Every Student Counts: Using Customer Relationship Management to Strengthen
Terry D. Alkire, Natalie A. Lupton, Robert A. Lupton

A strategic opportunity often overlooked by universities is the impact of customer relationship management (CRM) on student retention. The unpopular trend for state legislators to shift funding support for higher education to tuition-driven models means student retention rates are of critical importance. This study examines the impact of three relationship development based CRM concepts on student retention: needs satisfaction, brand loyalty and emotional loyalty. A literature review is provided with discussion of methodology, survey design, and findings. Two of three hypotheses tested were statistically significant at p< 0.05.Hypothesis one indicated the likelihood of students remaining and completing their program increases when the student’s perception of individual needs’ satisfaction is higher. The second hypothesis demonstrated the likelihood of students remaining with their university and completing their degree is higher when the student’s perception of brand loyalty is higher. The article concludes with recommendations for marketing educators.

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