Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are powerful tools many businesses use to interact with their target audiences. Schools can benefit from the data and applications provided by CRMs, allowing them to connect with and understand their students and families.
1. Simplify Functions and Information Sharing
School software can offer many features that simplify processes for families and faculty, strengthening relationships. Automation helps streamline many administrative functions, letting your faculty spend more time working and talking with families. When your staff is more available to your students and families, they feel more connected to the school and its community. They will see how the school values them.
Some automated features that can increase the family experience include:
- Sending reminders and updates: As families and schools approach the application and enrollment process, they have many tasks to keep track of. Your school software can ease the burden on the family by sending out automatic reminders about upcoming events and deadlines. Intelligent software can sort data about families and only remind them of tasks they have yet to complete, keeping their focus on their application.
- Filling in information automatically: Schools need to collect various information from students and families throughout the admission and enrollment period, especially when many departments require data to ensure student safety throughout the year. Filling out the same forms repeatedly can get tedious for families. School software can autofill previously completed information or save data from previous years, only requiring families to check it for accuracy.
- Paying tuition and fees: Each family has a unique financial situation. You can offer the ability to set up automatic payments for families with busy schedules. This hassle-free approach can help maintain positive relationships between families and faculty with on-time payments requiring minimal parental and student effort.
- Highlighting student interests and opportunities: Personalized content can make a huge difference to families, allowing them to feel how much you care about them and their interests. Automation can track student interests and send additional information about programs, clubs, or internships your school offers. Families will love the attention and care your school gives students.
2. Communicate Effectively for Stronger Relationships
More families prefer online solutions and communication systems. Younger generations who grew up with technology are becoming parents with their children entering the school systems, so schools must change to reflect generational preferences.
Millennials have an increased presence in school systems as they start families. While older generations prefer in-person discussions or emails, 68% of millennials prefer texting as their primary mode of communication. Further, this generation spends six to seven hours on social media platforms each week.
Your CRM solution can support online communication with virtual chats. Automation helps spread information via text to ensure families get vital news quickly. Families will appreciate that you understand their preferences and make efforts to reach them in a way that lets them receive information at home, work, or other locations.
Data can help you understand your family community. Families often have to fill in contact and personal information for safety and emergency purposes. A CRM solution can compile and analyze this data to help you visualize what generation your families are. You might find you have a strong community of millennials and many grandparents in the baby boomer and Gen X generations.
3. Move Tuition Payments Online
Payments and tuition are significant portions of families’ application and enrollment process. Many families make payments for the first time with your school, while others have multiple students to juggle and track. Help them organize and track tuition and fees by moving the payment process online.
Online portals make it easier to make payments. Families can access portals from their homes anytime, allowing them to finance their students’ education on their schedules. More manageable payments can help strengthen their relationship with your school, improving every experience they have with you. Further, online payments can result in fewer mistakes than manual paperwork and filing, making it easier and more reliable for your administrative staff and departments to handle tuition.
You can include several functions in payment portals, from regular tuition payments to classroom and field trip fees. Your portal can even manage club payments for students. Portals offer increased organization for families and students, presenting everything they need to pay in one place.
The centralized approach of payment portals stores all essential historical data for families. Users can access past payment information quickly to analyze for inconsistencies or store receipts. With Ravenna, families can sort through payment history by date or the amount paid, helping them easily find the data they need. Parents can trust your school’s financial system and departments when they have access to comprehensive centralized data.
Portals often come with increased security to protect user information. Further your family’s trust in your school by using an online portal with clear protection measures. Families will feel more comfortable entrusting your school with sensitive data like card and account information.
4. Make Quicker and Impactful Decisions
Data can help your faculty make better decisions that serve your school’s community. Executive and administrative teams need trends and historical data to influence and support programs, processes, and systems changes. A CRM solution follows and tracks customer interactions and processes so families can offer feedback to highlight where your school needs changes.
A centralized database solution lets all parties access the same information in real-time, increasing reliability and visibility in school communities. Teachers and faculty can access family data to understand more about their students, creating better programs and processes that help them learn and get the most from their education. Changes reflect student and family needs for more significant actions from your staff.
Software solutions and data also help increase the speed of the decision-making process. With improved visibility and accessibility, departments receive accurate and up-to-date information immediately instead of waiting for other teams to compile and send reports. Departments and administrative teams can create more efficient decision-making procedures, so families see sooner results.
Support Stronger Family Relationships With Ravenna
CRMs and their data can offer essential information to schools, leading to better relationships with families. From easier payment processes to decisions that reflect their needs, your databases can help you make improvements for your school’s community.
Ravenna develops CRM solutions for private K-12 schools for more streamlined admissions, enrollment, and tuition processes. We aim to improve your administrative efficiency while strengthening relationships with students and their families. Trust Ravenna with your improvement goals and request a demo today.
To learn more about the power data can play at your school, request a copy of Ravenna’s 2022 K-12 trends report.