Norton | Norris

Simplifying Admissions with PhotonX Powered Pre-Enrollment Advising Tech

Norton | Norris, established in 1999 by Vince Norton and Jean Norris, is an award winning admissions training and marketing firm. It offers services such as mystery shopping, EnrollMatch® Admissions Training, and My Guidance Coach® software. Specializing in Tactical Enrollment Management®, the company aims to enhance measurable outcomes for proprietary and not-for-profit institutions. ​

  • Client

    Norton Norris Inc
  • Platform

    Web & Mobile
  • Duration

    Initial Launch + 2 yrs Evolution
  • Industry

  • Services

    • Product Strategy
    • User Research
    • UX Design
    • UI Design
    • Web App Development
    • Mobile App Development

MyGuidance Coach (MGC), Automating the Advising Experience and Improving Conversion Rates

MGC represents a breakthrough in educational technology, addressing the pivotal challenge of improving the connection between prospective students and colleges. Developed for a dual audience, MGC offers a seamless, intuitive platform for students to explore their educational and career aspirations while providing colleges with unprecedented access to prospective students and actionable insights to enhance recruitment and retention.

The Challenge

Our goal was to tackle the dual challenge of inefficient college recruitment processes and the students' need for a personalized, trustworthy guidance system for educational and career planning. Educational institutions were struggling with low conversion rates and high attrition, while students desired a less intrusive, more supportive exploration process.

The Funnel Is Broken

The Solution

The MGC student journey is modeled after the proven EnrollMatch® Admissions training program and provides the ability for prospective students to experience an admissions interview/coaching session from their smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. They can explore their interests, research career options, proactively identify and resolve potential challenges, review customized school resources, complete an application, upload enrollment documents, apply for financial aid, go on a virtual tour, complete a Career Action Plan™.

An Engaging Self Serve Admission Coaching

Prospects can independently explore their interests to find their ideal college match at their own pace.

Comprehensive Resource Access

As they progress, prospects will receive tailored advice and resources to guide their decision-making.

Connecting With a Coach, On Demand

Prospects can seek extra guidance by connecting with a coach online or in person as needed.

All Prospect Info at Their Finger Tips

Coaches will access a dashboard with key details on the prospect, such as interests, career goals, and challenges, providing them with the information to assist as needed.

CRM Integration

We've developed APIs to facilitate bidirectional sync with CRMs, ensuring administrators and decision-makers access the latest information across all channels.

Initial Deployment

Over six months, we meticulously integrated the core components of EnrollMatch® into a software platform designed to benefit both prospects and schools. With more than 100 campuses joining in the initial launch phase, our journey was ambitious. Despite the iterative development and customer feedback, our initial rollout faced challenges—underscoring that creating transformative software for the sector is a big challenge.

Nonetheless, the invaluable insights gathered from our early adopters have equipped us with significant data. This feedback enabled us to refine our product further, allowing us to make adjustments that align more closely with our vision. Below are a few high-level trends we found:

Few Observations

  • 8%

    Merely 8% of the prospects engaged with the "Raise Hand" feature to interact with a live coach, attributed to an unclear comprehension of its benefits.

  • 70%

    Unexpectedly, 70% of the prospects opting to connect with a coach preferred face-to-face meetings, diverging from the tool's original intent—providing as much guidance as possible online.

  • 61%

    Completing the initial stage of the journey emerged as a significant obstacle, with 61% of prospects not advancing beyond the first step. This indicates a lack of engagement at the outset.

  • 7%

    Merely 7% of prospects finished the entire journey, likely hindered by a hesitation to share personal details, upfront, and a lack of clarity on the benefits of completing the CAP.

With the Initial Findings, We Embarked on an Extensive Research and Development Phase to Elevate MGC's Impact:

Stage-Wise Breakdown

During the user research and usability testing, we adopted a phased approach, leveraging the leads we have gathered and college partnerships. This strategy enabled us to pinpoint recurring themes and problems that illuminated the trends observed during our initial rollout. Below are the key problems we have identified and solutions we implemented to tackle those problem.

Key Problems Identified

More Engaging Experience

We totally re-designed the look and feel of the student journey. Instead of collecting lot of data upfront, we changed to a step-by-step journey where we provide value at each steps before they choose to continue.

Motivation to Continue

We have added progress trackers along the way to keep them informed about how they are doing and what they will unlock after each phase. We have also added nudge emails that reminds them how close they are to finish their journey.

Connecting With Coach

We have built a feature for prospects to connect with one of the coaches from schools to help them on demand. As the students progress through each phase of their student journey they can choose if they need further help.

Powerful Dashboard

We have identified the areas where schools can benefit from advanced data visualizations and built them as dashboards.

Stand Alone CAP App

We built a stand alone CAP App that helps students take their Milestones and Steps to do with them even after they join the school.

Prathik and his team's intelligence, heart, and passion for work played a pivotal role in developing sector-transforming software. Their project management and ability to unite diverse talents have spurred continuous innovation and growth. I unequivocally recommend PhotonX for their exceptional contribution.

Dr. Jean Norris

Managing Partner at Norton Norris, Inc

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