By Ronald Bethke, eCampus News
In what could be considered the admissions matchmaker for higher education and students, marketing agency Higher Ed Growth  has released a new lead generation tool called EduMaximizer  that is aimed at helping students to match with the best institution and degree program that meets their needs, while also promoting compliance.
With student achievement and job placement becoming ever-important measures of an institution’s success, it is important for students to not only find an institution that meets their goals, but also receive important and personalized information right from the point of inquiry. According to the company’s own research and case studies  of their users, EduMaximizer’s automated school searches are cutting call times in half and even boosting quality matches by 26 percent.
“Helping students narrow their focus and select a school with programs they will excel in is vital,” said Frank Healy , CEO of Higher Ed Growth. “By leveraging technology, EduMaximizer enables call centers to more effectively align an individual’s needs with programs that are the best fit for them. Selecting the right education setting up front will set students on a path for success before they even step foot in a classroom.”
Essentially, prospective students will call in to a center that uses the service, fill out some basic personal details (such as their name, age, contact info, location, etc.), give information on what sort of degree program they are looking for, and then EduMaximizer will use its custom algorithm to match them with compatible institutions.
Then, based on a prospective student’s contact preferences, it allows schools to connect with the them to streamline recruitment, create better student learning outcomes by ensuring that their students are a good fit, and help learners along their paths to future career success.
A Good Tool Starts with Teamwork
“Over the last several years we saw a bunch of companies and a bunch of individuals out there trying to solve the same problem without working with each other, and in doing that, you had a bad user experience for the prospect, a less compliant process because everything was done differently, and it just wasn’t working well,” said Kolin Porter , Higher Ed Growth’s Director of Product Innovation. “So we saw the need for one technology solution for the industry. We then solved this internally with our internal contact centers, and we started working with our partners on this and showing them what we’d built.”
Porter noted that the matchmaker tool generated “a ton of interest” and collaboration opportunities from there. “So now we’re able to go into a company that has numerous technical issues and really replace most of what they’re doing to create a much more efficient and compliant process.”
The Tech Behind the Tool
According to EduMaximizer, the platform uses one seamless display in order to gather information and search for qualified college matches, rather than requiring representatives to work in numerous client portals. Also, by incorporating pre-populated short form lead data, there is no need for the same form fields to be completed multiple times.
The proprietary SaaS (Software as a Service) technology is also unique in that it has been designed to operate in a way that complies with all existing regulations–something that is of great importance to the modern higher education landscape. EduMaximizer utilizes custom Telephone Consumer Protection Act  (TCPA) scripts to ensure industry compliance standards are met. Calls are also tracked, reported and recorded in order to reduce the time and resources spent on manual analysis, provide a more accurate view of a prospect’s lifecycle for lead generators and colleges, and to remain as transparent as possible.
“When it comes to calling and speaking to people, we wanted to be able to show the path that is taken and be able to prove it,” said Porter. “We’ve always done the process the right way, and we’re of the mind that being transparent to clients and using compliant language and procedure is key. If you’re representing important clients and brands, we don’t want anything that was not strictly approved to happen on that call. So when we actually do hand the individual off to a university, the university needs to know that everything that happened beforehand was done with the utmost professionalism and by-the-book compliance so there aren’t any users being misinformed about what the school’s offering or any false promises before that handoff.”
According to Porter, the most difficult part of building the admissions matchmaker was integrating with companies that have been trying to solve this problem on their own. “Getting them to do it right can take time, but everyone has eventually been happy to build and change to our directions. We want to set a standard for the industry.”
For example, Quantum 3 Media implemented EduMaximizer within their call centers in September 2015 and quickly saw an increase in match rates.
“We saw EduMaximizer as an impressive tool to help safeguard efficiency and compliance in our lead process,” said PJ Quiros, Quantum 3 Media’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations. “The platform is incredibly intuitive and offers the additional benefits of providing more qualified leads for our education partners and helping students find great programs, while positively impacting our bottom line.”
Additionally, feedback from students and universities has been positive, says Porter. “It’s incredibly critical for us overall to get that information from the universities. Really what makes this work and improve the student’s prospect in the future is the ability to get feedback from the universities.”
“We’ve reached a certain scale where we can really help someone out, and at the end of the day, the whole reason that any of this exists is for student outcomes,” concluded Healy. “Our starting point and market share several years ago gave us a very limited scope of data for us to tune our algorithm with. So the more partners we get in the system and the more matches and university info we collect, what we’re able to do is get a much clearer picture of the student outcomes and the data going into it; and once we are further along there, we can tune that algorithm to be more accurate and get the best potential student matches.”
For more on EduMaximizer, watch a short video below or go to their website here.