Customer service, university student segmentation and institutional commitment
by Leslie J. Wardley; Charles H. Bélanger
International Journal of Innovation and Learning (IJIL), Vol. 22, No. 4, 2017

Abstract: Currently, many institutions of higher education are trying to solve student retention problems with student customer service strategies. However, a one-size fits all approach can lead to dissatisfied students, the loss of resources and issues with brand management. Segmenting the student population and exploring institutional commitment based on the combined measurements of satisfaction, word-of-mouth recommendations and repurchase decisions are important. Thus, this paper attempts to investigate empirically: 1) what differences exist between university students-based entry points (high school vs. college), age configurations (traditional vs. non-traditional), living on-campus in university residences vs. living off-campus, and the distance between the university and the student's permanent home; 2) which variables influence these profiled students' commitment to their institution as it is a predictor of students' intention to persist. Various stringent statistical techniques were employed to assess which variables were actually influencing the institutional commitment of these specific segmented groupings (combined n = 1,094). Key results point to college transfer students' problems with transitioning to university, the impact of helicopter parenting practices, students not finding their classes intellectually stimulating and issues created by not severing ties to prior support systems, among others.

Online publication date: Mon, 16-Oct-2017

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