When he’s not acting as Sales Manager for our US office, Jamie can usually be found trying his luck on the Colorado ski slopes (with mixed success).
If there’s one thing for sure, it's that technology has made our lives undeniably easier. Many tasks that were once tiresome, time-consuming, or labour-intensive have now been replaced by handy digital tools that save time and preserve our energy. If the thought of pulling out a hard copy street directory while you’re trying to drive gives you chills, then you may realise exactly how far we’ve come in just a few short years.
Of course, our quick embrace of technology doesn’t just apply to our personal lives, but our professional lives too. Software plays a crucial role in keeping businesses everywhere running smoothly and efficiently. From digitised payroll to Zoom meetings, workplaces simply wouldn’t function without the handy tools we take for granted every day.
Schools are no different. Software has completely changed how they operate, infiltrating almost every process, from attracting new students to communicating with their community. A school CRM like Digistorm's Funnel, for example, can make a huge difference to the daily productivity of admissions staff members. Muskegon Catholic Central, who are users of Funnel, had this to say:
“Before we had Funnel, it was paper and post-it notes. It was quite a mess. I had all these spreadsheets, but it was still quite hard to track. For prospective students, I had to have all of these files where they were filed by tour, visited the school — it was quite complex.”
However, there is always room for improvement. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the top areas where software can make a massive difference for your school.
Schooling is all about learning, so what better use for software than to boost learning and support your teachers? From courseware to classroom aids, such as interactive whiteboards, software is used in classrooms worldwide to make learning more efficient and engaging for students.
One of the most significant benefits of using software with students is that it can improve knowledge retention, thanks to combining the two most common learning styles: audio and visual. Some schools are even bringing virtual reality into the classroom to create an immersive experience and support struggling students. Intelligent software can ‘learn’ right along with the student, rearranging content and changing presentation styles for maximum effect.
Finally, school software can remove many of the required daily administrative tasks that rob educators of valuable teaching time. This includes things like taking attendance, notifying the school about student absences, and grading assignments. School information systems (SIS) have greatly improved student learning outcomes by housing all student information in one place. Teachers can quickly identify anyone at risk or someone who may need more one-on-one attention.
One of the best indicators of student success is a positive, open relationship between their family and their school. Software has worked wonders for school/parent relationships by opening up new channels of communication that don’t require meetings, letters, or relying on students to pass along important information.
One perfect example of this is the school app. Before implementing a school app, parents likely had to navigate through a dizzying array of communication channels to understand what they needed to do for their child. This likely included:
It’s no wonder that parents can miss messages or misconstrue information. With a school app, you can centralise all of these communication channels into one easy-to-access and convenient place. This dramatically increases your chances of parents seeing and engaging with your school and feeling comfortable providing information and feedback to your staff.
Most admissions teams are constantly tweaking their processes to turn higher percentages of applicants into secured enrolments at their schools. Software can provide staff with an edge by removing some of the more time-consuming tasks from their day, freeing them up for more valuable admissions activities.
A school customer relationship manager (or CRM) keeps track of your new leads and keeps them in the loop with your school activities as they progress along your admissions pipeline. By setting up and scheduling key nurturing activities, you can ensure every prospective family receives targeted communication as they await enrolment. These communications may include things like:
Admissions teams must rely on spreadsheets and manual data entry to complete these relationship-building activities without a school CRM in place. Not only is managing your leads this way extremely tedious, but you also run the risk of reducing your data integrity by relying on manual updates. Immanuel College, another Funnel user, had this to say:
“We were trying hard to move to a paperless process, right from enquiry through to enrolment. We were also looking for solid reporting on our numbers. We looked at a range of options and found that Funnel provided a flexible solution that would allow us to drive customer relationship management.”
We do not doubt that your school’s marketing team would be trialling a wide range of tactics to help achieve your business goals. Whether you’re using traditional marketing tactics or relying solely on digital marketing channels, the opportunities to share your key messaging with your community are endless. There is, however, one specific tool that stands out: your school website.
We’ve written previously that your school website is an essential tool in your marketing toolkit. It’s the ultimate source of truth for everything there is to know about your school. It’s also one of the most significant opportunities to showcase your school’s unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is the single defining factor that differentiates your school from the competition. It’s much more effective to communicate your USP this way than other mediums, as you can combine on-brand visuals with storytelling elements as they navigate through your site.
In this post, we’ve covered some critical software solutions that can help your school achieve more in less time. These solutions include:
If you are missing one of these crucial pieces of data, it might be time to investigate advocating for this new software to be added to your digital ecosystem.