Enquiries often start with a visit to a website; a request for an information pack; attending a school tour or an open day; perhaps even a private tour; a phone call; an email; or even a walk-in visit. These all need to be captured and nurtured to then ideally turn into an application for enrolment. That’s a lot to stay on top of, especially since many of these are the responsibility of different team members.
This, combined with the challenge that schools are time-poor with the admin team often caught in the day-to-day tasks of manual paper based applications or static PDF files, prevents them from higher order planning, critical analysis and, more importantly, customer relationships.
Understandably, the Admissions Office primary focus is on the smooth management of incoming cohorts – thus restricting the role by sheer necessity to an administrative function.
Questions That Need Timely Answers
Conversely, Principals, Business Managers, Marketing Managers, and moreover the Board, want to see the horizon, so they can see where the ship is sailing – they need the data. To get the data, you need a centrally managed database.
And this is crucial because any one of these people are within their rights to ask any or all of the following questions…
- How are enrolments tracking next year?
- What’s the enquiry to application ratio?
- What’s the yield rate for enrolments?
- How many applications were started but not submitted?
- Why did they choose to come to our school?
- What was the reason they decided to withdraw?
- How many people enrolled from Open Day last year?
- How many personal tours did we do last year and how many converted?
- What’s our gender mix?What’s our alumni split?
- Where do our students live?
- What trends are we seeing in suburbs – which are dropping off? Which are growing?
- Where do our students come from? Which are our top ‘feeders’? Are they up or down?
- What are the overall trends compared with the last 5 years? Up or down?
These are more than reasonable to ask, but much of this information is very hard to get, and often would require Admission or Marketing staff to down tools for hours or even days to get the reports. And when they do most are completely out of date. I know, I did it for ages! It needs to be instant and dynamic and 100% accurate all the time.
From Enquiries to Applications to Admissions
The answer is to have a solution that allows schools to capture leads on their website, nurture those families with automated and personalized emails and, when ready, have those families complete applications for your school. Of course, you shouldn’t require those families to create an account and force them to fill in all that same information yet again!
This is Why ‘smart’ Applications are Key