New Relationship Management System Enhances Recruitment Operations
A new system is giving Millersville University a competitive edge among peer institutions by building and maintaining relationships with both prospective and newly admitted students.
Banner Relationship Management (BRM), a type of customer relationship management software designed for the higher education environment by Ellucian (formerly SunGard), provides relationship management capabilities with prospective students, current students and alumni. BRM is currently being used by Millersville’s admissions office to increase its effectiveness in recruiting students.
“Many peer institutions have used technology to focus on developing relationships with recruited students throughout the admissions process,” explained Dr. Jose Aviles, director of admissions and member of the BRM team that has been working since June 2011 to get this system up and running. “BRM allows us to do the same and for the first time in our environment really work to develop a sense of community very early on – which will have all kinds of positive impacts – both in recruitment and retention.”
BRM is an add-on to the Banner system, a database of all University constituents, Millersville has been using since 1999. The benefits of BRM are vast, and the University is just beginning to crack the surface of all that BRM offers. By leveraging the information stored in Banner, BRM allows the University to engage in sustained, tracked dialogue using targeted recruitment ‘campaigns.’
“Instead of merely transferring information to students, the way admissions and the registrar’s office operated in the past, BRM has evolved the University’s business practices – to a total transformation – where the focus is now on the process of developing and maintaining relationships with students,” said Candace Deen, University registrar.
“The ability to target our efforts through key segmenting will not only ensure key messages are being sent to the right students, it will also save resources by reducing the amount of recruitment materials produced,” said Aviles.
Since BRM went live in October 2011, the admissions office has already seen results. In January 2012, after noticing a perpetual slide in applications, admissions activated a BRM campaign, which yielded a 22 percent gain in prospective student applications.
BRM was also used to help two departments at Millersville that recently restructured their admissions requirements: The music department added an audition component and the art & design department added a portfolio component. A campaign was activated targeting prospective students that reminded them to complete the necessary components of the application to receive a formal decision from Millersville. This sustained communication effort of keeping prospective students well-informed during the recruitment/admissions process resulted in a 104 percent increase in music and a 57 percent increase in art & design admitted students.
In the future, admissions plans to take BRM’s capabilities further by incorporating a Luminus portal (a separate feature similar to My’Ville) for communicating more directly to different “channels,” such as faculty, staff and students. BRM will also be able to help other areas including the College of Graduate and Professional Studies in their recruitment efforts.