optimize the complete student journey. With Salesforce for Marketing, your school can maintain technological fluency with its target audience and engage in these important conversations with prospective, current, and former students.

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Maintain a connected community

You don’t only have students to unite; you have faculty members, departments, alumni, and donor participation to orchestrate and manage. Salesforce for Community Engagement takes these moving parts and streamlines collaboration efforts across all functions.

With Salesforce Communities, users can get crowdsourced answers, rather than waiting for an email from one person. They can share files in Salesforce Chatter, use self-service to take the burden from IT and HR staff and get answers quickly, facilitate group discussions online, and more.

The best part about using Salesforce for higher education is that everything happens exactly where students, staff, faculty, and alumni are: on any device — anytime, anywhere.

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