Before you think about using Blackbaud K12’s onBoard Admission software as a customer relationship manager (CRM), you’ll need to outline your entire admission process from the point of initial inquiry to when a family completes their application.
At Sewickley Academy, we’ve worked very hard to incorporate a complete admission process map that includes who contacts a person, what medium they would use for their contact and the content that a person would receive. The process consists of both a digital and an analog path.
Our digital path is a series of lead nurturing emails which we deliver using Hubspot. Lead nurturing emails are simply a series of emails that are pre-written and automatically delivered to a prospective family over a pre-defined amount of time.
Our analog path is a series of touch-points that occur mostly offline and include mail, phone calls, and an occasional personal email by an admission officer. It is in the analog path that we’ve incorporated onBoard as a CRM, and it has made an enormous difference in the efficiency and consistency of the office.
Process for adjusting your existing checklists to allow for your outlined admission process
After you’ve outlined your admission process, you’ll want to create a timeline of those touch-points and assign days after the initial inquiry. For example:
Initial Inquiry = Day 0
Send Admission Packet = Day 0
Assigned Admission Officer Calls Prospective Family = Day 5
Assigned Admission Officer Emails Prospective Family if no Contact from Phone Call = Day 11
Assigned Admission Officer Assigns Parent Ambassador Call depending on proceeding Contact = Day 17
Once you’ve completed your process outline including a timeline, you’ll want to open onBoard and then open the Checklist for the respective grade or grades where you’d like to assign these touch-points. I suggest opening the specific grade Checklist because you have the opportunity to segment the application process, and by extension, this CRM process by grade or by admission officer as a function of onBoard’s Checklist feature.
Please note that you’ll be adding these checklist steps for all candidates who have that checklist and not just individual candidates.
To add a phone call five days after the initial inquiry:
- After opening the appropriate Checklist scroll down to Workflow and click on “Add Step.”
- For Type select “Communication.”
- In Name enter a description that will make sense to you. For example, “Admission Phone Call +5.”
- In Due Date leave blank for now. NOTE: To make this automation work your database person will have to enter the date that the inquiry is entered into onBoard for each Workflow item you create.
- In Reminder select “X-Days After Due Date.”
- In the blank field that will show after the above selection enter the number of days, you want this reminder to fire. Using our example above for the first phone call you would enter “5”.
- In Staff select the Admission Officer you want to be reminded of this item.
- For “Required” select No.
- For “Candidate Publishing Options” select no.
You’ll want to do this for each touch point you have in your outline.
The final step to activate this CRM system is for each inquiry you receive your database person must enter the date of inquiry in the due date.
While there are a few steps that you’ll need to take to activate your onBoard CRM the benefits, in my opinion, are well worth it.
My favorite benefit is that as an admission officer I didn’t need to think about who I needed to contact and how I needed to contact them. Each morning when I logged into onBoard, I would see a list of the people I needed to contact and how I needed to contact them: phone, email, or another assignment.
Another benefit is that as a result of the onBoard CRM system I felt much more efficient in my work as an admission professional. I wasn’t worried about who I needed to contact next. When I logged into onBoard, I saw my contact list for the day.
A final benefit and one that was very important to me is that by using this system, we could assure that each of our inquiries received the same number and types of communications from the admission office. We were able to consistently deliver the same admission experience across all of our interested families!
If you’re using Blackbaud K12’s onBoard admission software have you instituted a version of the CRM system? If so, please share or ask questions in the comments section below.
Also published on Medium.