Why you need a contact center Many institutions struggle to scale their lead nurturing and enrollment efforts. In years past, it was common practice to recruit students through college fairs or online forms. Once they expressed interest, you sent them a beautifully designed packet full of information about your institution. It was up to the student to take the next step.
The market has changed. Students expect a more timely and personalized response. If you don’t act quickly, that student will enroll with another school – not because that school is better, but because they got to the student faster.
Here’s what happens: While you’re sending out your packet that takes days to reach the student’s mailbox another institution calls the student within 24-hours. The student speaks to a trained representative who verifies their contact information and helps them understand next steps.
The student can ask questions and get real-time answers. This school really seems to care about the student’s needs. All of this happens before your information packet even arrives.
Guess which university the student is most likely to attend?
According to an Education Dynamics survey, 61% of students ultimately enrolled at the first institution that provided them with the information they were seeking.
What about the other 39 percent? Even if you’re the second school to call, you can still win the student’s trust by being more responsive and more supportive than others.
Contact centers are most effective when they support the student throughout the recruitment cycle. Students should be able to pick up the phone to learn about your offerings, understand next steps, address concerns and start the application process.
Providing that level of support to every lead can overwhelm your recruitment team. Hiring new people might seem like a good short-term solution, but it’s also expensive. You have to train these new employees quickly. And when demand drops at the end of the enrollment cycle you’ll either need to lay off workers or pay people to stay on doing a third of the work.
Call centers circumvent these issues because they are filled with trained personnel who can quickly understand your institution. Their only job is to guide students through every step of the process. By contracting with a call center, you free up your admissions teams to do what they do best – nurture the highest qualified prospects.
How contact centers can help
A contact center can add efficiency to every step of the lead nurturing process. From inquiry verification through enrollment processing, every stage is more streamlined. That translates to increased conversion rates, more enrollments, and an overall lower cost per lead.
Education call centers can support your leads at any or all of these stages:
Verification – You might ask a contact center to reach out to prospects to qualify their contact information.
Qualification – Communicate your institution’s unique value propositions for verified inquiries and confirm that the student is looking for what you have on offer.
Nurturing – Support prospects through their information gathering phase by communicating the institution’s unique value with the goal of getting them to fill out an application.
Recovering cold leads – If a previously warm lead suddenly goes cold, you may be able to salvage the relationship with a phone call. Reaching out can show prospects you care and give them the tools to overcome whatever is standing in their way.
Application processing – Help prospects understand the application complete process and collect all appropriate documentation.
Enrollment processing – Turn leads into students by enrolling them with your institution.
Why outsource your enrollment management processes
Although you may be able to gather enough part-time student workers to help you make phone calls, that’s a poor stand-in for a quality contact center. When you contract with contact center professionals you get a flexible, scalable and, above all, high-quality solution.
The number of staff dedicated to your leads can grow or shrink depending on the season. You can ramp up quickly, with no need to hire and train new staff, and end campaigns early if you’ve already seen the results you want. You also don’t have to provide phones, computers, chairs, desks, or rooms to put all of it in.
A contact center offers comprehensive service from first contact with your lead to enrolling them as a student. Give leads all the nurturing they need without draining your resources.
Most importantly, hiring a bunch of student workers to make phone calls on your behalf might seem like the cost effective option, but how qualified are these students to make leads feel heard, supported and valued?
A quality education contact center delivers personalized service based on data and experience.
Choose a Qualified Education Call Center
Just as you qualify your prospects, you should qualify your outsourced call center before you contract with them. Higher education is a unique market.
Students are making one of the most important decisions of their life thus far. And they’re doing it quickly. According to our 2017 Higher Education Digital Marketing Trends report, 68% of students submit applications within a 4-week search. Helping them make that decision is a great responsibility.
You don’t want to trust this delicate relationship to a generalized call center where employees are dealing with real estate inquiries one day and student futures the next.
Contact center professionals should understand the higher education industry and your organization in general. They should know how to present your value proposition to potential students while communicating in alignment with your institutional culture.
Education Dynamics can help
Our team of call center professionals is specially trained for the education market. They’ll get to know your brand and unique offering to give students an inside look at what your institution can offer. With a la carte services, you can pick and choose where you need the most help to achieve results.
Let us fine-tune your strategy, scale your existing program, or handle the entire lead nurturing and enrollment process.