When it comes to universities promoting themselves in the eyes of prospective students, the university becomes a product in the education market, hoping to be chosen by this market’s consumers.
So, what do consumers typically do before they purchase a product?
They research it, they read reviews to see what others think, and they evaluate the product’s upsides in comparison to its inevitable downsides. It is here, at the critical stage of reading reviews, that EDUopinions comes in.
Personally, when I was applying to the university I attended, I was desperate to have it as a “brand” on my record, on my CV, and, in typical student fashion, on my class hoodies. What is more, if I consider universities as brands, they must be marketed as this, and brands acquire good names through word of mouth, through good experiences people hear from other people, and through genuine and realistic accounts – many of which are found online; and now specifically in the world of third level education, on the EDUopinions site.
Would you buy any electronic device without reading others thoughts first?
So, why would you not want to know other people’s opinions on where you may spend four formative years of your life? People want to know the real, ground-level experiences of those who have been in the same position as them, and as students applying to universities, they will not get these fully-rounded accounts from those who promote the university, but rather those who are or recently were on exactly the same level as themselves.
Listening to student’s non-positive opinions shows prospective students the belief the university places in their student body, and how much they value, support, and appreciate them.
As university staff, you will want students to leave reviews because they will not be 100% filled with positive points. The comments made will inevitably contain some downsides, and these honest opinions serve to demonstrate and promote the transparency of the institution, as potential students (like consumers) know that ‘nothing is perfect.’ The negative reviews are unavoidable, so you might as well take them on board and use them to work on improving the university. In addition, listening to student’s non-positive opinions shows prospective students the belief the university places in their student body, and how much they value, support, and appreciate them.
As a TripAdvisor study found, ‘the more engaged the property, the more likely travellers are to book.’
EDUopinions has found that institutions who respond to reviews most are the ones that receive more organic traffic to their EDUopinions listing – this includes responses to negative reviews too, which are perhaps more important to reply to. As a TripAdvisor study found, ‘the more engaged the property, the more likely travellers are to book.’ This action puts a personal face and adds a personal feel to often massive institutions that can seem cold and closed off to those who are not a part of the community. And do not worry too much about those who may leave over-the-top negative reviews, as TripAdvisor found that ‘64% [of consumers] tended to ignore extreme comments when reading reviews.’
For most of the university student demographics, they are at an age where everything is changing around them, in fact, many will be experiencing significant change for the first time in their life. Naturally, then, they will want to know what other people in their shoes, or a few years ahead of them, have gone through, and what their life is like. It is human nature to want to know the opinions of other people on the things you go – or about to – go through.
Why not embed an EDUopinions link in one of your university’s emails for your students?
It is free, easy, and creates no physical waste (preventing, for example, leaflets ending up littered around campus). Or, like guests after their stay at a hotel, why not add an EDUopinions link in every email sent to students with details of their graduation? These graduates are the best source for full, well-rounded reviews. They are also likely at a very high level of satisfaction with the university at this point in time, as they are about to be awarded a degree and probably have a nice day out with their family where they are celebrated by their alma mater.
In a world where Higher Education is a necessity in the lives of people, EDUopinions is becoming the leading community, where students can find their ideal studies.