Calibration of Stakeholder Influence in the UK Higher Education Sector
Calibration of Stakeholder Influence is one of the key ingredients for higher education in the UK. Stakeholders are the people that form part of the wider network of people who can potentially make a purchase of a product or service from your company. They are also the people you should talk to and work with at higher education level. So, how do you get hold of and hold the attention of stakeholder groups?
First things first. If you want to do well at educating the public and impressing your clients, you must first have good communication skills. Communicating with and engaging with clients is not just a case of a company offering something of value. In order to communicate properly, people need to be able to understand what your company is trying to say. You need to be clear about what your message is and why people should care about it. Without a clear call to action and compelling reasons to act, the general public will be hard-pressed to really consider your company seriously.
Good communication skills are important in the UK higher education sector. Good communication skills allow you to not only communicate clearly with your clients, but to also show that you are listening to your clients and taking notice of their needs. This will help you build trust and loyalty with your customers. It will also help you build relationships within the industry. This means not only building relationships with clients and your direct suppliers, but within the industry as a whole.
Your own personal brand and reputation will be built up through your consistent engagement with your clients and the industry as a whole. Your own relationships within the industry are what give you the ability to raise and influence stakeholder opinions and actions. Your ability to interact with your peers, your professional contacts and the broader membership of the industry will also impact positively on your credibility and influence. These relationships will in turn affect the perception of your brand. This perception will ultimately have an effect on your bottom line profits.
The UK higher education sector is a customer-based market. You must appeal to the customer in order to be successful. The industry is highly specialized and the need for training and knowledge is a requirement. You must therefore ensure that you are delivering services and content that the customer needs.
If you are delivering more for less and charging more for the same services then you are simply providing a sub-par product or service. Conversely, if you are delivering more for less and providing a superior product or service then you are certainly overachieving your customers’ needs and expectations. It is not uncommon for organizations to try and save money wherever possible. Unfortunately, this invariably leads to short-changing the customer by compromising on the quality of the products or services delivered.
The UK higher education sector is a large and competitive market. You must therefore take steps to ensure that you are competitive in your pricing strategy and your marketing strategy. This will translate into ensuring that you have a unique positioning within the marketplace. One way in which you can position yourself is through the employment of leverage; that is, you can use the pricing and marketing to attract and retain the key stakeholders in your sector. For example, if you focus on attracting students through student placements you will be positioning yourself as a key player within the sector.
In conclusion, as a business owner you need to become more focussed on your core business objectives. At a GlaziersBrief article we saw how you can become more focussed through developing strategic alliances with other companies. You should consider this when working with companies who share a similar business objective as you. This will help position you as a disruption in the industry.