For education companies like yours, offering the best learning experience is a priority. Some other areas of focus include retaining existing students, attracting new ones, hiring competent teaching staff, and raising funds on time. To tick these items off your list, you’ll need to build strong customer relationships, and a customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help with that.
Education CRM software lets you address the information needs of your target audience, including students, parents, teachers, and donors. It helps offer proactive customer support, capture the contact details of leads, and share updates about your institute, courses, admissions, and more.
It’s up to you to decide which CRM platform is most suitable for your business, but to provide a complete picture of the top options, we’ve created a list of the best CRM tools for the education industry.
Why do we call them “best”? All of these tools feature in GetApp’s Category Leaders reports (an annual ranking of top software tools) for customer service, lead generation, and social media marketing. They have at least 4.5 overall user ratings (out of 5) and 50+ reviews. Read the full selection methodology at the bottom of the article.
Customer service software helps you communicate effectively with your target audience—students, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders. It lets you respond to their queries regarding courses, admissions, etc., via multiple channels, such as email, live chat, and phone.
Using the software, you can offer self-service options (knowledge base articles, how-to videos, etc.) to help existing and prospective students find answers to common questions. You can also set up discussion forums to enhance their experience and boost overall satisfaction.
Here’s how you can best use customer service tools at your education business:
Respond to queries and manage support tickets using a single centralized platform.
Automate workflows such as sending welcome or follow-up emails.
Set up a support portal where students can raise tickets and check their status.
Offer customer support via live chat, calls, social media, and email.
To help you pick the right customer service tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.8/5
Number of reviews: 151
HelpCrunch is a cloud-based customer communication and CRM tool for marketing, sales, and support teams.
The tool helps you interact with students and other stakeholders via live chat and emails. Its drag-and-drop interface lets you create knowledge base articles to answer common questions related to your institute, courses, or admissions. With the HelpCrunch mobile app, you can respond to student queries even when you’re on the go.
Pricing info: The Standard plan costs $12 per user per month (billed annually). It supports one chat widget and unlimited contacts. A 14-day free trial is available with all plans.
Click here to read user reviews of HelpCrunch.
User rating: 4.7/5
Number of reviews: 158
Help Scout is a cloud-based customer service and CRM solution.
It lets you send bulk replies and use canned responses for common student queries. It offers a docs editor that allows you to create and edit knowledge base articles. You can embed these articles in your institute’s website, so students get the information they need. You can also check which of your website pages have received the most traffic.
Pricing info: The Standard plan costs $20 per user per month (billed annually). It offers three mailboxes, one Docs site (to create knowledge base articles), live chat, and messages for up to 10,000 customers. A 15-day free trial is available with all plans.
Click here to read user reviews of Help Scout.
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 928
LiveAgent is a help desk CRM system that can be deployed on the web as well as on-premise.
It lets you respond to student queries via live chat, email, phone, and social media. It can integrate with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to automatically organize student interactions across these channels on a single dashboard. That means you don’t have to keep switching between the tools, and you can respond to all queries using the LiveAgent platform.
Pricing info: LiveAgent’s paid plan starts from $15 per agent per month (billed monthly). It also has a free plan with limited chat and email functionality.
Click here to read user reviews of LiveAgent.
Lead generation software can help you reach out to prospective students interested in the courses you offer. It can capture their details, such as name, email, and contact numbers, from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), websites, emails, surveys, and more.
For instance, a lead form on your website’s landing page will prompt visitors to enter their contact details, which you can then use to send targeted emails with resources such as the admission prospectus or course brochures.
Here’s how you can best use lead generation tools at your education institute:
Capture the details of any prospective student using web forms and call-to-action links (Sign Up, Download Brochure, etc.).
Store the details of your leads in a centralized database, and schedule follow-up emails to increase chances of conversion.
Identify which sources are bringing maximum leads (social media ads, Google Ads, websites, etc.), and assess the quality of the generated leads.
To help you pick the right lead generation tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 54
EngageBay is cloud-based marketing software.
It lets you create website landing pages with pop-ups and lead forms to collect the contact details of interested candidates. You can use these details to send targeted emails about promotional offers, scholarships, or other relevant course information. You can also track engagement levels for these emails—open rate, bounce rate, number of clicks, etc.
Pricing info: The all-in-one Basic plan (with marketing, CRM and sales, and help desk modules) costs $8.99 per user per month (billed biennially). Monthly and annual billing options are also available.
