Universities Challenged over Customer Service
October 18, 2010
18th October 2010
In response to Lord Browne’s report into university tuition fees experts at midlands based customer service consultancy, The Customer Consultancy, are challenging the university sector to improve their customer service.
With Lord Browne of Madingley having reported on university tuition fees, Stefan Drew, director at The Customer Consultancy, has challenged universities to recognise undergraduates as customers and to differentiate themselves by improving their customer service.
Stefan Drew commented, “The best universities understand the concept of the customer but far too many act as if undergraduates are something other than customers. Stories of crowded lecture theatres, minimal hours and other horror stories abound but with fees about to spiral universities are increasingly likely to be measured, by their customers, in terms of customer service as much as the quality of their research programmes.
In the commercial world retailers such as John Lewis are recognised as providing excellent customer service but few people could name a single university known for really looking after their customers; be they undergraduates or businesses.
Universities need to go beyond rhetoric and demonstrate they provide a high level of customer service.
In a similar way to how IIP accredits against the internal HR function, Putting the Customer First, the national customer service standard, can will help universities objectively demonstrate their customer service performance. It benchmarks them against 30 standards and has been taken up by a handful of UK universities.
The process isn’t driven by huge portfolios of evidence and the advantages include improved customer loyalty, competitive differentiation, improved services and cost reduction.”
Drew continued, “Those few universities that have reached the standard have seen the benefits. We are now challenging the rest of the sector to recognise the need. It is clear that those that don’t take action of some sort could become subject to closure or merger. We believe customer service accreditation is one of the steps the sector needs to take if it is to satisfy the need for adequate provision and continue to be world class.”
Universities wishing more information about the Customer First standard can contact Stefan Drew on 01926 632794 or visit http://www.customerfirst.org/
For further details contact Stefan at Stefan Drew Associates on 07904 897929 or email Stefan@StefanDrew.com
Notes to Editors
Stefan Drew is Customer First Approved Consultant with a FHE background.
Previously Head of Press, Publicity and Marketing at the Contributions Agency Stefan directed marketing for several colleges (inc Hartpury and Warwickshire) before opening Stefan Drew Associates in 2005.
Regularly introduced by the BBC as the Marketing Magician Stefan has been heard worldwide and his website is visited by businesses and individiuals in over 100 countries.
A qualified lecturer Stefan has taught business and marketing in the FE sector in the UK and on HE courses in France.
Despite spending little on marketing the business has grown rapidly year on year; a fact Stefan puts down to implementing his own advice.
Having advised businesses on both sides of the Atlantic Stefan’s work has been published in over 50 countries and he has subscribers to his regular Top Tips Newsletter in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa.
In addition to a major focus on education Stefan has a number of business clients in the UK and overseas which leaves him well placed to help the HE sector on specifics such as employer engagement, marketing, business development and customer service.
Stefan's website can be found at www.StefanDrew.com
Stefan is a Fellow of the Institute of Business Consultants.
Stefan Drew, is based in the UK at Marton, Coventry, Warwickshire and also has offices in Exmouth, Devon.
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