Are you doing enough to keep your clients happy? The education and migration industry is sensitive and challenging. Whether your clients want to study abroad or migrate to another country, it is a major emotional and financial decision for them. How can you make sure that their time and money spent is worth the effort? Start by building a client relationship management strategy. It must be an ideal combination of good processes, efficient technology, and the right people.
A good client relationship management process is worth its weight in gold
What does your agency do when a client makes initial contact or visits you personally? After this, what are your next steps to take the relationship further? Answering these questions will help you understand the agency’s client relationship process better.
You may think of a process as a systematic approach to achieving the agency’s Client Relationship Management goals and making clients happy with your services. Here are four ways you can do so:
Make ‘on-boarding’ smooth and easy
It normally starts with that very first phone call or email. If you have a website or social media page, you may also get queries there. Generally, it is safe to assume that people who want to study abroad or migrate do not necessarily know how the whole procedure works.
More importantly, they may not know how your agency works. Therefore, it is up to you to make them understand the process clearly, including its cost. Some might not actually need the services you offer or be able to afford it.
The first step in the ‘on-boarding’ process is to streamline your communication in such a way that it filters out the actual clients. Once this is over, set up a meeting to discuss their case – via web conference or personal meeting, depending on where your clients are located.
Manage Online Contacts Optimally
When a potential client contacts you online, use the medium appropriately. For instance, if you have a ‘live chat’ feature on the website, train your agency representatives to use it correctly. Keep the conversations brief and ‘to the point’, without being rude. The same client relationship management strategy should be applicable to social media too.
Features like these help you make first impressions on the client. However, eventually you will need to draw them into a more formal arrangement, like getting them to email their requirements or fill out an online form.
Use online forms effectively
Having an online form for clients on your website is a good way to gather data initially. Even if you don’t have a form yet, you can easily make one with the help of Google Docs and place the link in your website.
If done smartly, the form can give you enough information about the client. However, the online form should be adequate and not overwhelming. Its main motive should be to give you a clear idea about the client’s intentions.
An education or migration agency like yours will need the following details:
- Residential Address
- Planning to:
*Study Abroad (here, you can find out about which country they prefer)
*Migrate (here, you can find out about which country they prefer)
Gather as much data as possible
Do bear in mind that you should not aim to collect all the data online, but just enough to take you to the next step. Once you are clear about what the client is looking for, the next step is to formalize the arrangement with a face-to-face meeting.
This is where you can explain your services in detail and gather information at the same time. Now you can start collecting data that the immigration department needs, depending on where the client is opting to study or migrate.
Efficient technology can be your best friend
These days, a process without technology is like eating bread without the butter! Data management has become an integral part of the agency business. With so much going on in the world of information technology, you will have plenty of good options.
From the time clients make first contact with your agency, managing and communicating their information efficiently is your number one task. Depending on the size of your current business, here are three types of Client relationship management software you may need:
You need software that can record data from the time you make first contact with the client until their application process is complete. However, just recording data is not enough! You will need to process and manage it too.
If done efficiently, using technology makes your entire Client Relationship Management process much more effective. Software like Agentcis can help you record and manage information, as per your client needs. You can even update clients about their application process and retrieve their documents, as and when required. All this is doable from a single platform. Software as such can help in education and migration agency CRM.
As an education or migration agency, you constantly need to look for new clients or retain existing ones. Client relationship management tools with marketing capabilities can automate repetitive tasks and help connect you with potential customers.
For instance, when a prospective client appears on the system, you can customize it to send them your marketing materials via email or social media. To retain existing clients, engage them with regular updates and newsletters about your services and the overall industry.
Another tool to market your agency’s services is a Client Relationship Management system that can create marketing campaigns based on the customer’s’ physical location. Since your clients will probably come from different parts of the world, using geo-location technology could be a boon. It can even help you speak to the customers in their local language.
The right people can make a world of difference
You may have the technology to manage and maintain your agency’s client relations, but human resource still remains the key to making your client relationship management strategy successful. You need the right people to supervise that client management processes and technologies adopted are actually working.
Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them. – Kevin Stirtz
Here are some tips that can streamline your staff’s client relationship management skills:
Use a humane approach
Apart from managing the processes efficiently, your staff needs a humane side too. The world of education and migration carry a lot of emotion. Train employees to be firm yet pleasing.
Enhance their writing and speaking skills
As digital media becomes more popular worldwide, people will use it quite often to make inquiries about your agency’s services. To maintain excellent Client Relationship Management, your employees will need to be good at both writing and speaking.
Know how much information to divulge
Clients will ask all sorts of questions and may seek all answers immediately. Untrained employees may give out all information at once. However, you must train them to reveal information, as and when required.
Client Relationship Management is much more than just customer service! Finding the right balance of people, technology and processes is the key to its success.