Developing a CRM Good Practice Handbook for the Tertiary Education Sector

Photo of a row of red-spined booksThe University of Huddersfield and Teesside University have been working together to produce an online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Good Practice Handbook. The Handbook aims to guide HE (Higher Education) and FE (Further Education) institutions through the development of strategic BCE (Business and Community Engagement) CRM processes, as well as provide advice and guidance on data management and change management. It contains a number of case studies and examples from the tertiary education sector.


The aim of the project was to deliver an online Handbook in CRM Good Practice, however there were some challenges along the way:

  • although the Handbook was validated by a cross-section of HE institutions, it was harder to engage the FE sector to the same extent due to the rapid changes taking place in that sector
  • a large amount of consultation was undertaken to ensure that the Handbook matched the needs of the sector
  • routes into the content needed a lot of thought and discussion.


The Handbook is now complete and will be launched at the AURIL (Association for University Research and Industry Links) Conference in October 2012. Other benefits resulting from this project are:

  • an increased interest in BCE CRM
  • the addition of sections based on user feedback, such as information on how to use Business Intelligence and how to use the data captured in a CRM system
  • interest in establishing a CRM community of practice from those taking part in the research.


Current Government policy is to bring the HE sector and industry closer together and the building of such external relationships can have an impact on helping institutions pursue distinctiveness in the sector. Some of the recommendations from the Handbook include:

  • CRM should be considered as a culture that encourages people to place the needs of the customer at the heart of everything they undertake
  • senior management buy-in, and a senior management stakeholder or champion, is vital
  • it is important before even considering purchasing a CRM system that time is taken to understand how CRM can support and be integrated into the institution’s overall vision and strategy.

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about this project, the following resources may help:

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