CRM Handbook / Good Practice in Customer Relationship Management
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Good Practice in Customer Relationship Management

Page history last edited by Simon Whittemore 9 years, 10 months ago


CRM WorkshopCRM StudyCRM Self-analysis FrameworkCRM Process Improvement PilotsRelationship Management Just Enough Guide; CRM Good Practice Handbook


This handbook has been developed to help Further Education (FE) Colleges and Higher Education (HE) Institutions in their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) journey. With a strong focus on CRM for Business and Community Engagement (BCE), its purpose is to guide you through all the key considerations and decision points involved in developing strategic CRM processes across your institution, including guidance on information and data management, change management and organisational alignment.


The Education sector is changing rapidly and will continue to do so for the next five to ten years. This means the pressure on institutions is increasing as they strive to support and satisfy challenging and varied Government and stakeholder requirements, changing staff roles and expectations of multiple stakeholders in a fast-moving socio-economic, political and technological environment. Changes to the funding of the Education Sector are driving an environment where institutions will need to become more publicly accountable and demonstrate added value. The cuts in public funding emphasise the need for institutions to diversify their income base, to include both research and BCE.


HE Sector


Current Government policy continues the drive to bring the sector and industry closer together, as defined in the recent Wilson review. For some institutions the requirement to assess the social economic or environmental impact of research outcomes is making the building of external relationships crucial to their mission. This has particular weight as part of REF 2014 and particularly in the context of public engagement impact.


The report by the University Alliance Growing the Future  describes universities as anchor organisations in their locality and calls for them to become leaders and change agents for local economic recovery. This view places an emphasis on outward facing, relationship building aspects of Higher Education Institutions (HEI).


Similarly the Universities UK report, prepared in conjunction with the Institute for Public Policy Research, IPPR, Beyond Bricks and Mortar, describes the wide range of ways that the sector can contribute to economic development, including civic leadership. The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement has developed a Beacon project , which contains a number of initiatives. Their website provides examples of outreach activity, its advantages and, through describing examples of best practice, gives advice for organisations wishing to improve their local links.


Pivotal to the success of your BCE work is the increasing need for differentiation and distinctiveness in the sector.  A useful summary of this issue can be found at Enterprising Universities which looks at how  the HE sector is pursuing excellence in enterprise.


FE Sector


Pressure on the FE sector has continued as signalled by the Leitch Review in 2006 , which called for employer to share the costs of education.  Both the previous and current Governments have reinforced this message in their policies and recently in their funding. This was demonstrated in the withdrawal of Train2Gain funding and the investment in an increased number of Apprenticeships, which require employers to contribute. 


The term ‘Customer Relationship Management’ should be considered in its widest sense. A strategy for CRM should define partner, stakeholder and customer groups. How they will be engaged and how long term mutual loyalty can be developed to help achieve the university or college mission.

It is essential that in considering CRM in your institution that you look at CRM not just as a system but also as an overall approach to BCE.


There are some toolkits that it would be useful precursors for you to read as part of using this Handbook. These are signposted throughout the Handbook and the diagram above shows the development of Relationsghhip Management guidance and support by JISC.  


The Self Analysis Framework, developed by the University of Nottingham, is a toolkit that recognises Good Practice in CRM and the importance of Process Mapping. It was developed to empower institutions to assess their people, process and technology issues before CRM implementation. Its aim was to support a wider UK agenda around how institutions engage with external organisations for their mutual benefit. Further to this JISC funded a number of projects, which piloted this self-analysis framework. The synthesis of these projects can be found here or case studies and further reading can be found online here.


The Embedding BCE Toolkit was developed by JISC with the help of five institutional partners and there is also an infokit that accompanies the toolkit.  It provides resources to review BCE activities within your own institution and also provides an explanation of the barriers/issues associated with BCE activities within FE and HE.


Before using the handbook please take the time to identify your CRM Maturity  as this will help you to identify which areas of the handbook will be most helpful for you.  


Where more information is available and good practice can be found elsewhere, we have provided links to these websites or papers. For an overview of the Handbook and to help guide you through, please use the Navigation page.


Read the blog about the development of this CRM Good Practice handbook here.