India's education sector is constantly adapting to the changing needs of students and the world around them. Edtech companies are working hard to improve the student experience and provide innovative solutions to the challenges posed by modern education. New-age edtech platforms are driving India's online education market which is projected to grow by $2.28 billion from 2022-2026 at a 19.50% CAGR. At the heart of their strategies lies Omnichannel Student Engagement—a trend that prioritizes making quality education accessible to all.
In this article, we will take a look at 8 omnichannel student engagement strategies and how they're reshaping education with personalized and effective learning experiences.
1. Omnichannel Communication: The Digital Connection
Omnichannel communication is no longer a choice; it is a necessity for connecting with digitally native students. Edtech and educational institutions need to adapt to this digital-savvy generation by using platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube.
It's essential to engage seamlessly across these channels, addressing technical and operational challenges to ensure secure data sharing. An omnichannel approach is crucial for edtech companies to survive and thrive, beyond just expanding their user base.
2. Data Integration: A 360-Degree View of the Student
Omnichannel engagement generates data from various touchpoints, but without integration tools, edtech companies struggle with fragmented information. To effectively communicate with parents, who influence decisions, it's crucial to unify this data.
Breaking down data silos and integrating information is essential for a holistic 360-degree view of each student. This consolidated data enables highly personalized communication, content, and experiences. Tailoring interactions based on interests, engagement, career goals, and challenges is what adds a meaningful, human touch to the student experience.
For instance, by collecting data on a student's preferred learning style, content can be customized to suit their needs, creating a more effective human connection.
3. Platform Flexibility: Meeting Students Where They Are
To effectively engage with students, edtech companies should proactively connect with students through their preferred social, messaging, and communication apps instead of funnelling all interactions into their own channels.
Attempting to redirect students to a company's website or app, if it's not where they spend their time, can decrease engagement and retention, given students' limited attention spans. A successful omnichannel approach means meeting students on platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat, aligning with their preferences for better engagement.
4. Engaging Content: A Key to Student Interest
Engaging content is at the heart of the omnichannel approach. It should aim to tell stories, create concrete examples, and make concepts relatable to students. This not only generates initial interest but also helps students retain information over the long term.
Edtech companies can leverage the fact that human minds remember images and stories more readily than plain facts. By tapping into this tendency, content can be made more engaging, helping students learn more effectively.
5. Rural Outreach: Bridging the Digital Divide
Rural areas require special attention in the omnichannel approach due to lower smartphone and internet penetration. Traditional channels like SMS or printed guides are still relevant in such regions. Additionally, human assistance is crucial to bridge understanding gaps.
Edtech companies must devise specialized rural strategies, including voice calls, SMS, human translators, and on-the-ground assistance to ensure that no student is left behind. Training local teachers on technology can be an innovative way to expand their reach, helping rural students fulfil their aspirations with the guidance they need.
6. Automation: Efficiency and Scale
Automation is a powerful tool in the omnichannel approach, helping edtech companies efficiently handle common questions and provide 24/7 support. Chatbots can answer routine inquiries, such as schedules, course syllabi, and pricing, freeing up human resources to focus on more complex student issues. Automation also streamlines lead data collection from multiple channels and ensures it reaches the right department or agent, ultimately enhancing the capabilities of the entire system.
7. The Human Touch: Essential for Counselling
While automation can handle common inquiries, human connection remains vital, particularly in counselling students who are uncertain about their educational path. Technology has its limits in mimicking human interaction, especially during critical decision-making moments.
Edtech companies should combine automation with access to counsellors and advisors at these pivotal junctures to ensure students receive the support they need.
8. Student-centric Journey Design
An essential practice within the omnichannel approach is designing the student journey from the student's perspective. Tailoring touchpoints across channels based on their needs ensures a seamless experience. Researching the platforms students use at each stage, from discovery to enrolment and beyond, is crucial for success. This student-centric design ensures that the omnichannel approach adds value and clarity, reducing confusion.
In a world where students demand connection and flexibility, omnichannel communication has become more crucial than ever. India's Edtech sector stands at the forefront, combining innovation, accessibility, and unwavering determination. This thriving ecosystem not only positions India as a pioneer in educational transformation but also empowers its youth and boosts the nation's economic trajectory. Omnichannel Student Engagement is not just a trend, it’s the future of education.
The article has been written by Prashanth Kancherla, Chief Product Officer, Ozonetel