Improving Forsyth Technical Community College's ability to develop and maintain partnerships: leveraging technology to develop partnerships

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan K. Murdock (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Ann Allen

Abstract: Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC) face a shortage of funding to meet the demands of students, faculty, staff and businesses. Through this practitioner research, the utilization of the college’s current customer relationship management (CRM) database advanced. By leveraging technology, the researcher assisted the college in meeting the needs of stakeholders and supported the strategic plan of Forsyth Technical Community College. The researcher delivered two interventions (survey and professional development). The first intervention consisted of a pre- and post- intervention anonymous survey delivered electronically to all 650 full-time employees. The surveys acquired a response rate of 33% and 28%, respectively. In addition to determining that 71 employees were aware of the CRM the survey also served to inform all full time employees of the existing CRM and its relationship to partnerships.The second intervention consisted of seven Professional Development training sessions each followed by an anonymous Plus/Delta. The Plus/Delta forms were categorized and used to develop better Professional Development sessions. After completing the interventions, the researcher determined that the interventions were successful in raising awareness of the CRM. More importantly, the researcher learned that although the technology is very important in the CRM implementation, it is second to employee engagement. Face to face professional development with a member of the executive team elevated the importance of CRM usage. Employee engagement included step by step instruction, guided practice and real world data entry.Findings from this practitioner research were that colleges intent on a successful CRM implementation must embrace three other design points to support implementation. First, engagement of executive management is crucial to users. Utilization by executive management alerts users to the importance of the CRM and encourages participation. Second, make the technology easy to navigate and demonstrate how utilizing the CRM can help their students, areas of control or building professional networks. A new CRM must compete for usage from users, difficult to use or irrelevant tools are used last. Finally, as best practices and research indicates change management is a necessity, training and support cannot be a onetime event. Utilization of an enterprise wide CRM must receive continuous attention to become an integral contributor to partnership development.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Client, Customer Relationship Management, Development, Education, Partnership, Strategic
Community colleges -- Customer services -- North Carolina -- Management
Community and college -- North Carolina
Strategic planning -- North Carolina
Business and education -- North Carolina
Forsyth Technical Community College

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