Students sent on undercover mission to test customer service

Students sent on undercover mission to test customer service

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Today (Wednesday, May 3), King’s College Centre, at 6.30pm – see details below

Business students at the University of Aberdeen went on an undercover mission recently to help develop the quality of customer service at a prominent North-east business.

The initiative was part of a market research project set up between the University’s Business School and Langstane Housing Association to gather useful data on Langstane’s customer service techniques. The MBA students on the Research for Business course were set the challenge of conducting a Mystery Shopping Exercise where they undertook the role of market researchers tasked with providing a professional research service.

The students posed as current or prospective tenants when contacting Langstane staff with queries. The students, who worked in teams, were then required to make formal presentations of their findings. The top three groups selected will present to representatives from the housing charity and the University’s Business School at an evening reception tonight (Wednesday, May 3) in King’s College Centre, at 6.00pm.

Susan Stokeld, Course Co-ordinator for Research for Business, and Dr Jane Farmer, Senior Lecturer in Management Studies, teamed up with Langstane for the project. Susan said: “The market research carried out by the MBA students assessed current levels of service and quality of service to customers of Langstane Housing Association.

“The findings of our students will provide valuable results to inform future improvements to Langstane’s Customer Service.”

After the presentations representatives from Langstane including Kevin Hutchins, Convenor of the Tenants Sub Committee Chief Executive Alan Grant, will present cash prizes of £150, £100 and £50 for first, second and third place respectively. In addition, Langstane will present a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ to the staff and students of the MBA and Business School.

“We are delighted to have joined forces with Langstane Housing Association for this educational market research project which is both beneficial for our students and for the management team at Langstane,” said Susan.

“This exercise contributes to some coursework for the students so it’s not only a very worthwhile initiative but it’s a project that has been highly enjoyable for the students.”

Lynn Cargill, Director of Customer Services at Langstane, said: “Langstane is committed to the development of mutually productive partnerships with those working within the fields of Education and Employment, which in turn better equip us to engage more effectively with the wider Community.

“The standard of the research undertaken by this years MBA students has been impressive and will help shape our future service delivery.

“We look forward to the possibility of more further partnership working with the University's Business School.”

Further information on any of the MBA (Master of Business Administration) courses offered at the University of Aberdeen is available by calling (01224) 273235 or email: gbs@abdn.ac.uk or log on to: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/business/smartthinking/mba/about.htm

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