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Introduction to CRM in Higher Education

Demonstrate an understanding of new perspectives on Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM). Identify the critical success factors, and outline the importance of, CRM in terms of marketing strategy in Business to Consumer and Business to Business operations.

Every company or the organisation operates to serve the customers and thus it is required by the companies to make use of the CRM solutions that are available in the form of software. CRM refers to customer relationship management that is an integral part of marketing function of the company. In every business, it is very important to develop the relationship with the customers so that effective marketing techniques can be implemented in order to generate the revenue by serving the customers (Hollensen, 2015). To achieve better results, most of the higher education institutes are using the CRM strategies. The effective CRM system or software helps the higher education institutes manage the admissions and track the potential leads. There are many other benefits of CRM tools for the educational institutes which can be studied in this report with the study of needs of CM in centre of international program and the various options that are available for CIP (Christopher, Payne & Ballantyne, 2013).

CRM that is customer relationship management can be defined as the function of the organisation that deals with developing the relationship with the customers in terms of marketing strategies. CRM systems are used to make relationship and manage communications with the current students, potential target students, alumni, etc. Information of the customers for example, name of the customers, their professional information, personal background etc. can be stored and managed so that it can be used at times (Peck, Christopher, Clark & Payne, 2013). All the information can be collected to the single database.  Various new concepts of CRM are developing these days that supports better services. In terms of education industry, it has been analysed that SRM that is student relationship management is the strategy that is being used as the organisational capabilities to make relationship within their students in order to align the strategy, processes and philosophy along with the academic goals of the organisation (Bejou & Palmer, 2013).

CRM is very important for each and every industry. It has been analyse that every business and industry and two variation that is business to business and business to consumer. Both the variations require marketing to be done. Business to business function involves different types of stakeholders and thus requires a different set of marketing strategies that those of the strategies that are being used in terms of business to customers activities (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker & Brennan, 2015).


As far as the general benefits of CRM are considered, it has been analyse that it helps in managing the admissions of the students in the institution. The complete details of students and the whole life cycle of the student can be stored in CRM system of the company. This helps the institution to analyse the results of the students and display it to market the programs of the company. Digitalisation is affecting the whole society these days (Choudhury & Harrigan, 2014). The students are also looking for the companies or the educational institution online to surf which course those institutions are providing. The CRM tools that are available in the market these days come up with the extra feature of tracking those leads that are looking for the courses. Tracking such leads help the company to contact the target student and convince them to take admission in CIP. Enquiry is the activity that needs to be practices in every organisation that deals with customers (Khodakarami & Chan, 2014). Thus, CRM is the software or the function that also helps in providing the enquiry services. The company can keep the records of the interaction that takes place between the students and the company. This results in enhancements of the communication processes between the company and the students. One of the most important benefits of CRM tool is to be connected with the alumni of the institution. By using this tool, the company can store the data of the alumni and making connections with them so that they can helps the present student of the institution in developing their career gaols and showing them the path to follow (Badwan, Al Shobaki, Naser & Amuna, 2017). It has been analysed that this practice results in helping the current student of the institution to have better career goals and they can make their path to achieve the same by taking opinions from the experienced alumni.

Benefits of CRM Tools for Higher Education Institutes

Customer relationship management is the function that needs to be implemented and involve many critical success factors. These critical success factors should be considered at the time of adopting the CRM tools in the company (Olaleke, Taiye & Olumide, 2014). In terms of people, CRM has several success factors such as top management commitment. It is required that the top management of the company should be committed to the implementation of the CRM solution that are recommended for the company as per their needs. Communication is the core function of the nay of the organisation. It is required to communicate any of the change that needs to be implanted. The CRM solutions should be communicated to all the employees in the company. Implementing CRM in the company suggests that the company is adopting customer oriented approach. Technical competencies are also a critical factor that needs to be considered. IT is the most important technical requirement for implementing the CRM solution in the company. All the critical factors that have been discussed above suggest that considering the critical factors in terms of technology, process and people (Adikaram & Khatibi, 2016).

CIP refers to centre of international program that operates in education industry and provides educational services to the students. It is the institute that involves 250 students and 10 classes that means 25 students in each class. This institute requires implementing the CRM system in the company process so that it can take advantage of the new CRM system that can ultimately enhance the performance of the organisation. Following are the needs of CRM in the organisation:

  1. To make student’s database: It is the first and the foremost need of any of the educational institute as it is required to manage the data of the student so that it can be used anytime even after the student has passed the course (Jashnani, Khosla & Bhattacharjee, 2015). Managing the data also helps in sorting the details of the students with their name, enrolment, personal and professional details etc.
  2. To track the leads: every educational institute has the aim to enhance the number of students in their organisation. This requires them to hunt for the same. As most of the student these days look for the courses and the educational institutes online by using the digital options, thus CIP has to implement the CRM solution that also supports the function of tracking the leads or the potential students that can take admissions in the institute (Venturini & Benito, 2015).
  3. MIS reports: It is also one of the most important aspects of customer relationship management. Generating the MIS report helps in storing the real time data of the staff, students, teachers etc. keeping the records of such data results in judging the performance of the company.
  4. Connecting with the alumni: alumni are the people who have studied in the educational institute and passed their courses. Connecting with them helps the organisation as well as the currently studying student to be aware of the industry in which their alumni are working or dealing with (Küpper, Jung, Lehmkuhl & Wieneke, 2014). This also supports the educational institute to attain helps from the alumni in terms of lectures to the current students, helping them to develop career gaols etc.

