To many marketers, the term “marketing” itself is now synonymous with digital advertising, email campaigns, and online funnels. While online marketing has vastly opened up colleges’ ability to reach potential students (not to mention their ability to deliver content via remote learning), traditional marketing methods can still add value to your school’s strategy.
One of the most important, and often overlooked, tactics continues to be phone calls. Connecting by phone, whether it’s to follow up on a prospective student’s application or help answer their questions, is a personal interaction that helps prospective students feel comfortable and supported.
That kind of customer service counts. Customer service is important to 90% of Americans, and they’re willing to pay more to work with an organization that provides a great experience. Even small interactions can leave a lasting impression.
At MindMax, we help colleges and universities set up offsite enrollment call centers, fully staffed by our team of education experts. We’ve made and received over 200,000 calls in the last 10 years on behalf of our partner schools.
Here are a few of the best practices we’ve developed through all that talk time:
Embrace Inbound and Outbound Calling
Your call center team can do more than wait for the phone to ring! Building in follow-up by phone can help students who have requested information or started an application move to the next step in the consideration process. A quick phone reminder gives them the chance to ask questions and may be the nudge they need to move forward.
Make a Great First Impression
There’s nothing worse than calling with an important question, getting voicemail, and never receiving a call back. Instead of letting potential students fall through the cracks, put a friendly, responsive team in place to answer and make phone calls.
At MindMax, we offer a fractional team that can fully staff your school’s phone lines 12 hours per day. Outsourcing phone calls takes the pressure off of overstretched internal employees who have many other responsibilities and ensures that prospects can always connect with a real human being.
Be sure to prioritize customer service in the rest of your institution so potential students see consistency with their in-person interactions as well!
While a friendly voice on the line is a good start, your call center staff won’t be that helpful if they can’t answer prospects’ questions! You’ll need to equip your team with the right information, then train it consistently to be sure everyone is crystal clear. Here’s a sample of what we train our call center teams on at MindMax:
- School mission statement
- Benefits, advantages, and what makes the school great
- Common questions about the school
- Common questions about the application process
- Course information, including curriculum, dates, fees, etc.
- Technical components or processes where students may need help
- How to move students to the next step in the process, if there is one
Train Communication Skills
There are basic principles of communication that can help your team make stronger connections—and lead to increased enrollments. At MindMax, we train our team to listen more than they speak and respond to the person they’re talking to rather than give everyone the same canned speech. But we also train sales skills, such as staying goal-oriented and overcoming objections, which contribute to our success.
Track, Record, Measure, and Analyze
It’s crucial that call center activities feed into the data that informs your entire enrollment strategy. Use a customer relationship manager (CRM) to capture notes on prospect conversations, keep information all in one place, and improve efficiency. At MindMax, we also record all calls for quality assurance.
Keep in mind that every phone call is a point of contact in the marketing and enrollment funnel. The information gathered from a call may inform ad remarketing, email campaigns, and other efforts.
Finally, you need to analyze all your data to adapt your marketing strategy. A comprehensive dashboard, like the one offered in our Enrollment Intelligence (EI) platform, can help you make data-informed decisions that increase enrollments.
Interested in an enrollment call center for your institution? Contact us to learn more.