Subido por Samuel Alonso Manzanares

Case Study - 1

Design and Management of services: Two universities for analyses.
Marketing management has reached the education sector later than other
fields. In this case study we will carry out a brief exposition of a bad experience
at a private university (whose name we best not remember ….) to analyse the
importance of planning the design and management, of education services.
In the practical section we will formulate questions; about the case that has
been put forth and about a service which we know much better: Málaga
We will begin with the real case, which took place in a university of unknown
Álvaro, a young man of 17, approached a private university with the
support of his family, with the aim of studying a science based degree, as the
state system appeared not to have sufficient resources and laboratories to be
considered a possible option. Private secular universities, being a relatively
young concept in Spain, do not have the image or differential positioning to allow
potential clients to make a decision based on, differential intangible aspects
generated by consolidated marketing policies. In this context, and as the ‘choice’
factor can not be simplified down to price (as each credit is practically the same
as in private universities), the final decision will be conditioned by factors which
are apparently inexplicable and uncontrollable for those responsible for marketing
at the university which is chosen/ not chosen.
Let us see how: the family of the student contact the university around the
month of May, an efficient external relations department, whose front office is a
recently inaugurated call- contact centre. This call centre is the pride and joy of
the marketing department, due to its automated process capacity, cost saving
and above all the control of information that they supply. The student first contacts
via internet, to check what the University has on offer and then after calls a free
900 number. The University takes advantage of this contact to apply a CATI
(Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview) and in the process incorporates a
large amount of information into their data base. In just a few days, the student
receives at home, ample, luxury and appealing information about the University.
After this he is sent a personalised invitation, for both him and his family, to visit
the campus and take the opportunity of accepting a promotion, consisting of
sitting the preadmission test at no cost. A follow up call, is also carried out, to
confirm the student will attend.
The family was really impressed with these steps, which also coincided
with a noteworthy publicity campaign in mass media by the aforementioned
The day they visited the University the sun was shining, inviting them to
take a tranquil stroll around the ample and well equipped University campus
facilities. Unfortunately, the positive perception changed in a matter of a few
hours. The security service ignored, in a visibly rude manner, the parents’ request
for information about which of the seven buildings they should go to (perhaps
because they drove a modest rent-a-car and had left their snazzy German estate
car at Gran Canary Airport). Murphy’s law lead them to park in front of a building
at the opposite side to admissions, meaning that due to their search for the
building (where the interview was to take place) they arrived half an hour late to
the appointment.
Throughout the corridors they asked a number of gentlemen for directions
(whose rigid attire gave them an air of being professors), which if this were the
case, must have been very occupied with science, as they said they didn’t know
where the admission tests were being carried out. One of them said to the father,
with certainty that, he was wrong, that these weren’t going to be carried out until
the next month. On arriving late to the appointment, the students’ turn to sit the
test had passed and the only apparent solution was to wait until the next turn
which was at 4pm. The father explained that their plane was leaving at 7pm, and
asked for certain guarantees that the test would finish in time. No matter, thought
the family, we will take advantage of the waiting time to get to know the facilities
and perhaps speak to a professor. Unfortunately when they finally located the
offices of the faculty in question, it was one thirty. On asking the caretaker if there
were any lecturers available to clarify queries about the curriculum, the employee
replied “I don’t think so, the air-conditioning is broken, and with this heat I’m sure
they must have all gone off to eat, I have instructions not to move from here, see
if any of the offices are open.…”
The evening interview started 20 minutes late, as the person responsible
was in a monumental traffic jam. Despite having waited more than half an hour in
the corridor and a number of people having crossed the family’s path, no one
asked if they could help them in any way.
The test, was done in the set time, however the person responsible
believed that they would have to return to confirm the results, perhaps twice more
(although they weren’t really sure about this). On getting into the car to leave,
with just enough time to get to the airport, they found an ostentatious sticker on
the windscreen which, apart from reminding them that they had parked in an area
which they shouldn’t have (they couldn’t find another one and they were running
late to the interview) the notice made it practically impossible to drive without risk
to life and limb.
Whilst they waited to board, the father rang his secretary to confirm a visit
to a church run university which, in principal, had seemed inadvisable due to the
family not being very religious.
1. Conceptual levels of the service offered for the private University studied
in the case. Identify the errors made in each level.
2. Characteristics of the service offered by the University. Indicate at least
two strategic implications and propose one action which, in your opinion,
would improve the management of the organisation (for each of the
characteristics). Justify your answer.
3. Design a servuction system for the University of Málaga’s Faculty of
Economic Sciences.
Education services
Marketing in specialised areas
Jose M.Nuñez