Increasing application numbers is a common goal for most schools. Achieving the goal, and successfully managing the influx that comes with it, is not so common.  

Mater Christi College, set amongst Victoria’s leafy Dandenong Ranges, is one school that’s proved it’s possible. 

With ambitious goals for their beautiful all-girls school of nearly 700, they implemented Funnel CRM to get strategic with data and increase the number and quality of their applicants. They’ve since achieved all they hoped for…and then some. 

Why Mater Christi needed a new school CRM

When the team at Mater Christi College began their hunt for a new CRM, it was part of a broader strategy that would align the goals of their marketing and admissions teams. The biggest challenge was finding a CRM platform that did all they hoped for and integrated with Synergetic.

According to Michelle Ring, Registrar at Mater Christi, there was a lot of research done before deciding to commit. “We wanted to target families a lot more strategically and we wanted to better manage the data that we were receiving about the families,” shares Michelle. “We did our due diligence and looked at what was available. And of course, we came across Digistorm.” 

“There was a lot of support out there to say that Digistorm was going to do everything that we wanted it to do and integrate with Synergetic. When Digistorm demonstrated how the two linked together, we were sold. And the proof is in the pudding. It's worked really, really well.” 

What Mater Christi hoped to achieve with Funnel

The Mater Christi team had many goals they were working towards that aligned to the implementation of a new CRM system. Beyond increasing enrolment numbers, they wanted to free up their own time to spend with prospective parents and carers and simplify the application process for families with various needs. 

“It was our focus to get to a certain number of students in each year level. With the introduction of Funnel, we've found that we've exceeded those numbers. We’ve actually got a waitlist now,” explains Michelle. “Since using Funnel, we've seen the most growth in participation in events, which has been fantastic because that's contributed to our application numbers. 

“I've also seen an increase in my free time to be able to dedicate to other areas. I don’t need to rush through the processes of going through applications, so I have time to speak to prospective families. And that's the important part of my role, the part of the role that I really enjoy.”

What they love about their Digistorm CRM

When asked which features of Digistorm Funnel Mater Christi love, the team had a lot to say. They rave about the well-thought-out and user-friendly platform and share details of the countless hours per week they save with things being automated, such as letters of offer and interview requests. Despite this, it’s the customer support that compliments their new school CRM that they’re most grateful for. 

“I work with many, many different companies, many different platforms, and I have never had such personal support. We didn't realize how collaborative the team would be with us,” shares Michelle. “Some things that weren't actually in Funnel were created to accommodate our needs. That in itself was the knowledge that we'd made the right decision here. Because here is a platform that wants to make us succeed.”

“I work with many, many different companies, many different platforms, and I have never had such personal support.”

~ Michelle Ring, Registrar at Mater Christi College

Why do you need a school CRM?

A school customer relationship manager (CRM) is a software system that helps manage the admissions journeys of students — also referred to as leads. But CRMs are also a great way to boost the efficiency of internal processes, helping staff members better manage their time.

Think about just some of the touch points that a prospective family might have with your school:

  • Direct contact through phone or email
  • Completing an inquiry form on your website
  • Reaching out through social media
  • Email campaign
  • Attending an Open Day or community event
  • Speaking with school staff
  • Attending an alumni event

School advancement teams need to manage all of these touch points, which can be a logistical nightmare if you don’t have the correct tools. A school CRM like Funnel helps to automate many of the often tedious tasks that school marketers and admissions pros would otherwise have spent hours on every week.

Wrapping up

For Mater Christi, utilizing Funnel CRM has been transformative for both prospective families and their Admissions team. With growth in event participation and applications, the decision to switch has proved worthwhile. The "stress of spreadsheets has disappeared", and the entire enrolment process has been streamlined. 

Published August 17 2023