Overall Satisfaction with GoldMine
We use GoldMine to support undergraduate recruitment at Houghton College. It serves as our CRM. It is mostly used in the admission office although select others are able to access components of it including coaches and academic support staff. It allows us to keep a record of our interactions with prospective students from the point of inquiry to enrollment.
- Customizable - can create new fields and tailor the experience to what you would like it to be (with a little experience, that is).
- Inexpensive - affordable for a small institution to use.
- Requires extensive on-campus support - while there is access to dedicated support-staff, for GoldMine to function well, you need staff both within the admission office as well as in IT to support it (rather than just relying on off-site support). Has it's advantages and disadvantages.
- Steep learning curve - to become proficient at getting GoldMine to do its "fancier" features, it requires a fair deal of learning. There is OK documentation on there in both in terms of official manuals as well as user-created resources.
- Clunky - requires a lot of hand-data entry (can use "third-party" tools like GoldBox but that also requires fairly advanced know-how to run successfully). Calling functionality is quirky; mass-emailing is buggy (does integrate with Constant Contact but only one-direction - can "download" data/feedback but not automatically upload email lists).
- Positive - Better customer service - if staff are appropriately trained in how to use it, it is helpful for knowing what kinds of communication someone has received and what information is still needed for a student to, say, complete an application.
- Negative - extensive hand data-entry/lag-time between inquiry and first lead generation.
Honestly, comparing CRMs is in my "to-do" list since stepping into this role. I have not yet had the chance to do a full market analysis of various CRM offerings. I'm sure it stacks up nicely in the price column based on a very quick survey I did on other CRM options.
If there were a product that would mean less on-site support/maintenance with comparable or not much more cost, I would seriously consider switching. Furthermore, going to a more mobile, paper-less application process would tip the scales in the favor of a competitor. I'd also like something that integrates web forms so that data entry is more stream-lined as is response time.
If you're on a tight budget and have dedicated staff that understand the needs of admission, then GoldMine might be a good choice. Otherwise, it feels a bit "old." Granted, that could be just the reviewer in question not being very proficient. Also, new releases require down-time and can take perhaps a half-day to a full-day of all staff being "out" of the system to make happen. For instance, there is a bug in the mass-emailing features in the 2013.1.0.298 where it crashes after sending bulk emails. Would require an update to address this.