2020 has been an unprecedented year in almost every way. Exceptional changes in customer behaviour are pushing organisations around the world to rethink customer engagement and experience. Evolve or die – that is the simple but powerful lesson this year has taught us.

For some time now, the education industry has been ripe for technological disruption, but the pandemic has greatly accelerated the need to innovate and deliver world-class education digitally. Institutions are now expected to offer students a seamless online experience—right from admissions, to lessons, feedback, and collaboration.

Learning needs to be digitised by putting students at the heart of the experience. How can institutions do that?

Re-create digital experiences with students at the centre

Let’s start with admissions. The age-old admissions form is usually the first point of contact between an institution and prospective students. How can this basic document be improved? One way is to digitise the form, thus simplifying data collection, while also cross-referencing all gathered leads with marketing activities across channels. 

Interested students could book a counselling session or a demo class to understand the prospective course in more detail. Qualified students who want admission but need financial support could be offered custom quotes or education loans from partner banks. 

The entire student onboarding process can also be digitised—including assignment of classes, study plans, textbooks, and other material. At NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education, students can do almost everything online—filling admission forms, submitting documents, and paying fees. The university can also verify documents, schedule interviews, and communicate with students online. All this is enabled through Salesforce. The platform even integrates with FedEx systems to track the delivery of physical learning kits to students across 6,000+ pin codes. This helps create a frictionless student experience.


Empower students to self-serve 

Offering students personalised service need not mean employing more personnel. If all essential information is made available on a single platform, students themselves can manage most activities that would traditionally be handled by an administrator. They can register for classes, view class schedules, check for financial aid, track grades and transcripts, and update their contact details. Meanwhile, responses to common queries can be automated with bots. Not only is this approach more personalised—it’s also quicker and smoother.


Build a single source of truth

Imagine a single, unified view of every prospect, student, alumnus, and teacher. Building this kind of 360-degree visibility supports student success. It gives you powerful insights to track and support students through their entire education journey. You can also send updates and connect with students on their preferred channels—email, mobile, social, or chat. 

Once the student’s course is complete, you can use the information gathered about them to plan and recommend other courses they might be interested in. 

NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education has built a Salesforce reporting tool that tracks the end-to-end student journey, including lectures attended, assignments submitted, and exams taken. These insights are used to keep students motivated, and ensure that they don’t drop out of the course.


Track student performance with AI-powered tools 

By assigning a score to every assignment, you can build a detailed progress report that guides the student to succeed. This report can be shared with counsellors, parents, and the student on a regular basis. In fact, the process can be almost fully automated. AI engines can recommend steps to improve student performance. Data analytics can also help identify areas for performance improvement, in addition to forecasting operational needs and admission trends. Plus, these tools can help you develop innovative offerings and messaging to serve the student’s immediate needs.


Simplify alumni engagement

A top priority for many institutions is to stay connected with alumni. These former students can help in coaching existing students, while also using their contacts to enable industry placements. 

With Salesforce, you can consolidate all alumni data in one system, while connecting with alumni at the right place, through the right message. Events, both online and offline, can be planned and tracked on the platform to keep former students engaged. Powerful reports provide insights into what’s working and what needs to change. Communities can also be built on Salesforce to connect the institution directly with alumni. 


The next step 

Leading educational institutions are using Salesforce in their sales, service, operations, and more.

Learn how NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education has transformed into a digital-first university with Salesforce. Also, discover how Simplilearn is using Salesforce to provide a great customer experience.

Ready to get started with Salesforce? Connect with us to discuss your vision, and view a customised demo.