Student recruitment has become ultra-competitive in recent years due to the increased availability and quality of education in the market. More than ever, efficiently contacting prospective students generated from your marketing activities is an essential part of recruitment. Schools across the country make large investments in their enrollment management strategies — but what kind of return are they getting on those investments? In the 20th century, a school’s admissions center was a room where part-time student employees worked through their call lists as quickly as possible. That doesn’t cut it today. Today’s universities are realizing how valuable each and every lead is. About 31% of schools have hired digital marketing agencies.* But what about outsourced contact centers for admissions teams? Outsourcing your admissions to a third-party contact center may sound radical. In truth, it offers benefits that can more successfully nurture leads and better drive enrollments. It will also free up your in-house team members to focus on other important aspects of recruitment. Here’s a look at 4 reasons why a third-party contact center delivers results:
Your recruitment team is most likely pursuing year-over-year goals— measurable objectives that you as a group are aiming to hit. But what happens when you achieve your objectives? Will you hire more team members to help handle the growing load? If you’re still operating a 20th century-style contact center, that would mean a larger room filled with even more part-time student workers. Hiring (and firing) with changes in your recruitment workload isn’t a sustainable way to operate a university department. When you hire a third-party contact center, you’re able to scale your manpower needs immediately. When you have great success and need greater capacity, you have it. When you hit a downturn and need less help, you can back off. Sometimes the reasons for scaling up and down can simply be seasonality.
You want to see your university grow with more applications and a higher-achieving student body. Partnering with a third-party contact center and enrollment team lets you grow without having to expand. Learn more about EducationDynamics’ Contact Center Service offerings today.
Partnering with a success coaching service provider that specializes in higher education also gives your recruitment team greater flexibility. As noted above, you can scale your prospect and student engagement at a moment’s notice, adding more or less capacity as needed. But here’s another important thing to consider: Immediately shift the focus of your engagement efforts. Whether you need to adjust efforts from business to healthcare or from undergraduate to graduate programs, you can easily manage this with a dedicated partner. What about a focus on rewarming older leads while your internal staff handles the fresh prospects? If you want to emphasize a different message or focus on a different segment of your audience, a third-party contact center is full of professionally trained advisors who are ready to leap to action and see your vision become a reality.
3. Filling Gaps
As mentioned, about 31% of universities have outsourced their web-based advertising and promotions. Another 17% use a hybrid model where the university is handling some parts of the program and a marketing agency is handling others.
You can hire a third-party contact center to fill gaps in your program when needed. For example, perhaps you need more callers but have less manpower in the summertime. Or, perhaps there are certain times of the recruitment cycle when you need greater capacity.
Establishing a relationship with a third-party contact center allows you to fill those gaps whenever and however you need to. A quality third-party contact center will be able to fold right into your existing team and ramp efforts up or down as needed.
4. Quality Control
Saving the best for last: Hiring a third-party contact center gives you greater quality control. The top two sources that prospective students use to learn about schools are university websites and Internet search engines. Once they make contact, they expect a fast (within 2 days maximum) and personalized (something other than a form email) response.
The added value in outsourcing the admissions process is that your partner should have stringent auditing capabilities, often much more detailed than any in-house team could handle.
Your contact center is where you deliver the fast and personalized response that generates more interest and engagement from your inbound leads. A good contact center partner will provide quality:
- Qualification: This is when you share your university’s value propositions and begin to gauge how the prospect would meet a university’s admissions criteria.
- Nurturing: Regular outreach and campaigns are required to lead a qualified prospect from simple interest to application.
- Application Processing: A good third-party contact center’s representatives will walk a prospect through the application process and even assist with document collection.
- Enrollment Processing: Going a step beyond application processing, a good third-party contact center will also assist with financial aid verification, student orientation and the many other steps leading to enrollment.
Do You Need Better Contact Center Results?
If you need better enrollment results, you’re not alone. At EducationDynamics, we work with universities across the country providing a wide range of enrollment management services. Our services are 100% a la carte as you need them: from marketing to research to success coaching.
We can help you fine-tune your contact strategy, improve response times, scale your existing call program, as well as increase your enrollment via effective qualification and nurturing.
When you’re ready to get better enrollments results, get in touch to learn more about our Contact Center Services.
* Data from Higher Education Digital Marketing Trends, 2017.