In this assignment, we need to identify the company background, the seven marketing mix and provide five recommendations to make improvement for the company. We have chosen Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) Kuala Lumpur (KL) main campus for our research. Commonly, the demand for further education has been increasing over the years as well as the demand for quality service which enables the students to engage in a better study conditions. The reason we choose this university college is because it has a longer history in Malaysia and it has gone through many great challenges to transform into a reputable university college. TAR UC can be classified as people and mental stimulus processing as students have to physically enter the campus to use the facilities and the services touch the students’ mind.
2.0 BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY
Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) is a premier institution of higher learning, which provides quality and affordable tertiary education in Malaysia. TAR UC is formerly known as Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC). TARC was named after our first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Allahyarham YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
According to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (2016), TAR UC was set up in 1969. The idea of setting up this institution of higher learning was suggested by YA Bhg Tun Tan Siew Sin, the President of MCA (Malaysia Chinese Association). TAR UC currently has five branches across Malaysia in the states of Penang, Perak, Johor, Pahang and Sabah. It has been successfully upgraded to University College on 2 May 2013.
The mission and vision of TAR UC is stated in Appendix 1. The board of governors is stated in Appendix 2. TAR UC has won Platinum Status Award from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), BrandLaureate Award 2009 and the BEST CISCO Academy Award 2012 (Tunku Abdul Rahman University College 2016).
TAR UC provides tertiary education which comprises a great number of programmes ranging from different fields. It provides diploma courses, Cambridge GCE A-level, foundation programme, bachelor’s degree and postgraduate studies and research.
3.0 SERVICE PRODUCTS
3.1 CORE PRODUCT
TAR UC offers tertiary education which consists of a great number of programmes ranging from different fields. It provides diploma courses, Cambridge GCE A-level, foundation programme, bachelor’s degree and postgraduate studies and research. Generally, TAR UC has four faculties and four centres which provide different types of programmes for the students (Appendices 3 to 8).
Besides that, TAR UC has a study abroad unit. It provides opportunity for the students to study overseas. The countries that the students can visit are United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United States of America, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Students can choose to study abroad for one semester to get a dual award or stay at TAR UC to get a dual award.
3.2 FACILITATING SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICES
TAR UC provides information through the frontline employees and its own website to facilitate the customers (Appendix 9).
Students can visit to the campus to do application or do application via TAR UC’s website. Students are also required to go to the campus to send necessary documents.
Students’ bill is clearly stated at the Intranet, which students have to log in to check it by them for every semester. For new applicants, the bill will be sent by post to the applicants’ house.
There are a few methods by which the students can make their payment (Appendix 10).
3.3 ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICES
TAR UC has a department called The Department of Student Affairs which provides customized advice and counseling for the students (Appendix 11).
TAR UC provides good quality hospitality services to cater for the customers’ need (Appendix 12).
TAR UC provides safekeeping services for the students. Parking lots are provided for the students and staff who have paid for the parking stickers. Outsiders can also park their cars in the campus after getting permit from the security guard. Security guard will always patrol around the school areas to ensure safety of the students. Besides, students can rent lockers from the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) to keep their belongings. There is also closed-circuit television (CCTV) around the school areas.
The authority in TAR UC plays their roles to handle special communications, provide special request and make restitution (Appendix 13).
4.0 PLACE, TIME AND DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
The headquarter of TAR UC is situated at Kampus Utama, Jalan Genting Kelang, 53300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has five branches across Malaysia in the states of Penang, Perak, Johor, Pahang and Sabah. TAR UC is situated at a strategic location as it is located in multipurpose facilities area such as LRT station, shopping complex, residential areas, dining area and Kuala Lumpur city. Students are required to visit the campus to study and receive services. Some services are conducted remotely. Students need to visit TAR UC’s website to check for bill, do registration, and check for latest updates at Intranet or get lecture notes at CEL . The authority will also contact the students with their hotline to inform students regarding the acceptance for enrollment.