Click here to read user reviews of EngageBay.
User rating: 4.5/5
Number of reviews: 106
Kartra is a cloud-based business management tool.
Its drag-and-drop editor helps you create mobile-responsive landing pages, web forms, and chat pop-ups to capture leads data, including their contact details and motivation/purpose of visiting your website. The tool also lets you send automated emails to your leads with information about scholarships, course details, fee structures, etc.
Pricing info: The Starter plan costs $79 per month (billed annually). It supports up to 2,500 leads, 15,000 emails, and one custom domain.
Click here to read user reviews of Kartra.
User rating: 4.5/5
Number of reviews: 2,223
Pipedrive is a cloud-based sales pipeline management and CRM tool.
It lets you create web forms to collect leads data, including name, contact number, and email address. It also offers a chatbot that engages your website visitors via automated chat pop-ups. If prospects wish to speak with an agent, the bot sends you a notification. Any available customer service rep can then take over the conversation started by the bot.
Pricing info: The starting paid plan, called Essential, costs $12.50 per user per month (billed annually). A 14-day free trial is available with all plans.
Click here to read user reviews of Pipedrive.
Research shows that 58% of teens (between 13 to 17 years of age) researching colleges online take the help of social media in their research. Given these numbers, it’s only wise to use social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to promote and increase the reach of your educational organization.
Social media marketing software can help you run campaigns to target the online student community. You can publish information about your institute and its learning culture, the courses offered, student events, alumni meets, etc., to increase brand visibility and get more students interested in joining your institute.
Here’s how you can best use social media marketing tools at your education business:
Schedule, publish, and manage posts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking channels.
View and respond to the comments and queries people leave on your posts.
Run integrated social media campaigns and access campaign analytics to improve your marketing efforts.
To help you pick the right social media marketing tool, we’ve shortlisted the three best options (arranged alphabetically).
User rating: 4.7/5
Number of reviews: 390
Loomly is cloud-based social media marketing software.
The tool lets you schedule and publish posts on social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. It suggests trending social media topics you can create content about. It also offers reports and analytics to help measure the impact and reach of your posts. Based on the gathered insights, you can plan or modify your outreach efforts.
Pricing info: Loomly’s base plan costs $25 per month for two users and up to 10 social accounts (billed annually). A 15-day free trial is available with all plans.
Click here to read user reviews of Loomly.
User rating: 4.6/5
Number of reviews: 128
PromoRepublic is a cloud-based social media management and marketing tool.
It lets you manage social media branding campaigns across regions. You can upload and save content assets for different regions and then provide access to your social media team to use these assets. This helps build a unified social media experience for prospective students and stakeholders. You can also use the tool’s ads manager to run paid promotional campaigns.
Pricing info: The Standard plan costs $39 per month (billed annually) and supports 10 social media pages and two users. A 14-day free trial is available with all plans.
Click here to read user reviews of PromoRepublic.
User rating: 4.8/5
Number of reviews: 80
Statusbrew is a cloud-based social media marketing tool.
It lets you schedule and publish content across social media platforms as well as track what people are saying about your brand on social media. You can also follow conversations and industry trends relevant to your business. With these insights, you can better understand the needs and pain points of your target audience and focus on addressing them.
Pricing info: The starting paid plan, Engage Plus, costs $99 per month (billed annually) and supports up to five users and five social media profiles. A seven-day free trial is available with the plan.
Click here to read user reviews of Statusbrew.
To select the right education CRM software for your business, here are a few things to follow:
Schedule a demo and opt for a trial: A demo will help you understand software features well, while a free trial will offer a hands-on with the tool.
Check for discounts: Most CRM vendors offer discounts to educational institutions, though they may not always mention the same on their website. So don’t forget to check with them.
Explore related tools: CRM is a vast arena with multiple related software categories such as customer management software, customer engagement software, and customer experience software. See if you would benefit from any of these tools.
To identify the products listed in this article, we leveraged the GetApp 2020 Category Leaders for CRM report. For each category, we eliminated products that did not have at least half of the below-mentioned features:
For customer service: Ability to offer support via live chat and emails.
For lead generation: Ability to generate leads from websites and social media.
For social media marketing: Ability to schedule and publish social media posts across channels.
From this list, we selected three products in each category with at least 4.5 user ratings and 50 unique product reviews as on September 7, 2020.