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"Salesforce has really simplified the way we interact with our students" - John Armitage, Enterprise Architect and DBA, Marian University

Marian University Creates Efficiency Across Campus with Salesforce

Visiting a campus for the first time is often a make-or-break experience for prospective students. As such, colleges and universities spend countless resources to ensure prospects leave a visit impressed, excited, and ready to apply.

The same is true at Marian University, where the campus visit is treated as an opportunity to wow prospective students and catapult them into a student journey at the university. Ensuring an awesome experience, however, was stretching the school’s Guest Coordinator team thin. Coordinators were spending countless hours manually entering data into a database, sending out individual confirmation emails, and mailing physical surveys to visitors. “There was a great need for efficiency in all of the behind-the-scenes work that went into our campus visit,” explained Mary Reiman, Director of Integration and Application Architecture.

The university turned to Salesforce to make the campus visit even more personal on the front-end and efficient on the back-end. Now, when a prospective student registers for a visit online, a personalized email is automatically sent out to confirm their reservation. Guest coordinators no longer have to manually enter visitors’ registration details into a database. Instead, data flows directly from the online registration form into Salesforce, where a record is automatically generated and guest coordinators can track registration.

Physical surveys have become a thing of the past at Marian. After prospective students complete a visit, online surveys are automatically sent via email using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Once submitted, response data flows directly into Salesforce, where teams can analyze results with dynamic reports and dashboards. “It used to take 2 to 8 weeks for us to gather survey results,” said Reiman. “Now, we receive our results immediately after they’re submitted and can take action.” The school has seen a 50% increase in survey responses since deploying this new communication method. In addition, the university now uses funds saved from mailing costs to send a Marian University t-shirt to prospects who completed the survey, making the entire experience even more memorable.

Making It Simple for Students

Marian University is committed to offering an outstanding experience beyond recruiting throughout the student lifecycle. Once on-boarded, students at Marian have a list of items that need to be completed before a term begins. Between admissions, housing, financial aid, the registrar, and the bursar, offices across campus all have different business needs that have to be fulfilled in order for a student to be successful. However, gathering these requirements in an easy and consumable way for both students and faculty and staff was a challenge. “All of this information was in separate systems or in spreadsheets scattered across departments,” said John Armitage, Enterprise Architect and DBA.

The university started tracking these business needs from various offices in Salesforce. Each student’s requirements are now consolidated into a one-page checklist, where faculty and staff have a real-time view of what items may be outstanding for a student. “It’s really simplified the way we interact with our students,” explained Armitage. “If a student calls in, we can immediately let them know where they stand or guide them through what needs to be completed.” Since implementing Salesforce in the fall of 2014, Marian has already seen a 58% increase in on-time tuition payments for new students by the first day of class.

Fueled by the success in admission and retention, other departments are looking to take advantage of Salesforce as well. “After seeing what we’ve done with Salesforce so far, we’re getting requests from across campus for the tool. Everybody wants it,” said Reiman.

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