By Ethan Penland, Director of Admissions Services
4 minute read
I once had a leader that would echo, constantly, “Make sure it’s in Slate.” What they were referring to was any time I had a conversation or interaction with a student, notes needed to be added into our CRM.
When I became a manager, I remember jumping to the defense of my team when they weren’t including all of their interactions with students because, if you’ve ever experienced a travel season, you recognize there are a lot of interactions that occur. It isn’t always easy to stop and add those notes to a student’s file in the CRM.
Of course, my scope was pretty limited at that time, but I quickly started to understand why adding notes and interactions in the CRM were so important.
I believe that there is a misconception that adding interactions and notes in the CRM is just a way for leadership to measure one’s work. Sure, that is absolutely one way to recognize your efforts, good and bad, but it’s definitely not the only reason, nor is it the main reason.
Here are a few of the reasons why you should be adding those notes and interactions every chance you get:
- CRM notes help with relationship building – Recalling a previous conversation with a student immediately does two things: provides a sense of individualization for the student while also giving you a building block for your relationship. Students, today, feel like they’re a number to many admission representatives, so when you’re able to reference previous conversations, their attention and interest grows.
- CRM notes help others pick up the conversation – A student calls in and says they spoke to someone yesterday about their application, but they don’t remember who they spoke to. Does this situation sound familiar? If you’re the one who is receiving the call in that situation, it is extremely frustrating because you are completely unaware of who said what. Adding interactions and notes into your CRM allows you or others to pick up a conversation with a student from where you or someone else left off. Not only do notes and interactions help you pick up the conversation, but to the student, their experience is a positive one.
- CRM notes help manage communication outreach – How are students engaging with communications that are coming from your institution? Are students communicating to you what they need, are confused about, or what is helpful? Through your collection of notes and interactions, you can start to see trends. From those trends, your team can begin to identify common themes that help everyone manage your communication outreach plan around to be more student-centered.
- CRM notes help you track engagement and prioritize your recruitment efforts – Let’s say you’re conducting outreach to a list of students. Instead of going down the list, you can prioritize your efforts by starting with the students who have interacted with you the most. Another example is you start to recognize you have a lot of interactions with students at a school that you have never recruited before. That’s an opportunity to include that particular school in your recruitment efforts.
- CRM notes help with meeting enrollment goals – Interesting enough, interactions and notes in your CRM can be used for predictive modeling to measure levels of engagement by students, how they interact, and how often they interact. For leadership trying to build a class, notes and interactions can be extremely useful insights for forecasting enrollment.
- CRM notes help advocate for resources to help you – Yes, you read that right! For leadership to advocate for resources, a lot of time, data is needed to prove it, especially data that shows the growing rate of interactions with more and more students. When you add the notes or interactions into your CRM, you’re adding helpful data that will assist leadership to collect and request necessary support.
Adding notes or interactions into your CRM will help you and your team be the best resource for prospective students, but it especially gives students an added layer of support by you building on previous conversations to connect the dots and help lead them to the next step in the college search process.
If you want to be the best resource for students, a better teammate, or a better territory manager, implementing and following a strategic note-taking system will help with each…not to mention your enrollment goals.