Intelliworks Survey Finds European Business Schools Could Benefit From Improved Email Response


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Intelliworks Survey Finds European Business Schools Could Benefit From Improved Email Response

Opportunity to Grow Enrollment, Improve Service With Proactive Response to Prospect Inquiries

ROCKVILLE, MD–(April 7, 2009) – Prospective students applying to some European business schools may feel rejected before they’ve even had the chance to apply. In a recent study commissioned by Intelliworks, a leading provider of relationship management solutions for higher education, 63% of European business schools surveyed did not respond to email inquiries from prospective students. However, prompt email response could serve as a competitive differentiator for some institutions and help them develop better relationships with prospective students.

Conducted by RegionExpert, a Dutch IT consultancy focused on the Education and Healthcare markets, the blind survey gathered results from 204 business schools throughout continental Europe. Of the 76 institutions that responded to inquiries from prospective students:

— 51% responded to inquiries within 48 hours
— 16% responded to inquiries within 72 hours
— 33% responded to inquiries after more than 72 hours

Those that responded to email inquiries also demonstrated traits associated with establishing long-term relationships with prospects. Institutions that offered prompt responses to email inquiries were more likely to:

— Ask about the candidate’s professional goals in seeking business
— Offer additional information to the candidate about their programs;
— Promote information session or special events;
— Subscribe inquirers to their newsletters;
— Refer prospects to their recruitment staff, admissions advisors and/or
career counselors.

A recent report by The Guardian newspaper found that competition for international students in Europe is on the rise. Providing better a better response to prospect inquiries could make a difference in which country students choose.

As constituent expectations evolve, educational institutions may benefit from evaluating customer service expectations across other industries. A study conducted by call center solutions provider Genesys found that customer expectations for email response times are increasing. Their report, “Optimizing Multi-Channel Communications in Customer-Centric Organizations” found that 17% of customers expect a response to their e-mail within four hours, and a further 21% expect a response within one hour. By contrast, when the same survey was conducted in 2003, only 6% expected a response within those timeframes.

“Students researching their educational options respond more favorably to those institutions that provide optimal customer service and prompt responses to their questions,” said Todd Gibby, President and CEO of Intelliworks. “We see a real opportunity here for institutions to differentiate themselves and attract more students by being more proactive in responding to prospect inquiries.”

Survey Methodology
The Intelliworks survey was conducted by RegionExpert between December 2008 and January 2009. Its sample was comprised of 204 business schools throughout Europe, including full-time, part-time, international and executive programs, from 27 countries.

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