The use of generic CRM systems within higher education is growing rapidly, at the expense of dedicated proprietary systems that are built for a specific task. The reason for this is that the use cases are changing very fast, as higher education goes through a period of rapid expansion and delivery change. In an environment where the intake profile for your students, or the delivery modality, is changing by up to 20% a year, the need for agility comes right to the front of mind. When universities are using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system as a platform upon which to build a student recruitment or student attrition management system, they look for the ability to get projects going quickly, with flexibility for expansion and change in the future.
But there's a dearth of good recent information and research on the use of a CRM platform for explicit tasks like reducing student attrition, and often the exemplars come from other industries where similar challenges exist. That's one of the reasons why I keep an eye on CRM research from outside of education.
I noticed that William Band of Forrester (William is a Forrester VP and Principal Analyst with a focus on CRM) has shared his view on the top CRM trends for 2013. It was useful for me to look at this through the eyes of an education institution, to see how the trends would relate to using CRM for student retention and student recruitment.
This isn't going to replace the need to read William's 'Top CRM trends for 2013' blog post on the Forrester site, but here's my take on his key trends and what they mean for universities in Australia (the trend headlines are William's; my thoughts are in italics below each)
So, to answer the question I asked at the top ("Do the 2013 top CRM trends apply to education institutions too?") I'm pretty sure they do - although the good news is that most Australian universities are ahead of the trend in at least one of these areas, rather than trailing behind.
Read William Band's full analysis of Top CRM Trends for 2013