Derby University have joined forces with T C Harrison Derby and Ford Motor Company to present their ideas and coursework to managers understanding current customer experiences within the business.
Second year Business Marketing students were given a brief and asked to prepare a presentation back to the TCH team. They were showed what happens when a customer drops their car off at a dealer for a service or repair, through to the work being completed, and tasked to create the ultimate aftersales experience that would engage customers, create a ‘wow’ moment, and use digital marketing as part of the experience.
Manjit Hari, Midlands District Manager for Ford Motor Company, said: “The students reacted well to a real life corporate situation. Presenting to people that you are unfamiliar with is always a challenge, but one which is commonplace in industry. None of the students showed any real signs of nerves, and all presented well.”
Whilst presenting their material, students had to think and respond quickly to challenging questions, which were posed to try and develop their recommendations.
Matt Vause, TC Harrison Group Digital Marketing Manager, said: “All the students presented their ideas and themselves very well, highlighted a number of areas we could look to improve in conjunction with Ford UK, and also gave fresh insight into how our younger customers interact with us.”
Mr Vause hopes the partnership between TC Harrison and the university will develop into a yearly event for students to offer insight and ideas in an area of the market that dealers find a challenge, at the same time as offering them a glimpse into the inner workings of a successful local company, and how they will be expected to conduct themselves in their future working roles once they graduate.
Kuldeep Banwait and Charles Hancock, Senior Lecturers in Marketing at the university, have been guiding the students through a number of experiential marketing models to challenge current practices. Mr Banwait said: “It’s a great opportunity to work with a well-established organisation in the city and expose the students to a real life brief. The experience is invaluable.”
Mark Craig, one of the students that took part in the event, said: “The module was hugely beneficial as it gave us experience working closely with a company doing a real life project. TC Harrison were very supportive throughout, giving us a lot of their time which helped move the project forward. I now feel more prepared working with employers in the future.”