Education as a product offering is not like the usual product we know. There’s no most often brand, and there is almost no ‘repeat purchase’. How do you then get a gauge on changing trends and demands? The challenge for a well known institution of higher learning is to have a ‘finger-on-the-pulse’ on sentiments, whether it’s about the learning experience or the supporting facilities – we were therefore tasked with helping them find out what are the perceptions of current customers (students) from the various campus locations towards the school, and in doing so identify needs, gaps and opportunities.
Over 20,000 students were polled through an online platform. With participation being encouraged by the school, we managed to measure the extent of current perceptions and satisfaction towards the various aspects of the school the students interacted with. By doing this, we were able to classify which areas did well and what required focus. The next step was then to measure the micro-components of each macro-areas that we had pre-determined up front, which gave us a deeper understanding of what’s doing well and what’s going wrong.
We found that while teaching staff and academic services (e.g. library, etc) appear as a key drivers of student satisfaction, there are other differing needs that emerged. With our framework, we were able to tweak our recommended actions based on what each group was looking for which allowed for some customization by the school in a bid to give the best possible learning experience, e.g. one group in particular valued the social aspects of education just as strongly as the academic side of things.