International agents are typically managed by reviewing the quantity and quality of their student applications, offers, acceptances and enrolments to asses their contribution to the institution versus other agents.
While this traditional approach does enable agents to be stack-ranked, a useful exercise when deciding who to invest time and money with. It doesn't provide any insight into how or why the agents are delivering the numbers they deliver.
Traditional performance data can’t tell you why applications weren’t higher, they can't help identify what activity you need to focus on to improve the performance of an agent or what activity would improve the prospective student experience.
To improve the agent's performance you need to understand how they are representing your institution versus your competitors, so you can define your relative strengths and weaknesses and identify what actions would improve the level of agent recommendation and the prospective student experience.
For example; an agent may be sending through 50 applications, who all receive an offer, but only achieving 5 acceptances. Why don't they send through more applications? Why is the offer conversion so low? Unfortunately, traditional performance data can't answer these questions for you and therefore can't help you understand what actions to take to improve your performance with that agent.
However, a new International Agent Mystery shopping research service can help you understand what agents in different markets discuss with your prospective students.
Not only does International Agent Mystery Shopping enable you to benchmark agent recommendation for your institution versus your competitors. But it also helps you identify WHY your agents aren’t recommending you and what you can do about it, answering 5 key questions to help you develop more impactful activity;
How does your level of agent recommendation vary by agent, country, and course?
Is your proposition fully represented by your agents to prospective students?
What are the key decision-making criteria agents talk to students about in each market?
Why are other institutions being recommended by your agents ahead of your institution?
Are agents who attended your familiarisation tour representing the key messages to students?
Because when you know which issues the agents and students care about the most, how your institution is perceived and how supportive your agents are, you can identify which activities would engage agents and students in why you are a better choice than your competitors.
So before you reinvest in last year's activity again, it would be worthwhile to understand which activity would improve your agent recommendation in each market. That way you can identify which activities will improve your agent recommendation and with it your applications.
With global coverage, tailor-made questionnaires and a 6 week turnaround time, International Agent Mystery Shopping is the leading research tool to improve your engagement with your agent network, the ROI of your recruitment activity and your student experience.
At MacMorgan we help institutions develop a student-centered approach to growth, if you'd like to find out more about our unique approach, please click here for more information.
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