“The name ‘Accelerators’ couldn’t be more fitting because it would have taken me weeks of finding and blocking off time in my calendar to get Einstein Analytics off the ground. With Accelerators, we did it in just a few hour-long conversations.” - Ed Flaherty, Director of Admissions Operations at Moravian College
Well-aged College goes Modern for Application Tracking and Engagement
At the U.S.’s sixth-oldest college, the beautiful brick buildings weren’t the only structures from a bygone era. So was the system Moravian College used for tracking applicants.
When admissions counselors received an enrollment application, they added that applicant’s information to a shared online Excel spreadsheet and created a physical folder to hold the applicant’s transcripts, test scores, and other documents. On the road, counselors had to find an Internet connection before accessing the spreadsheet, which meant they often couldn’t use downtime to connect with new applicants. Because the paper files had sensitive student information, they didn’t want to take them into the field.
“For at least six weeks during prime application review season our counselors would be on the road four or five days
a week,” says Ed Flaherty, the college’s Director of Admissions Operations.
They had no way of knowing if a prospect was progressing with their application, and email campaigns relied on Gmail accounts and mail merging.
When a prospect committed or declined to attend, the decision was noted in a little
Things didn’t get more efficient when a student enrolled. The Admissions Operations team would move the student’s information from the shared spreadsheet into the Jenzabar student information system (SIS). Running reports out of the SIS was unwieldy, tedious, and required coding knowledge.
“It was cumbersome,” Flaherty says. “We moved at a pretty slow pace.”
A Platform for Unity and Automation
For the 2015-16 recruiting cycle, Moravian deployed Salesforce, with TargetX as the recruitment management tool on top. Sales Cloud is used for workflows, process builders, automating emails, tracking opportunities, and reporting. Now as soon as a student sends an inquiry, they get
an automatic email reply. A couple days later, another email arrives introducing their individual counselor. From there, counselors can send automated, pinpointed messages.
“We can send them links to register for events and feedback instead of sending a card in the mail that may get lost or tossed in the trash,” says Jennifer Wolfel, CRM Programmer/Administrator.
Communications are personalized with less potential for typographical or address errors. And the college can track which messages are opened.
Moravian uses Einstein Analytics and Opportunities to help track net tuition revenue; Case Management for financial aid appeals and internal change requests; and Pardot to streamline communications.
One-on-one Help from SMES
Wolfel, who manages all things Salesforce- related, quickly added the Premier Success Plan to its Salesforce license package.
“Troubleshooting with Premier’s support code has been a big help, especially when it’s something convoluted,” Wolfel says. The biggest benefit is Salesforce Accelerators, one-on-one coaching sessions with subject matter experts.
Wolfel used Accelerators for help building datasets and synchronizing data in Einstein Analytics and setting up the paths in Opportunities. “Getting with someone in that one-on-one situation over a couple weeks was really critical to our success,” she says. “The Accelerators are priceless.”
“The name ‘Accelerators’ couldn’t be more fitting because it would have taken me weeks of finding and blocking off time in my calendar to fix the issues and small nuisances to get Einstein Analytics off the ground. With Accelerators, we did it in just a few hour-long conversations,” Flaherty says.
An Extra 20 Hours a Week
Flaherty estimates that Salesforce’s automation saves more than 20 hours of admission processing per week. For example, data entry, document matching, file retrieval, and refiling used to take an hour or more per applicant; now counselors just press a button in Conga (a Salesforce AppExchange partner for document management) and all relative documents automatically attach to a student’s record. “It takes 10 to 15 minutes per application instead of an hour,” he says.
Undergrad Admissions’ and the Registrar’s Office’s Salesforce systems are integrated, so when a student matriculates to Moravian, the files are automatically uploaded to the SIS.
And with the Salesforce Mobile app, counselors have instant mobile access to the records anywhere; the Excel spreadsheet and red notebook have been retired.
Having a more mobile- and user-friendly application means recruiters can respond to inquiries quicker, Flaherty says. Within the next year, the college plans to offer personalized live chat through a Salesforce Live Agent implementation, and deploy an online portal so applicants can track progress. The portal will serve as a “one stop location” for all deposited students transition needs to college life.
“Now we’re able to meet students where they are and have the ability to communicate in a 21st- century method,” Flaherty says. “That’s a big benefit.”
Increased Engagement Drives Increased Enrollment
Moravian has seen an increase in inquiries and applications since deploying Salesforce—from 8,324 inquiries and 1,465 applications in 2014 to 17,291 inquiries and 2,349 applications in the first half of 2018. Freshman class sizes before Salesforce were in the mid to high 300s; over the past three years it’s been at least 450, with nearly 500 for the 2018-19 school year.
“That’s at least partly because the school is able to process more applicants now,” Flaherty says. “We can track engagement now, which allows us to communicate better, which I think is leading to the increase in enrollment.”
Each member of the president’s council— which includes the C-level executives—has access to a live Salesforce dashboard, so they can share real-time data to guide decision-making and collaboration.
“Higher ed is notoriously behind the eight ball with technology,” Flaherty says. “But with Salesforce, you’re getting every piece of new technology that thousands of corporations are paying for, and you’re getting it with bells and whistles that are applicable for what we’re doing in higher ed.”
Download this Moravian College success story.