Why Lost Data Can Lead to Disengaged Customers

Written by Anne-Marie Williams on January 8, 2014

Posted in Lead Generation

In higher ed, digital engagement is more vital than ever, and it’s becoming the norm for college discovery processes. An initial information request from a potential student can lead to a scheduled campus visit, a scholarship application, and if all goes well, a housing request.

However, brand engagement goes much further than just prospective student communication. Digital marketing in higher ed includes interactions with alumni, university employees and parents as well. Communication with alumni includes updating information, event registrations, capital campaigns and donations. Faculty, Staff and parents are all included on a college and university’s list of customers to serve.

When done right, online engagement leads to invaluable data. But what happens when you lose out on using all that hard earned information?

Losing data = Losing customers!

For our purposes, losing data is not referring to the serious issue of mishandling sensitive student information. But every time you fail to use collected data in a timely and productive way, you are losing out on valuable opportunities.

If a parent requests more information on your school and never hears back, you’re checked off the list. Take too long to respond to a campus visit form, and your potential student will be taking a tour somewhere else. Lose event registrations, and alumni get frustrated and angry. Never actually read student surveys, and valuable feedback and a chance for improvement is missed.

Handling data the right way will help you better connect with your audience and set you apart from the competition.

Let’s say you’ve built the perfect form. It was fast, easy, and the tool you used was affordable. You were even able to customize it so that you didn’t lose any brand equity. You embed the form on your website on the same day, and you get hundreds of submissions. Go you!

Now comes the hard part: getting the data to the people that need it. The file must be encrypted, emailed, downloaded, un-encrypted and viewed. You might end up fielding calls from faculty who can’t or don’t know how to access what you’ve sent. The entire process can be long, tedious and time-consuming.

Long wait = Disengaged customers!

Once the file is received and downloaded, the data may have to be entered by hand, costing time and resources, not to mention increasing the potential for error.

Manual data entry = Mistakes!

Perhaps you’re lucky enough that your submissions are emailed directly to the correct person (Formstack can do that!). Each individual submission usually comes in as a separate email. Overloaded inboxes lead to emails being ignored, accidentally lost and deleted, or just never acted upon. While it’s great to send those submissions in an email as a reminder, it’s best to give that user access to the source of the data so they can go in and sort through the information on their own time.

We can help! With Formstack, you will find ALL your data organized in one secure, encrypted place. To access the data, you simply login into your Formstack account. Once logged in, you can view or search the data, create customized reports and charts to share, and quickly share the data as well.

Our Analytics plug-in will help you dig even deeper and provide valuable insight into form behaviour: unique views vs. submissions, abandonment rate, viewed fields, and fields where users are dropping out of your form are all recorded.

So quit losing data and start winning with Formstack data management! Any questions or comments about Formstack’s data capabilities? Let us know in the comments below!