Making the right connections


Transforming the customer journey for the University of Wolverhampton

Understanding your audience is essential for any university. When the University of Wolverhampton contacted us, they wanted to better understand their students’ needs, and see exactly where and when in their learning journeys they could support them more effectively. It was time for a change. A change that would create a solid foundation in their knowledge of their audience and forge much closer links.

Listen to the students

Before we could understand the Wolverhampton customer experience, we needed to talk to the students. Specifically, past, present and future students. We spoke to seven key audience groups from first year undergraduates to current postgraduates, undergraduate decliners and postgraduate alumni. We started with an online survey that helped us discover the motivations, interests, preferences and challenges for each student as well as the engagement touchpoints experienced

Creating an impact

From here, we created segments which helped us to define five personas. We also surveyed prospective students and influencers on both campuses at the University’s open days – something we’ve never done before but that provided us with important qualitative insights. With our personas in place, we were able to help Wolverhampton really understand the five different types of students that may join their University. From this, they could establish who they were talking to, when to talk to them and how. With this information, they were able to create more engaging and valuable comms specifically tailored to each of the groups.

A data driven approach

We also undertook a statistical analysis of past enquirer, application and enrolment data to identify which demographic variables have the highest predictive importance of an individual enrolling at Wolverhampton, using regression modelling. Four segments were identified – very high likelihood to convert, high, medium and low. Those segments were then used to identify market share and potential areas of opportunity in key postcodes/geographies, to help refine targeting, in order to achieve maximum return on investment and deliver a better student experience.

Moments that matter

Understanding the journeys and behaviours of each of our personas, enabled us to put together the final customer journey maps. We then held a variety of workshops with various departments across the University to determine which of the key touchpoints in a student’s journey needed changing to improve the experience for future audiences. Helping the University to target the right people, with the right content, at the right time.

The results

Our work with the University of Wolverhampton has helped to influence the direction of their recruitment for 2020/2021and beyond. It’s helped them improve their content creation and provide more relevant and engaging information for their audiences – thanks to the new personas. The segmentation work meant that when it came to their advertising, we were able to target a more focused demographic in specific high propensity postcode areas.

We helped the University of Wolverhampton change for the better, and even they think so:
The outcomes of our work with SMRS on our student journey has helped us to really understand our prospective students and enhance all elements of our student journey from events and activities as a prospective student, through to progression throughout their degree. It’s helped us to prioritise and focus in on what it is that really matters to our students, and how we can best meet their expectations.”
Rebecca Hollington
Director of UK Recruitment and Partnerships