06 Apr 3 ways education institutions can utilize Salesforce
Has your school broken any records lately? While breaking academic or athletic achievement records are covetable, what about student data records? If there is one thing that schools do, it’s keep student records. They keep records for prospective students, current students, former students, and alumni all the way back to their founding. From Pre-K to doctorate programs, and from business training to community education, all schools have mountains of student data to keep current and accessible. Those are records you don’t want to be broken, yet many schools do have broken records. When records are in a myriad of locations, duplicate, or so outdated they require skilled archeologists to uncover the truth, something is broken.
But there’s a way to prevent the breaking. In this post, we cover three institutions in the business of education who have put Salesforce to the test to solve some of their most daunting record problems. By consolidating multiple systems, increasing student attendance, and assisting in career planning, Salesforce is a record breaker (but the good kind).
Raise your hand if you dreaded memorizing your times tables in grades school. Does 11 x 12 still cause you to pause? If your institution suffers from multiple data systems that don’t communicate with each other, you could still be reliving the same multiplication headache.
FranklinCovey, a frontrunner in education and leadership training, was experiencing data woes, with two instances of Salesforce and duplicate contact records. Inconsistencies in records were not only causing a multiplication of data but also causing a pile of puzzles that had to be solved manually. Data errors were common.
Consulting with Simplus, the business streamlined its data and educated itself on best practices. “We just finished a 6 month consulting engagement with Simplus for some major SFDC work and it was handled in an extremely professional and expedited fashion,” says Nikki Bellock, Senior IT Program Manager, FranklinCovey. “The Simplus team really delivered for the duration of the project and in the final hours, working tirelessly to make sure everything was perfect.”
At the end of the project, FranklinCovey had a single instance of Salesforce and an integrated system of clean customer data that employees from all company departments could access and update. This system included a tool for preventing duplicates, so they would never again face a multiplying monster of disparate data. Simple math: count to one, and you’re done.
Increasing student attendance
To be viable in a diverse and competitive education market, reaching out to prospective students is required course material.
Selina Suarez, now Product Manager for K12 Education with Salesforce, has a passion for helping disadvantaged students. In one past experience as a consultant in New York City, Suarez applied her Salesforce skills to help 10,000 disadvantaged high school students apply for and get accepted to college, which nearly all of the students achieved. This was an amazing feat by itself, but when 20 percent of the students failed to enroll in college, Suarez used Salesforce to find out why:
“Fortunately, we’d been tracking tons of data points for each student, and were able to pull Salesforce reports to investigate what was going on with the kids that didn’t enroll. It turned out that most of the problems were as simple as a student not being able to afford books or a metrocard,” Suarez states. “That simple report in Salesforce gave us a clear view of our data and allowed us to focus our attention on teaching those students the important lesson of self-advocacy. Ask for what you need! Based on what we learned, we started a summer program to make sure these students didn’t fall through the cracks.”
Employing data tracking solutions like those in Salesforce places you above the curve in student relations.
Chatting about career options
Since students need to have the assurance of a valuable return on their investment, bridging the gap between education and the ever-changing job market is a serious challenge for higher education. Despite its personal attention to students, the career development center at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth used to reach out to students and alumni through a newsletter—a one-size-fits-all approach. Now, the department offers individualized information by incorporating Salesforce Chatter:
“Personal interaction is a hallmark of Tuck—and when we first started with Chatter, there was a fear that the personal touch would disappear,” says Rebecca Joffrey, Career Development Director. “Instead we found that Chatter helps us take our interactions even deeper.” The center has used Chatter to send specific and relevant information to its marketing club, for instance.
“With Chatter we can customise communications for each student, and we can address even the most niche information needs,” Joffrey says.
With a résumé like that, students are bound to take note.
Streamlining your schools’ data is achievable with the right software tools and the training to use them. With this combination, not only will your institution be ever ready to answer incoming inquiries accurately, but also will be competent in reaching out to assist students in multiple ways.
Simplus, a Salesforce Platinum partner, can help you improve your institution’s record of success. Contact us today.