Students’ studies hour is from Monday till Saturday (8.00am to 9pm). It depends on the students’ schedule arranged by the authority. The faculties’ operation hour is from Monday till Friday (8.30am to 5.00pm). The bursary office hour is from Monday till Friday (9.00am to 4.30pm).5.0 PRICE
5.1 PRICES OF SERVICED OFFERED
Customers are charged of learning cost, is different according to the type of education (Appendix 14). TARUC has 4 levels of education provided to its customers. We have seen from the fourth level of education that has a different on the registration cost (Appendix 15).
5.2 OBJECTIVES FOR ESTABLISHING PRICES
Objective of TARUC for establishing prices is to attract more customers and increase the number of customers in TARUC which will bring it profit. In addition, also provide affordable price and also have the quality in the educational services provided to customers.
5.3 PRICING STRATEGIES
TARUC is using cost-based pricing to determine tuition fee, whether can cover the cost or not. Expenses include fix cost and variable cost. Example of fix cost and variable cost please refer to Appendix 16. For example tuition fee will charge the students refer to Appendix 17.
TARUC is using value-based pricing to give a value to the students. The value provided to the students facilities. For type of facilities refer to appendix 18.
TARUC is not using competition-based pricing in pricing strategies according to the Appendix 19.
6.1 COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES
TARUC communication objective is to create memorable images of specific companies and their brands. Second, build preference by communicating the strengths and benefits of a specific brand. Third, reduce uncertainty or perceived risk by providing useful information and advice. Fourth, teach customers how to use a service to their best advantage. Lastly, recognize and reward valued customers.
6.2 PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
TARUC is doing personal selling by front-line staff with doing education fair, and at Bangunan Tun Tan Siew Sin to provide information to student just graduate from SPM (Figure 1 and Appendix 20).
TARUC using training to train the front line staff to perform well.
TARUC introduce the university to publicize the college magazine or prospectus, and brochures (Figure 3 to 7).
TARUC use the website to deliver information to customers. Despite that, TARUC using social media such as Facebook to deliver the latest news or any activity that occurs on campus.
6.4 SALES PROMOTION
TARUC given a gift such as a recycle bag to new students join campus or on any education fair.
6.5 PUBLICITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
TAR UC doing special events like open days that welcome all students just graduate from SPM come to campus. TAR UC will posted on newspaper about this activities.
6.6 INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
Web site provided by TARUC, has a wealth of information about the subjects offer to students. The website is available in a variety of information such as background of college, financial aid, student services and so on (Appendix 21).
Refer to Figure 4 to 7.
6.7 CORPORATE DESIGN
TAR UC signage can refer to Appendix 22.
TAR UC provides bus transportation to student can refer to Figure 8.
TAR UC have a uniform with the logo at the right side of uniform and refer to Appendix 23.
7.1 FLOW CHARTING CUSTOMER SERVICE PROCESSES
Flow chart used by TARUC in providing service to customers more effectively and quickly (Appendix 24).
7.2 LEVELS OF CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION
TARUC as a provider of education services, requires a high level of customer participating in this service. It is caused by a service cannot be executed when there are no customers who participate. Among the examples that can explain this fact like, lecture classes cannot be carried out if there is not have any student in the class. In contrast to the students themselves, they will not have any knowledge or did not understand the subjects taught by lecturer when they do not attend class on the day. This can be explain the importance of customers in service provided by TARUC.
7.3 SELF-SERVICE TECHNOLOGIES
TARUC providing a website of their own, to provide information about type of service they provide to their customers and other types of information (Appendix 27). Therefore, customers do not have to deliberately go to college to get simple information. Other than the website, TARUC provide convenience for customers to get information via telephone (Appendix 25). Customers can get information by calling the nearest campus.
8.0 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
8.1 PURPOSE OF PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS
TAR UC is located in Kuala Lumpur to shape students’ experiences and their behaviors by using attention-creating medium. According to Wikipedia (2016), a campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are built such as libraries, lecture halls, hostel or canteen, and park-life settings. TAR UC has built campus environment stand out from competitors and fascinate students from target segment such as sport facilities, cyber center, canteen, faculty buildings, lecture halls, tutorial rooms, libraries, hostel, etc (Appendix 26).
