The Vermont Connection


Colleges and universities can no longer be characterized as education institutions only, as they are increasingly facing the same challenges as traditional businesses (Anctil, 2008). More specifically, students now want to be seen as customers and thus expect more value from institutions where they choose to matriculate (Halbesleben, Becker & Buckley, 2003; Woddall, Hiller & Resnick, 2012). Offering education as a commodity no longer suffices and institutions that want to remain competitive should engage with stakeholders to create meaningful experiences, which are part of the institutions’ offer (Pine & Gilmore, 1998). Many colleges and universities show increased interest in the potential of social media as way to engage with their stakeholders (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011). This article looks at what customers’ expectations on internet are and how higher education professionals can address them to offer effective customer service via social media.