How do you create a perfect customer experience?


Delivering an institution-wide customer experience strategy for Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University wanted to make things better

Specifically, the University wanted to deliver a truly excellent experience to current and future students, from the moment they met them, through to being an engaged member of their alumni community.

To do this, Oxford Brookes needed to understand their customers. What were their motivations, needs and challenges? What were their expectations? And how well were those expectations being met?

Big questions like these needed some big data. And luckily, we love data.

We mixed things up a bit

One kind of research was never going to get the job done, so we used a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including surveys, focus groups and statistical data modelling.

We mapped things out

Taking our findings (and there were a lot of them) we distilled it all into 96 propensity-based segments with detailed demographic profiles, and 15 distinct audience personas with customer journey maps that spanned up to eight years. The journey maps identified the moments that mattered to their customers and highlighted where Oxford Brookes needed to redesign experiences.

And we changed a few mindsets

To embed and activate our findings, we ran a series of collaborative sessions with over 200 internal stakeholders from across the University. This enabled us to introduce a customer-centric mindset to academic and professional staff, and produce a customer experience strategy for Oxford Brookes.

We love it when a plan comes together

The customer experience strategy we shaped has been embraced at all levels. Oxford Brookes now has a clear direction, and a prioritised action plan to improve their customer experience over the coming years.

We’re also using the insight to make immediate and telling enhancements to their marketing and recruitment campaign activity – from who we target to how we create content that will really get results.

The final world…

…should come from our client. So here are the thoughts of Suzy Jenner, Oxford Brookes’ Director of Marketing and Communications.

Delivering an excellent customer experience really matters. And we needed a partner to help ensure customers were the central focus of every individual across the University. SMRS took this critical and comprehensive brief and implemented a clear and methodical approach to help us understand our audience, our current position and what we needed to do to make it better for our customers.

The team at SMRS have been a pleasure to work with, and their leadership, creativity and approach has been invaluable. The findings have already started to make a difference and we’re continuing to work with SMRS to keep advancing our position.”