Berghs School of Communication has been educating outstanding students from over 40 countries for more than 75 years. But with the rise of digitisation, it’s facing new challenges: as access to free learning programmes become more readily available online, it needs to prove its communication credentials digitally as well as in the classroom.
“As a school of communication, we need to practice what we preach,” explained Mats Lundquist, IT Manager for the school. “With people increasingly living their lives online, we need to be able to demonstrate that our commitment and knowledge exist online too. With Salesforce, we can offer each student a more personalised learning experience.”
The school has 250 full time students and up to 2,500 more on part time courses every year. With a small team of 38 employees across different departments, it needs to get to know its students from prospect to graduation.
“Before Salesforce, we had an ancient database of students. It gave us no insight into what their interests were, and no scope for analysing data,” Lotta Saxe, former CRM Manager, added. “When I was visiting a partner school in Sydney they had a complete record of every student in Salesforce. I knew we had to have it too if we wanted to streamline our processes and become more efficient.”
After evaluating other products on the market, the school implemented Sales Cloud in 2012. “The differentiator with Salesforce was its potential to be more than just a CRM tool,” said Saxe. “We can customise it to fit our needs and build on our digitisation ambitions.”
A learning curve
The school evaluated its existing processes, and with help from a Salesforce partner, learnt how Sales Cloud could help it become more efficient. “Things we were doing in six steps can be done in one with Salesforce,” revealed Lundquist. “For example, getting diplomas printed, signed and sent to students manually was driving us crazy, but since moving the process to Sales Cloud we can send students their PDF diplomas in five minutes flat.”
With Sales Cloud, the student application process also runs smoother and faster. When an application is submitted online, it generates a notification for the relevant tutor to review and process it. Staff can both track an application’s progress, and when it’s accepted the finance department is automatically notified to generate an invoice.
“The visibility we get from Salesforce helps us act with one voice. If a staff member is off sick we can pick up their plan, see which materials have been sent to prepare for class, and confidently make a plan of action,” Lundquist explained.
Making the grade
Berghs School of Communication is not content to rest on its laurels; it strives to continuously improve the courses it offers to students. “The feedback we receive has a lot of influence over how and what students learn,” revealed Lundquist. “We ask our students to evaluate courses and capture this data in Sales Cloud. It shows the students that we’re here to serve their needs, and that they have a voice.”
With this data previously collected manually, automating the process with Sales Cloud has cut time and effort from the process. “We can get a good overview of how courses are performing from a single dashboard,” confirmed Lundquist. “It makes evaluating teaching more accurate and more accessible. We can see how we’re doing year-to-year and make sure we’re hitting our targets.”
Taking a more qualitative approach is the next big thing for Berghs as Lundquist explained: “We have built communities on social media for our students to collaborate, but we’d love to explore Marketing Cloud, to tap into our online identity and find out what people think about us.”
In keeping with its goal of getting to know its students, the school is also striving to build stronger relationships with alumni and prospects. “We already know when someone signs up to an event via our website thanks to Sales Cloud integration, which means we can get in touch with personalised emails about follow up events they might be interested in,” Saxe, explained. “But we’d love to be able to track and personalise the whole customer journey with Marketing Cloud. We want to remain in touch with people between courses, and keep that dialogue open to help graduates into their dream jobs.”
Berghs has a reputation for high quality that has never been compromised, and Salesforce has become a key component in this success. “To succeed in this industry you have to master two things: delivering excellent education and seamless communication. We know our education is second to none, but with Salesforce our communication and student journey have also become differentiators,” concludes Lundquist.