Case Study: Student Journey Operational Effectiveness Assessment

In a US based leading Education Services provider in the OPM sector the cost of customer acquisition reduced by > 30% (equivalent to a run rate saving of $10m pa) following the insight driven implementation of a set of recommendations that delivered the future state operating model

1. Client Benefits

  • Evidence provided to enable leadership to overcome business performance limiting long held beliefs resulting in the creation of an Actionable Plan to become World Class
  • Enhanced business case for future investment and acquisitions in a capital intensive business
  • Improved student journey simplicity and experience
  • A $10m annualized run-rate cost saving against the ‘As-Is’ scaling approach through the implementation of the recommended operating model. This transformed the customer engagement and significantly reduced the cost of student acquisition (>30% reduction)
  • The project delivered targeted outcomes to all five key stakeholders - higher education institutions (partners), students, the business and employees, and shareholders

2. Introduction to Project

  • The client, a major Education and Research Publishing company had acquired an Education Services Provider in the OPM (Online Programme Management) sector.
  • Any player in the sector capable of transforming the economics of partnership & student acquisition had the potential to deploy a game changing partnership revenue share model and/or grow profitability along with top line revenue.
  • The client was seeking to create this advantage as at the time the cost of acquiring customers was crippling the financial performance of the business
  • As a result, in the two years since the acquisition the expected financial performance had not materialised and further expansion in the sector could not be easily justified to the Board
  • The CSO and CFO needed to understand ‘what do we need to become World Class?’
  • How could the business reduce the cost of student acquisition while also improving the student engagement and experience in order to scale the business more effectively? (Such that student recruitment costs scale more slowly than both enrollment volumes & revenue)
  • What does a Future State Operating Model look like?
  • A set of evidenced based and insight driven recommendations that when implemented would deliver the new student acquisition operating model
  • Implementation roadmap

3. Solution

  • The case for change was evidenced by an outside in (market, partner and student perspective) and inside out operational effectiveness (business, colleagues and key stakeholders perspective) assessment of Recruitment and Enrollment services.
  • An implementation roadmap was developed underpinned by a business case was consisting of 9 work streams each outlined in a ‘Project Charter’ designed to deliver the Future State
  • This enabled Leadership and Senior Management to relinquish long-held beliefs centred around pre-digital dominated sales & service models and embrace an approach aligned to customer preferences across the customer journey informed by speech analytics system, and underpinned by technology in order to capture the identified productivity improvement of enrollment resources of 40%+
  • As part of the future operating model design, new customer journeys were developed
  • Centres of excellence were implemented to more effectively deliver the customer journeys and enable improved student & employee experience better aligned to their preferences

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