This paper introduces Dialectical Enquiry (DI) as a research method used in the study of customer /student experience and its management (CEM) in not for profit as higher education. The (DI) method is applied to senders, receivers of the customer experience across six English universities were staff, and students were interviewed to gather real world data using an imposed dialectical structure and analysis. By conducting sixty interviews from the actors involved in the sending and receiving of customer experience an extensive data base was developed using NVivo 8, note taking and collection of communication materials. Hence, the enquiry was grounded in interviewing actors and their real experiences (the phenomena) from which data was analysed to create scripts, themes and eventually three models of not for profit CEM.
Some Seven for profit models of CEM were analysed and compared to expose current assumptions, and do they fit in a not for profit setting. It was found the motives and objectives for profit CEM centers on revenues and profits and lifetime value were the customer is manipulated to stay loyal to the organization. Whereas, not for profit CEM motives and objectives at universities was to use CEM as a communication and support tool that is used to inform students on secondary services(supports) available versus the key service of a higher education. The models developed through (DI) reveal the truths and variation required for CEM to be successful in a not for profit environment such as a university.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/james_seligman/4/