Confused with how the terms of CRM, artificial intelligence and big data? And how these are relevant in online education? If yes, here is an article that will add to your knowledge.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)– This is nothing but an in-house tool developed to handle all the incoming data.I guess all the online MBA colleges would be having a CRM or an equally efficient tool to handle all the incoming leads. Irrespective of the size of the incoming data, this data can be correctly channelized and handled effectively only through CRM.
From the time of receiving any data in the CRM, until the data is successfully processed every action taken is vital.
It should be possible to filter the data in the CRM to understand various dimensions of data. The various dimensions of data include the agency associated, the geographic location of data, whether the data is search or display type, campaign-placement-creative associated,the age group of data etc.
Big Data- The data in the CRM is generally of high or low volume depending on the site traffic. If you are a shows topper in the field of online education, the size of the data is so huge and can be stored and processed using a database only. If the data set is even more massive and manipulations and analysis have to be performed on the huge data sets, then big data can be used.
Generally, all the online education providers have huge traffic on the internet and there are separate departments to handle the email marketing,digital campaigns, affiliate marketing etc. Thus, the incoming data size on the CRM becomes huge.
Artificial Intelligence– The CRM should itself be completely automated. To avoid manual interventions and errors everything starting from the assigning of data to the best performer, choosing the best performer, analysis of the campaign result etc, sending automatic notifications can be programmed on the CRM. This is nothing else other than application of some artificial intelligence on the CRM. Manual interventions should be minimized to eradicate errors and wastage of time and automation should be brought in wherever possible.
The below mentioned are some tips and tactics to achieve better results using the CRM, AI and Big Data.
- When the incoming leads have to be processed?
As soon as the data is received, it has to be immediately assigned to counselors for processing. The faster the data is processed, higher the probability of conversion. The best method is to process in 30 min of arrival. The more the data loses freshness, the more unlikely to get converted. The reason is that the students make enquiry not to your college alone, but to your competitors’ colleges too. Before others grab them, make sure that you have contacted them.
I have had chances where I contacted the student after a week of enquiry and got disappointed to hear that he had already taken up admission in the competitor’s college and didn’t even remember my college name at that point of time.
The CRM should be equipped enough to assign data to the counselors automatically to avoid manual intervention that wastes time. This is nothing else but some application of artificial intelligence.
- How the data quality is determined?
Some agencies provide data good in quality while some others punch data and give low quality ones.
Data quality can be determined by analyzing data over a period of time for a particular agency. Good data will not have redundant or duplicate entries and will be unique. Also, the conversion rates will be higher. Agencies which give more conversions generally give high quality data. We should take care to spend more money on agencies which are really worth. So study the data carefully to avoid wastage of money on bad quality data. This kind of analysis has to be done every day.
- Which agency is the best data provider?
Once we get a subsequent number of agencies which provides good quality data, the tactic applied has a major say in the business. Spend more money for the data of good and worth agencies. These can be blindly processed to end up in a conversion.
However,it’s to be kept in mind that no agency can provide 100% good quality data other than Google Search. The data triggered from a Google search are the real high-quality ones and chances for conversion is nothing less than 100%. They come due to brand value, referral traffic etc.
- What tactic to be applied to the student counselors?
The high-quality data should be assigned to counselors who deliver high performance. I write this from my experience and the logic behind is a simple question like this. Why to assign a high-quality data to a poor performer and not end up in a conversion? This can prevent wastage of money and shoot up the conversion rate. The probability of a poor performer of making a conversion/enrollment of student from a data whether it be good or bad is very negligible.
Sometimes it has happened to me where I assigned the good quality data to the best performer of the previous month but delivered a worst performance and resulted in loss in the current month. So this activity of finding the high quality performer has to be performed every day and not over a month alone.
- How to find the best student counselor?
The counselor who processes data faster and brings in more conversions is generally a good performer. In other words, the performance is directly proportional to the income of the company. Our activity is to find the latest best performer and not over a month or a particular time period. This has to be determined from the CRM.
- How to improve performance of student counselors?
Incentive system can be implemented to the high performers among the counselors. This develops a competitive spirit and improves performance. Awards and recognitions can also be given. A monthly best performer and a daily best performer have to be rewarded.
- Email Campaigns
As we would be possessing a huge data set of incoming data in the CRM, we can hold sufficient email campaigns to frequently get in touch with them. We can hold email campaigns on latest news and updates, latest industry trends etc. This would bring in referral traffic at some point of time in future. This has to be carried out regularly.
- Optimize digital campaigns
The data in the CRM can be studied to optimize the digital campaigns. The CRM should be equipped enough to filter data according to digital campaigns. The more the conversions of a campaign, the more we should spend on it. If the result of a campaign is low, we need to optimize it then and there by finding the root cause. There is no need to wait till end of the campaign to determine its result. It can be caught then and there using the CRM.’
- Should the CRM be connected to the database?
The answer is YES. This is to carry out various optimizations at the campaign level level, placement level and also up to the granular level. The geography wise results can also be analysed. Other dimensions are keywords, phrases etc.
- Share the tactics with counselors?
The answer is ‘NO’. How could they work if they are made aware that their performance is watched every second and data is assigned based on the performance? How would they work if they are aware they are poor performers and only bad quality data is assigned to them by the system?:)
These are written from my experience of 0 years in the online education scenario and following the above will boost up your business for sure. In fact these are the tactics used by me for my happy clients.
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