Case Study: TargetX and USC Palmetto College
TargetX CRM Provides a Cohesive Student Recruitment Experience That Turns Prospects Into Enrollees
Challenges: Palmetto College was losing prospects at critical points in the recruitment funnel
In 2013, Palmetto College at the University of South Carolina was using a third-party vendor to manage recruitment, foster leads, and convert prospects into enrolled students. USC Palmetto College would later transition its recruitment funnel from that third-party vendor to an in-house operation, primarily relying on Excel to organize prospective student data. Quickly, the team realized that they needed more functionality and support.
“We were doing almost everything manually – with few opportunities for automation,” says Amanda Lucas, Associate Director for Admissions at USC Palmetto College. “With our continued growth, we needed a better way to track contacts and the information we required from candidates for our programs. Being able to maintain prospects’ data in our funnel allows for further cultivation to apply and ultimately enroll.” It was time for a new solution.
USC Palmetto College needed a solution that managed the data to matriculate for reporting and tracking four online degree completion programs. The solution also needed to provide access to multiple campuses for a seamless approach to transition from earning an associate degree to completing a bachelor’s degree through USC Palmetto College Online.
“Our campuses were excited for the opportunity of a shared system to streamline processes,” says Lucas.
Solutions: TargetX Recruitment Suite centralizes and tracks student information and communication to maximize staff efficiency and time with prospects
USC Palmetto College partnered with TargetX and launched the TargetX Recruitment Suite, which offers the tools needed to attract best-fit prospects with a student-centered approach. Now, the team easily manages student data, notes, and communications in a central location that is accessible across all eight USC system campuses and within USC Palmetto College’s central administrative unit. The team is also enabled to nurture prospects with automated and personalized communications through email and phone, and they utilize robust reporting tools and dashboards. Best of all, the system is accessible on-the-road, eliminating the necessity for recruiters to log-in daily from their respective campus offices.
“Before TargetX, we had limited staff availability to access prospective students. Now multiple users see and manipulate the data from wherever is most convenient. We love having the capacity to share information so broadly,” says Lucas.
With time, USC Palmetto College also recognized challenges with its existing Online Application process for the associate degree-granting campuses. Prospects found it confusing and difficult to access on mobile devices, especially for rural and first-generation students. The lack of an intuitive, mobile-responsive application was proving to be a barrier to entry for a significant portion of USC Palmetto College prospective students, which made transitioning to TargetX’s mobile-first Online Application a no-brainer.
“The TargetX Online Application mirrors the sign-in processes used today in the intuitive and mobile-responsive environment that our students are accustomed to, so it provides them with ease of use,” Lucas explains.
She adds that it’s rare for students matriculating at USC Palmetto College campuses to use a standard desktop or laptop away from campus anymore, with a significant number without WiFi at their rural homes. “For many, the only internet access is through their mobile devices,” says Lucas. “We need to meet their needs.”
Results: Improved responsiveness and customer service leads to more (and happier) students
Before TargetX, the USC Palmetto College team was missing critical opportunities to connect with and nurture prospects. Information was not being collected efficiently, communication was inconsistent, and prospects were lost at critical touchpoints. Not anymore.
“We are converting applicants to enrolled students at a much higher rate since we adopted TargetX,” Lucas says. Specifically, USC Palmetto College Online saw an approximate 20% increase in enrollment for Fall 2017.
The USC Palmetto College team is also learning important information about its applicant pool through the data that is now at their fingertips.
“As we began to analyze data we were astonished at some of the results. One example, we had no idea it takes two years to cultivate some of our students. Having that information helps us get ahead of the funnel and change how we plan.”
The TargetX Recruitment Suite has helped USC Palmetto College organize their data and team processes; improve the quality of their outreach, and, ultimately, increase their enrollment numbers.