Along with this, there are many other needs of the organisation that forces the company to implement CRM solution in the functions such as connecting to other stakeholders, resolving the issues of the students and other stakeholders of the educational institute etc.

Software

Salesforce

Functionalities

Salesforce is the market leader of the CRM software because of its high end functionalities that was built as the cloud. This means that the users can use this platform from clouds on sharing basis. It is a very expensive products that provides various features to the company such as app building, mass email, web services, web chats, customized dashboards etc. there are many functions that can be performed by suing this tools such as management of the performance of the employees or the staff, lead management that helps the company to track the leads and manage the same as per the requirements, forecasting and reporting that helps the company to forecast the performance of the firm so that strategies can be implemented to perform effectively etc. this software can be used at all the levels of the company (Leinonen, 2017).

Installation base

This is the software that is based at clouds and thus the company who wants to use this software has to pay on monthly basis to avail its services from the SAP providers. This cannot be installed at the premises of user firm.

Customer reviews

As far as the reviews of the customers are considered, it has been analysed that most of the customers are very much satisfied with the services of tis software.

Software

HubSpot

Functionalities

It is the software that provides best integration services to the users. It is best for the users who are the initial level of using the CRM tools. It helps in tracking the deals, checking the performance of the agents, dashboard customization etc. It also has the feature of aligning the marketing activities of the company with the CRM so that the marketing strategies can also be analysed by using the CRM tool (Sokol, 2015).

Installation base

It is the software that is available online and can be installed for free trial basis. After the trails the user has to pay for the software usage as per different packages.

Customer reviews

As per customers, it is one of the best software in terms of CRM. This is because it allows easy and simple features to use. The software is very user friendly.

Software

Infusionsoft

Functionalities

Infusionsoft is the software that has various functions such as alignment and integration of the processes such as e commerce, marketing automation etc. Users of this software can easily segment the contacts and the customer interactions with this software (Jashnani, Khosla & Bhattacharjee, 2015). It is basically developed for the same; businesses to manage their leads and make them the customers.

Installation base

It is a cloud based software and thus cannot be installed on the premises. This can be used on the shared basis through the clouds of the service provider.

Customer reviews

The major benefit of using this software is that it can be used for business to business as well as bushiness to customer relationship management.

Software

Oracle

Functionalities

Oracle is the software that involves around 50 CRM tools and features. It offers various functions such as operating system, databases, middleware, severs etc. the company of larger as well smaller sizes can make use of the oracle services. As oracle serves the products to companies of different sizes thus it has many options available (Olaleke, Taiye & Olumide, 2014).

Installation base

It can be installed at the premises of the company that is using the software. Thus, it is very expensive to be used by the users.

Customer reviews

As far as the customer reviews are considered, it has been analysed that customer are very happy with the software as it provides various features. But, because of its high cost, it cannot be used so frequently.

It has been analyse that Salesforce is the best software choice for CIP as per its needs. This is because this software allows the company to store the data, customize the dashboards, communicate with the employees and also helps in generating the leads. Almost all the needs and objectives of the company can be fulfilled by Salesforce software.

Conclusion:

As per the above analysis, it has been concluded that all the above software can be used by CIP as it helps in achieving all the company targets of storing the data, evaluating the performance of the company, connecting with the customers, generating and converting the leads into the customers, managing the businesses and communicating with the market. Analysis of the all four software suggests that Salesforce is the software that is best suited for the organisations like CIP.

References:

Adikaram, C. N. K., & Khatibi, A. (2016). The Relationship between Customer Relationship Management and Customer Satisfaction: A Study on Private Higher Education Institutions in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Arts and Commerce Vol. 5 No. 2 March.

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M., & Brennan, R. (2015). Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Badwan, J. J., Al Shobaki, M. J., Naser, S. S. A., & Amuna, Y. M. A. (2017). Adopting Technology for Customer Relationship Management in Higher Educational Institutions. International Journal of Engineering and Information Systems (IJEAIS), 1(1), 20-28.

Bejou, D., & Palmer, A. (2013). The future of relationship marketing. Routledge.

Choudhury, M. M., & Harrigan, P. (2014). CRM to social CRM: the integration of new technologies into customer relationship management. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 22(2), 149-176.

Christopher, M., Payne, A., & Ballantyne, D. (2013). Relationship marketing. Taylor & Francis.

Hollensen, S. (2015). Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.

Jashnani, P., Khosla, R., & Bhattacharjee, T. (2015). Oracle Database Client Installation Guide, 11g Release 2 (11.2) for Linux E24322-11.

Khodakarami, F., & Chan, Y. E. (2014). Exploring the role of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in customer knowledge creation. Information & Management, 51(1), 27-42.

Küpper, T., Jung, R., Lehmkuhl, T., & Wieneke, A. (2014). Features for social CRM technology–An organizational perspective.

Leinonen, M. (2017). Facilitators and impediments in the adoption and implementation of the HubSpot marketing automation system.

Olaleke, O. O., Taiye, T. T., & Olumide, E. O. (2014). Customer relationship management approach and student satisfaction in higher education marketing. Journal of Competitiveness, 6(3).

Peck, H., Christopher, M., Clark, M., & Payne, A. (2013). Relationship marketing. Taylor & Francis.

Peppers, D., & Rogers, M. (2016). Managing Customer Experience and Relationships: A Strategic Framework. John Wiley & Sons.

Sokol, P. (2015). Infusionsoft Cookbook. Packt Publishing Ltd.

Venturini, W. T., & Benito, Ó. G. (2015). CRM software success: a proposed performance measurement scale. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19(4), 856-875.

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