How To Approach The Alumni Digital Experienceby Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni | Last Edited: 28th April 2020
Hint: from lead acquisition to conversion to engagement, approach the alumni digital experience using the same principles you would for customers.
The business case for a corporate alumni program is strong. Now more than ever, when an organization’s corporate retirees and alumni army could be qualified contributors to business recovery amid COVID-19.
At EnterpriseAlumni, we believe that successful programs should deliver on alumni engagement and deliver on empathy. But mostly, they deliver a human-first approach by tracking alumni priorities. If the alumni experience is rooted in their unique values, in turn, this community will deliver reciprocal value to the organization.
The foundation of the alumni experience lies in digital engagement. When an employee walks out the door to begin the next phase of their career, they choose whether to join the program. Factoring into this decision will be the terms they are exiting on, as well as their past experience (digital and otherwise) within the organization.
Going forward, the value add from the program has to be compelling enough to warrant interaction from the alumni. Mimicking customer expectations, they expect digital content relevant to what they are currently doing, their location, and the device they are working from.
Ultimately it is their journey that should shape an organization’s digital strategy for engagement.
Why The Alumni Digital Experience Matters
Times have changed. Alumni are no longer simply people who have left an organization, whether on good terms or bad.
Instead, they are a pool of potential, qualified, boomerangs. That is, re-hires who have lower time to productivity and lower cost of acquisition.
They are also sources of professional knowledge for business support, especially during COVID-19, as well as possible investors who have a real interest in seeing to business success.
Moreover, they are potential customers and even brand advocates.
Enterprises who want to reap the rewards of this community should realize that the employee experience doesn’t end at the exit interview.
Digital experience in the context of an alumni network involves leveraging technology to improve interactions and better address alumni needs.
Organizations can then utilize this to promote and protect their brand. It is a means to opening up the conversation with an alumni community to drive business development, recruiting, brand advocacy, and other associated business outcomes.
To keep up with a community of ‘always-connected’ alumni, businesses must deliver best in class, relevant, consistent, and engaging interactions via their program.
Members of an alumni program both deserve and expect a consumer-grade digital experience that replicates their own everyday technology. Companies have to go above and beyond to please and provide an intelligent platform that benefits all stakeholders.
By bringing former employees onto the platform, you are asking them to engage or take action in some way. In return, the platform needs to give back and earn their engagement. It needs to demonstrate that it knows and understands each person.
The good news is that alumni leave a trail of breadcrumbs over the internet, making this easy to oblige. This is further enhanced when they opt to join the alumni platform, bringing along their HR information.
Tips To Serve The Digital Experience
Getting the best use out of technology requires a strategy. Companies need to apply a customer-centric approach to their platform to promote engagement and community.
Flexible, Proactive Communication
Providing value through a network means reaching alumni where they are. Be it on their social media profiles or mobile messaging; it’s not enough to wait for your community to contact you. Proactively deliver value on their everyday technology.
Personalized Content Delivery
Share relevant content and expertise that match their individual needs. Using insights from AI and progressive profiling, it’s important to build a unique contextual experience for each person. Jamie, an intern in New York, will have different interests to Sam, a C-level executive in Hong Kong.
Like your customers, alumni want highly targeted marketing messages. It’s time to switch to a data-driven marketing strategy, providing marketplace, event, and content suggestions relevant to their personal interests.
Build your customer service eco-system. Extend the same multi-channel customer support experience you offer clients to alumni. Mirror their preference and respond from their chosen channel to make support feel seamless, resulting in better engagement.
Seamless, Multi-Channel Experience
Technology carries across devices, across websites, across platforms, and across apps. Alumni, like customers, expect this transition to happen seamlessly.
A person browsing jobs on their mobile expects to be able to pick up where they left off when switching to their laptop and vice versa.
They may share feedback on their mobile app or ask support questions on social media networks.
For organizations, there needs to be continuity across HR systems, CRMs, ATS, social media, and so on. It is the data share resulting from the integration of these platforms that supports the meaningful experience.
Tying all of these interactions together enables companies to use their existing technology investments to deliver the right action to the right person at the right time through a single platform profile.
From Insights, Deliver Innovation
Technology insights help to deliver innovation. Providing alumni with an engaging digital experience on your program requires a strategy. And when your strategy isn’t working, you need to know this and be flexible enough to pivot and adjust.
Regularly reviewing your data and platform to understand what is working enables you to be dynamic: to change and meet the needs of your community and business. Real-time insights help you to understand how your community is engaging, and which activities and content are driving the most value.
It can also help organizations to spontaneously align alumni with relevant business objectives such as recruiting, referring a business opportunity, or sharing content on social.
An Alumni Platform To Share
An alumni platform is one of the most powerful ways to create value for organizations as well as their former employees. Taking a data-driven approach that mimics how you would treat customers online, allows enterprises to not only open up the conversation but also stay in contact with some of their most powerful assets.
At EnterpriseAlumni, we partner with our clients to help build a robust and tailored approach to connect with their alumni. Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve desired business outcomes through an engaging alumni strategy and platform.