Student enquiries: you only get one chance to make a great first impression

We live in a time of unprecedented choice. Technology has given students across the world access to vast amounts of information and education options. It has made it easier to connect with potential universities, and at the same time shortened the average attention span.

For universities, this often translates into huge volumes of prospective student enquiries, many of which don’t convert into enrolments. It’s no surprise that universities are often found talking about ‘enquiry management’ as if enquiries were something to be tamed or perhaps a necessary evil in the student recruitment function.

What’s often missing from the conversation is the student. And more importantly, the opportunity to make a good first impression through a great enquiry experience.

student feedback

‘After the conversation I had with you, I actually started considering this university more because of how cooperative and nice you are and I’m liking the options I see on the website.’

Prospective student feedback

A great enquiry experience supports conversion

Providing prospective students with a positive experience when they first enquire is powerful. The enquiry experience is a tangible expression of a university’s brand and gives students a taste of what it might feel like to study there.

Feeling warm and fuzzy isn’t the only reason to look deeper into the enquiry experience, it also makes good sense for the recruitment bottom line. Our research shows that students who enquire before applying make up 9% of offer holders but lead to 17% of enrolments.

We’ve been tracking enquiries and conversion across more than 1.2 million students, and consistently find that students who have a great enquiry experience convert from offer to enrolment at more than twice the rate of those who don’t.

The winning formula

So, what exactly needs to be done to deliver a great enquiry experience? As student engagement specialists, we’ve identified 4 key areas that drive meaningful conversion improvement.

Drawing on student behaviour data and conversion insights from over 1.2 million student journeys, it comes down to meeting student needs with:

  • Choice of enquiry channels
  • Responsiveness
  • Quality of communications
  • Proactive and timely follow-up

Learn more about what it takes to deliver a positive enquiry experience.

How does your university measure up?

It’s not always easy to know how well your university responds to enquiries from prospective students. Are you meeting the standard students expect? Or, are you potentially losing out to competitors who offer a better ‘customer’ experience?

That’s why we’ve developed the Enquiry Experience Tracker. It’s a unique annual research programme that enables universities to understand their performance compared to both the sector and the UniQuest proven standard of engagement excellence, across key enquiry channels and student types.

Learn more about the Enquiry Experience Tracker and how it can benefit your institution.