From Happy Sheets to Profitability: Rebuilding Strategy for Improved Performance after Recession

Business challenge: Language Training client who suffered a significant loss of revenue due to market pressure to cut prices during 2009-2010.

Our approach: we analysed the financial, customer and human resources data in an integrated manner and identified a clear opportunity to re-adjust positioning and pricing plans to reflect real competitive advantage and to restore profit margins to healthy levels. We analysed student feedback forms (“Happy Sheets”) as our client had been putting lots of effort in collecting but had not done much with them. We identified key service attributes, and their differing impact on customer segments. These valuable, concrete insights informed strategy development and positioning: it was clear that there was a close correlation between students’ perception of language skills improvement and the size of the class. This justified higher pricing for smaller teaching groups. Also in the process of reviewing the client’s data we saw ways to improve future data collection. 


Previously, our client used teachers’ ratings by students as the basis for quality. However, the Happy Sheets show no difference in how teachers were rated by large groups, small groups or even in one-to-one learning [Teacher Qns above]. They did however show significant differences by size of group when students evaluated their improvement in language usage [Improvements above]. This data indicated that smaller classes would improve student performance and perception of improvement should be the benchmark for quality of language services. Our analysis provided quality standards which could be used.

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