It’s an exciting time for the university sector. With increasing competition and scrutiny on graduate outcomes, institutions need every point of difference to float to the top of a competitive market. CRM as a concept has been around for as long as enterprise IT has existed, but in the sector has typically focused on student relationship management. And many universities are pretty late to the party on that front! But as the B2C pattern of use gets settled it has become clear that the role of managing an organisation’s business relationships is increasingly important. The harnessing of a more than fair share of the limited research dollars and connecting students with industry relevant content are key parts of making sure an institution thrives in these times.
As confirmation of this maturity shift, Tingle Tree have been engaged to lead the CRM strategy of a leading university in Victoria. They have a relatively mature CRM implementation for students and emerging lead generation capability, but were in need of some thought leadership and clarity on how these existing capabilities relate to managing their third party relationships. Picture the opportunity of a researcher wanting to place a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) student in accounting in a leading firm and them being able to quickly identify existing master contracts to make the process as seamless as possible for the student. Less barriers to entry to their placement makes for a happy customer! The tutor would enter the CRM, see that perhaps major research and training relationships exist with Boral, Telstra, Toyota and Orica within the Science and Engineering faculty. They can then easily identify the contract owners reach out to the finance departments of those organisations and quickly set set something up. No more clunky processes (i speak from experience when trying to get some interns when GM at Medibank!).
The fact that these discussions are even happening is a sign of the business landscape changing in the HE sector and, for a business like ours, we are excited to be leading that thinking and helping students get the most of their investment.