Impact and benefits of CRM

How CRM impacts on the school

CRM can have a major impact on a school through:

  • shifting the focus from product to customer or client
  • realigning the offer to what the customer requires, not want the school can provide
  • highlighting the skills necessary for an effective CRM process
Students in class

What are the perceived benefits of CRM?

The ultimate purpose of CRM in the commercial sector is to increase profit. For public sector organisations, the goals may be different, for example, to increase pupil numbers, to improve pupil outcomes and so on.

Advocates of CRM argue that you will achieve your goals by providing a better service to your customers than your competitors. CRM not only improves the service to customers though; good CRM processes provide schools with feedback, which can be used to reduce inefficiencies, improve morale among staff, and reduce stress by enabling better relationships to develop.

CRM supports market research: engaging in dialogue with customers and clients gives the school direct and immediate feedback on its service.

Good CRM also helps the school to grow. Existing customers (parents) continue to use your services, and positive endorsements to prospective customers (other parents) increase from increasing numbers of satisfied customers.

Debra Moore, School Business Manager

Customer relationship management, it's important that we put out questionnaires to parents and the community asking them what they want from the school, what they would like us to provide and to review our provision on a regular basis. It's not about this is the service that we're going to give, it's looking at what people want and what they require of us, not only as a school but as part of their community.

Diane Lane, Business Director

Our school has an open door policy, so parents at any time can feel free to come in and express their opinions or concerns about any aspect of school life. When we hold events, parents are asked to complete a short evaluation of how they believe that event has gone and if they would like to see it repeated or changed in any way. If they found that the children have benefitted from undertaking that particular activity they can also write a comment on our school website and send it in to the school, we have a post box area.

Debra Moore, School Business Manager

A change that I've made recently was the provider of our school meals service and what I did was sent out a questionnaire to parents asking them what they thought of the service. The feedback was that it was an extremely poor service and so I brought in a new company, I held tasting sessions for parents and got feedback from them of what they thought to the food, but the most important voice within any school are the pupils' voice and they were the ones that chose which new company we had. They decided that they wanted a particular company and we went with that change.
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Features of good CRM

Good CRM involves practical strategies for engaging with parents or the wider community and in this video, our SBMs describe some of the methods they use in their schools.

In very simple terms, in the past, the approach taken by some schools, but not all, was: 'Here's what we provide – who wants to send their children to us?'

The CRM perspective is:

  • 'What exactly do customers want and need?'
  • 'What do we need to do to be able to produce and deliver it to our customers?'

Depending on the school, this may represent a major shift in how the school sees itself positioned in relation to its customers and clients. It is the shift from expecting parents to take, by and large, what the school offers, to asking them what they would like the school to provide in, for example, their extended services provision.

Modern CRM theory refers to the notion of 'integrating the customer'.

This new way of looking at the business involves integrating the customer into all aspects of the process of delivering education. It suggests a more complex, mutually sustaining relationship, than approaches which distance the customer from involvement in determining the nature of the education to be provided. It may be, of course, that industry can learn much from schools in this regard!