How customer experience helps bring Open Universities Australia’s brand promise to life
Open Universities Australia (OUA) helps students explore hundreds of online degrees and thousands of subjects from Australian universities. As an impartial destination the organisation is "Here to guide you there." It’s a powerful brand promise – and it is what drives everyone at the education marketplace, with a primary focus to deliver a customer experience (CX) that lives up to customer expectations.
"If your CX delivery doesn't match the expectations you have set, then you are creating unhappy customers," explains Robert Sorensen, Experience Management Strategist at Open Universities Australia. It’s a point demonstrated by Qualtrics research too, with more than half of Australians (54%) saying they’ve switched brands when customer and brand experience fail to align.
While a mismatch between CX and brand has commercial implications, the impact can be more pronounced in the higher education sector. Instead of switching to another provider, a bad experience could result in someone not accessing the education choice that is right for them to help achieve their career and overall development goals.
To help support positive CX delivery, OUA selected Qualtrics to enable a continuous improvement of how the organisation can best meet the evolving and diverse needs of its customers. The ongoing commitment to CX has seen OUA continue to increase net promoter and overall satisfaction scores while also reducing customer effort - outcomes that are likely delivering better learning experiences for students.
Meeting the needs of ever evolving customers
OUA's experience transformation with Qualtrics is a key milestone in the company’s journey of living its values as a customer-centric organisation.
“It’s our role to help learners make the right choice for them through impartial guidance,” explains Sorensen. “However, like all companies, we’re seeing customer needs and expectations change faster than ever before.”
“Feedback shows us that our customer base is evolving, and with ever expanding choice they are seeking ongoing guidance in their learning journey. Ongoing customer insights enable us to understand what’s important to our customers, and then deliver on their needs”
Continually delivering better CX at scale
With tens of thousands of customer interactions month to month, Qualtrics makes it easier for the OUA team to care and act, continually finding ways to improve experience at scale. Using the platform's pre-built templates and workflows, OUA can ask customers for feedback after every engagement. These customer responses – structured and unstructured – are automatically routed to teams to action if required. Simultaneously, responses are instantly added to reports used by decision makers.
“We’ve put in place deliberate processes and workflows around how we use and respond to customer feedback,” says Sorensen. “On a micro level, these allow us to rapidly close the loop with customers in an efficient timeframe. And on a macro level, regular insight into customer needs allows us to constantly refine and improve.”
“We periodically do a deep dive into these actionable insights. This helps us understand how we are tracking and uncover new ways to improve how we meet the needs of our customers.”
Creating strong connections to customers
Having frequent, meaningful, and actionable insights on customer experience enables the whole organisation to feel connected to the customer, not only customer facing teams. “When you start measuring CX and deliver valuable insight, organisations transform towards the customer. Our people can see the tangible impact we are making on people’s lives, which strengthens connection to our purpose and drives positive momentum,” says Sorensen.
OUA has been able to successfully use Qualtrics because the software has been easy to use across the organisation. The technology’s functionality and pre-built configurations have helped team members understand and unlock value, while visual dashboards help highlight to leaders what’s happening in real time.
“Qualtrics has given us the ability to learn as we go. The software makes it easy for our team to care and act, and the templates and capabilities help you get to where you want to go faster,” adds Sorensen.
OUA continues to focus on finding more ways to help guide its customers. Once again, customer feedback and insights are key to this.
“We seek to have ongoing conversations with our customers, rather than solely engaging in a single moment in time. This helps to proactively address customer needs, and respond in meaningful ways to help guide them to where they want to go,” concludes Sorensen.
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