An exploration into student associations of communications to service quality and source credibility
The purpose of this working paper is to investigate student perceptions towards communications in relation to service quality expectations and source credibility when selecting universities. Adopting a programme of qualitative enquiry, 70 focus groups were undertaken with first year students in a large UK city – across 2013 and 2015. The focus groups explored student choice criteria, individual expectations and the search strategies of first year students when considering their choice of universities. Initial results indicate that evaluations appeared to be embedded within service quality evaluations and source credibility of the data source – in particular respondent evaluation in assessing the communication appear significant when making their decisions. Notable findings across the years highlight key variation across the years – in particular the transition from UCAS and unistats to, more recently, the use of social media. It is clear from the findings how the use of web platforms and social media must be used as a complementary part of official university disclosure to communicate university experiences or facilities – as this platform is accessible across all student groups.
Citation : Gill, D., Omar, S. and Cook, J. (2016) An exploration into student associations of communications to service quality and source credibility. Academy of Marketing Annual Conference & Doctoral Colloquium. Radical Marketing Conference. 4 - 7 July 2016