The slogan of TAR UC is “Quality and Affordable Education”. Therefore TAR UC uses the environment as a significant of quality to impress and illustrate the students for image, position and differentiation (Appendix 27). The physical surroundings of TAR UC help shape appropriate feelings and reactions in students and employees. The employees show their professional and attitude for giving assistance to the students (Appendix 28).
Prevention in the service atmosphere can help reduce service frustration and smoothen the service delivery process to advance the service counter and improve productivity. Appendix 29 shows the “Take a Number” queue at Bursary to avoid crowded and unfairly treated to the students. Appendix 30 shows TAR UC provides waiting area which is facing the service counter therefore the students can be called up easily (Lovelock and Wirtz 2011).
8.2 DESIGN ELEMENTS
Faculty of Accountancy, Finance and Business (FAFB) is located in block SA East Campus. As the exterior facilities of design elements in TAR UC, Appendix 31 shows the building of FAFB and the name of department. The FAFB building is painted in brown color, which bring the meaning of comfort, inexpensive and strong friendship (Feng Shui and Beyond 2016). Block SA has the sixth floors, the directory of block SA can refer to Appendix 32. They have designed student dress code signboard with the behavioral rules ‘No entry if you are not properly attired’ (Appendix 33 and 34) and the operation hours sign (Appendix 35) at the entrance of FAFB. The parking lot is available in the campus (Appendix 36).
The general interior in TAR UC library as shown in Appendix 37, they use lensed fluorescent troffer as an ambient lighting to provide warm and comfortable atmosphere to the students. Appendix 38 shows TAR UC is using ceramic tile in library as their flooring and providing air conditioner to reduce the temperature compared to outdoor, therefore students can study in library with comfortable ambience.
As the store layout, the allocation of floor space in Bangunan Tan Siew Sin for selling, merchandise, personnel and customers are well planned. Appendix 39 shows the floor plan of ground floor in Bangunan Tan Siew Sin. The ‘Take A Number’ machine is provided to avoid high traffic flow, students cut in line and unfairly treat (Appendix 40) and students could wait for their turn at waiting area provided (Appendix 41).
TAR UC has interior displays such as dual award posters to promote their dual award universities (Appendix 42) and car road signs for giving direction to the visitors and students (Appendix 43). TAR UC provides self-service such as Public Bank automated teller machines (ATM) for students and staffs to do any financial transaction (Appendix 44). The machine is located in the middle of campus, which is Yum Yum Cafeteria. Appendix 45 shows TAR UC hired security guard for security purpose
9.1 SERVICE EMPLOYEES
Frontline is playing an important role of boundary which is linked the inside and outside of the organization. They are the representative of a service firm and also the core part of the product which is the one visible, deliver the service and determine service quality by customer. Appendix 28 shows the frontlines are delivering the service to the students. They need to foresee customers’ needs, customize the service delivery and build strong relationships with students and staffs.
Appendix 46 shows the clear organization chart in every faculty and Appendix 47 shows the organization chart of one of the faculties which is FASC. Frontstage employees are who work face-to-face with customers which is included security guard, lecturers, office staffs. Backstage employees are who work to support the frontstage employees such as all department, library staff in the office, and staff in the upstairs of Cyber Center.
The young adult who is at the age range of 20-39 is the target students of TAR UC. The majority of race of the students are Chinese and Indian whereas the minority race are Malay and other race. TAR UC targets on middle income level of student therefore the slogan of TAR UC is “Quality and Affordable Education”. The reaction created by student will affect the service quality as the widespread of social media. For example, a student make noise in the lecture class will affect the other student cannot focus in the class.
TAR UC develops a comprehensive of seven pieces of marketing mix. They provide high quality services at an affordable price for the students. Besides, they have excellent facilities to assist the students in the learning process. TAR UC also delivers their information-based system with Information Technology which is more efficient and effective. In this assignment, we learn that marketing mix is a crucial tool to operate a business and every element in the marketing mix plays their important role to ensure a good marketing strategy.