Customer relationship Management (CRM) is a disciplined approach of building and maintaining long term relationship with the customers to increase revenue for the organisation. CRM is a marketing tool to retain and enhance relationship with existing customers. The importance of CRM can be gauged on the basis of the prediction made by Gartner Inc. that the CRM in India is growing at a CAGR of 20.9% over 2014-2019. Also the world CRM market will be more than $37 billion by the end of 2017 as per forecast of Gartner Inc.
Many Indian companies are using CRM as a strategic business tool to retain customers. But hardly have you seen any education institute in India have implemented CRM as a business strategy. Educational institutions worldwide are undergoing fundamental shifts in how they operate and interact with their “customers”: students, alumni, donors, faculty members, and staff members and companies. Deregulation and a blurring of the boundaries, coupled with increased competition are forcing institutes to reconsider the strategies they use to attract and retain suitably qualified prospective students, alumni and forge relationships with corporate clients. Education industry is estimated to be more than Rs.20,000 crore in India.
Also as academic institutions are embracing distance learning and e-business. CRM will become stronger and more pervasive. Viewing students as customers provides a competitive advantage for higher education and enhances institutes ability to attract, retain and serve its students. CRM can help institutes to track each and every student’s progress over his life cycle. Alumni data can be included in CRM, which will help to find their current profiles and using data analytics, institute can invite required alumni for guiding present students. Social CRM will also help to target and attract new students for various courses of the institute. Social CRM is an effective tool as most of the youth are active on social media like Facebook, twitter etc. The best example of Institute using CRM is Nanyang Business School (NBS) of Singapore. It has effectively used CRM to attract and retain students all over the world. It is high time India’s educational institutes use CRM as a strategic business tool to enhance relationship with students, alumni, donors, faculty members, and staff members and companies.
Dr. Yogesh Mahajan
Indira School of Business Studies, Pune.