future students & their parents: exploring a 90% positive univesity website rating

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  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*Future Students & Their Parents: Exploring a 90% Positive University Website Rating Robert E. Johnson 2011SUNYCUAD 2011 Educational ConferenceSaratoga Springs, NYJune 8 - 10, 2011

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Major reason people go to a websiteComplete a taskBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*6 key truths about task completionPeople are impatientPeople are impatientPeople are impatientPeople are impatientPeople are impatientPeople are impatient

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • The Golden Rule5 seconds to connectBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*Customer Centric Index Survey:13 survey topics in 3 groupsInformation ArchitectureContentSocial

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Susquehanna University CCI Survey ResponsesFuture students 182 responsesParents 114 responsesBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • *Few negative votes in any category

  • *15 higher education results

  • *Content areas

  • *Social areas

  • *Information Architecture areas

  • If there is one improvement you could make to our site, what is it and why would you make it?Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • From 109 future studentsBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Selected future student commentsCan't think of anything to change, on other college sites it's difficult to find the courses but here its easy, everything is simple to find.Make the majors and minors link on the Admissions page more prominent.It would be nice to see some of the things that each of the majors does in their programs.An area on the website where current students rate & describe their experiences with Susquehanna from all aspects of the school. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • From 53 parents Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Selected parent commentsIt is the best of all the colleges we have researched for our son this year, who will be coming as a freshman in the fall.Drop-down menus make navigating the website easier.One thing that should be easier to find in all web-sites -- is the student profile of the freshman classMore details on dates and information for accepted students Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Exploring the websiteBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Starting with a Google searchAdmissions & Financial Aid is a first choice click pointSusquehanna is a selective college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and serviceBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • First impression at Admissionshttp://www.susqu.edu/admissions/default.aspBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Lower on the admissions pageBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • A mix of student storiesBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • The Susquepedia featurehttp://www.susqu.edu/Susquepedia.htmBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Clean, if long, inquiry formhttp://www.susqu.edu/admissions/21880.aspBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • My favorite inquiry formhttp://email.blueoxmailbox.com/content/28818/RequestMoreInfo.htmlBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Easy-to-scan list of majors, restrained use of top-page photoBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Individual academic major pages with consistent navigationBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Scholarships, financial aidhttp://www.susqu.edu/admissions/FinancialAid.aspBob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Wrapping upStrong websites have marketing impact on future students and their parentsEasy access to consistent academic program informationContent is clearly presented, with high use of bullet points and sub-headsLanguage is for normal human beingsIf asked, visitors suggest improvements

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • Special thanks toPaul M. Novack, Jr.Director of Web CommunicationsSusquehanna University novack@susqu.edu

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

  • *Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*Who is Bob Johnson, Ph.D.?www.bobjohnsonconsulting.comWebsite research partner w/Gerry McGovern at Customer Carewords, LtdYour Higher Education Marketing Newsletter 4,100 subscribers@highedmarketing 3,600 Twitter followersHigher Education Marketing blogSymposium for the Marketing of Higher Education chair, 1994 to 2003Ph.D. UMass Amherst political science

  • Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC*Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com Customer Carewords Website Research www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com

    Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

    *Social Factors:

    Contact: Can you be easily contacted is it obvious to your customers how they can do this? Difficulty in contacting a person is one of the biggest irritations customers have with websites.

    Participation: Participation is the essence of the Web. Customers dont simply want to be talked to. They also want to talk back, join discussions.

    Open: On the Web, customers are saying: Give us the facts, quick. They dont want spin, and they dont want vital information hidden from them. They expect transparency.

    Recommendations: Customers love to compare, rate and review. They like to read about what other customers think. They want objective advice to help them make the right decision.

    **What do your customers really care about?Through 12 years of research and work on the best websites and intranets we have identified the qualities that make a site work for customers. The Customer Centric Index gets your customers to rate your site against 13 critical customer-centric factors, grouped into three major categories:-

    Content Factors:

    Accurate: Accurate content is the foundation upon which all quality websites should be built. Send customers to the wrong place, give them the wrong information and they wont come back to your site

    Up-to-date: If your website is not up to date then you will waste your customers time. Waste their time and they wont come back.

    Complete: Leave your customers hanging at the end of a process, leave out the last vital link, forget to add the full address theyll go somewhere else.

    Language: If you use jargon you alienate your customers. Expect your customers to adapt to your language to describe their needs? Forget it. On the web it must be the customers language

    `Your customers arent web insiders they dont use language like site architecture or terms like navigation. Getting them to rate your site with regard to these critical factors means using language they understand. In the Customer Centric Index (CCI) online poll, customers are presented with a list of 26 commonly understood phrases like Plain language. For each positive phrase there is also a negative phase (In this instance Full of jargon, corporate speak is the negative phrase).

    **Search: For many customers, search is the first step in their task. If your search doesnt deliver a quality result in the first three results, then many people will simply hit the Back button.

    Navigation: Links are the building blocks of all websites. The clarity of your menus and links will have a major impact on the ability of your customers to quickly and easily complete tasks.

    Layout: Customers hate cluttered layouts. It makes it harder to read and find things. Do your customers think you have a simple layout?

    Visual appeal: Does your design make your customers feel comfortable and at ease? Do they find your website; appealing, or do they find it off-putting and alienating?

    Speed: Can your customers do things quickly on your website? Speed is of the essence on the Web. Its about fast in, fast out. Everyone is in a hurry.

    *

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