Relational benefits in a higher education service context : a student's perspective
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by M Raciti, Antony Ward
Relationship marketing (RM) represents a possible marketing strategy for regional, new universities in Australia. Universities have been interested in student retention for many reasons other than marketing. However, now faced with increased domestic competition and the adoption of a student customer focus, the need to stem student attrition has become more pronounced. RM represents a possible strategy for regional, new universities, as the key outcome of RM is the retention of current customers. An important aspect of RM is that relationships are mutually beneficial to both the customer and the organisation. There exists little literature on the benefits of RM to the customer, however, in order for RM strategies to be effective, customers must also perceive there to be a benefit from participating in a relationship. This paper is concerned with the relational benefits perceived by first year students participating in relationships with their lecturers/tutors at regional, new universities in Australia. The findings of an exploratory study and subsequent questionnaire survey identified three categories of relational benefits. This study found that learning environment benefits were the most important category of relational benefits perceived by first year students at regional, new universities, followed by motivation benefits and then assessment confidence benefits.