How to Manage Your School Admissions Process RemotelyMarch 26, 2020
Like many businesses, a lot of schools are also starting to set their staff up with remote working conditions, as another week of uncertainty rolls onwards. As we know, the school admissions process requires a lot of nurturing from schools, as prospective parents expect authentic and personalized interactions throughout their entire customer journey.
Maintaining that personal touch can be tricky – especially if you’re not used to working remotely. To give you a hand, we’ve put together a guide on how your school can seamlessly manage the admissions process whether you're in the office or at home. We’ll cover some online tactics to engage prospective parents and show you how to use our school CRM Digistorm Funnel to manage your school admissions process remotely.
Digital communication tools to keep your admissions team connected
There’s a range of software available that can help your school foster communication between your admissions team and prospective parents. First, to ensure that all leads are still receiving support from your admissions team, introduce an online chat or meeting tool that allows you to regularly check-in with your team. Some of our favourites include; Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. Just like any in-person meeting, you can virtually assign tasks, communicate lead updates, breakdown any current challenges or missed opportunities, and collaborate on creative ideas.
You can also utilise these communication tools to schedule private video calls with prospective parents. While a phone call or quick email might have previously been the ‘go-to’ solution, some prospective parents will greatly appreciate the offer to add an extra layer of personalization with a video call (especially at this time when meeting face-to-face isn't an option). Video calls are a great way to communicate with any prospective parents who have extensive questions and require a more personalized approach. Now, you might feel a little strange setting up your first video call, but don’t stress, many people (including parents), are currently taking their work lives online too, so a virtual meeting won’t be a foreign concept.
Host a school webinar
Another way to support prospective parents during the admissions processes is by hosting informational webinars. If you’re looking for a way to add a personal touch to any of your written resources, webinars can be a great tool. Choose a host who is comfortable speaking to a wide audience, and ask them to cover key topics or answer frequently asked questions. Try to include information that’s usually covered during school tours and open days, and be sure to leave enough time for a Q&A segment at the end.
To ensure that you’re targeting the right leads in your enrollment pipeline, create a communication schedule for your webinar and send email invitations to a specific segment of prospective parents. Remember, this might be the first time some parents have attended a webinar, so be sure to include all of the important details, instructions on how to join, and a link to your webinar landing page where parents can register their details. Next, you can begin sending timely content and reminders closer to the date of your webinar.
Want to learn more about running virtual events at your school?
Take a look at our resource: Going Virtual: How to Take Any School Event Online.
Create and share school video content
In addition to webinars, think of creative ways to showcase your school’s unique selling proposition (USP), extracurricular activities, departments, and staff through video. Here are just some ideas for the types of video content you could share with prospective parents:
- Video series about extracurricular activities offered at your school
- Virtual tour of your school campus
- Welcome video from the Principal
- “Meet our staff” video (take a look at our Digi People video series for inspiration)
- “Meet our students” video with student testimonials
Make these resources easy to find on your website and don’t be afraid to repurpose them across your social media channels, including; Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Managing Digistorm Funnel and Enrol at home
On top of these tips, a great way to maintain your enrollment pipeline is by using your school CRM to its full potential. A quick note, however, the following features are only available to Digistorm clients who have both Digistorm Funnel and Enrol.
Receiving online enrollment applications
It’s likely that a lot of parents are also working from home at this time, so it’s convenient for them to complete and submit an online enrollment application, from the comfort of their own home. From the administration side, you can securely log into your Digistorm account at home to process these applications. Remember to track every update that is made, from initial enquiries to admission. Logging each interaction maintains transparency , as you aren’t in the usual office environment where other colleagues can ask questions or receive face-to-face updates. Ensure that you’re also checking back into the ‘Lead Timeline’, as this is where all of the lead information and communication is logged. Here you can access what has previously been logged and the full history of the lead – this is helpful for identifying which leads need extra support.
Manage and assign tasks
Working remotely can sometimes make it challenging to effectively assign and communicate tasks to your team. To streamline this process, use the task assigning feature in Digistorm Funnel to assign tasks to other team members. Once you assign the task to a team member they’ll instantly receive a direct notification within Digistorm Funnel , as well as an email notification, which includes a link to the relevant lead., You can also assign tasks for yourself and view them under “Task Modules,” leveraging it as a “to-do” list by ticking off each task as you complete it.
It’s possible that during this time you may receive an increased amount of enrollment deferrals. Make sure that you are staying on top of your deferrals by finding the lead in the system and updating their entry year level and entry year. You can do this in bulk and update several leads at once.
Funnel activities for slow periods
If you find yourself with a little bit of spare time, take it as an opportunity to up-skill and become a Digistorm Funnel master. Below are some ideas to get you even more acquainted with your Digistorm Funnel account:
- Perform a data audit to review where your leads are currently sitting, update any necessary stages, year levels and proposed entry years.
- Conduct a test submission for all online forms – this allows you to see the experience from the user perspective and adjust anything that needs refining.
- Get in contact with your Digistorm Client Success Manager (CSM) to brush up on your skills and receive a refresher on Digistorm Funnel features and functionalities – your CSM will happily run a virtual training session with you.
It’s important to continue to support and develop the enrollment pipeline remotely during this unprecedented time. If you would like additional information or training reach out to your Digistorm Client Success Manager or a member of our friendly Digistorm support team.