Using Communities to Enhance Applicant Experience and Improve Operations

Using Communities to Enhance Applicant Experience and Improve Operations

Bucerius Law School hosts four international programs for advanced law students and young professionals: three three-week summer programs and a one-year full-time master’s program; all programs have an acceptance rate of less than 40 percent.
For these programs, Bucerius used an online application portal that rendered data as PDF files. For each decision regarding admission, personnel had to download, print, evaluate/rate, and forward for processing by a committee of three additional reviewers.

By utilizing Salesforce Communities to structure application processes across our programs, applicants are able to register using personal data, create their own contact, and submit their complete application online and now receive automated feedback on their application status right through the portal.

Our admissions team and selection committee can now access all applications online, download specific documents individually (rather than being obliged to download entire PDF packages—as was the case in the old system), and view an applicant's entire profile information no matter their current location and with hard copies no longer involved.

By restructuring the application and admissions process and fully digitizing it, we now save up to 90% of the average processing time per application. This is accomplished with automated e-mails for specific decisions or situations (e.g., missing documents), automated process flows, directing applications to colleagues when it is their turn to review, and automated discount calculation for early bird applications.

Within the session, we will show how the new application portal works on both sides, the frontend and the backend, including

•	Applying for a program through the Salesforce Community
•	Processing an application in the backend (admissions team + admissions committee)
•	Automated flows (mailings, discount calculation,etc.)

Also, we will closely look at the process and change management as well as management related outcome of the implementation.

Key learning of the session will be:
•	How to structure digitization and change processes
•	How to use incentives for increasing stakeholders’ motivation and support
•	How to balance personnel requirements through process optimization and free up personnel capacity
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