Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 15

When You Can’t Say “Yes to the Address” - 2/7/23


I was interviewing a frontline staff person for one of our local government clients recently as part of our CSS Training Development Process.  They described their customers and the difficult situations that they face, their tougher conversations with customers. This individual supports local events, so there’s a lot of planning involved.  Read more

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Retention – They’re Finally Getting It

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

If you would have spoken with 10 administrators 10 years ago in the world of higher education – from community colleges to universities – you could have easily spoken for 2 hours about their priorities without student retention ever being discussed.

My, how times have changed.

It seems that more and more often, retention is discussed whenever goal-setting for enrollment is the topic.  Retention rates are part of the performance dashboards.  Retention strategies are developed with some similar planning focus to marketing strategies.

And why is there all of this focus on retention?  Because these institutional leaders – just like smart businesspeople – understand that retention means dollars.  Retention means less effort in recruitment.  Retention means less hassle in dealing with student complaints and turnover.  Retention means less change to address.  Retention means a faster path to success.

Not all educational institutions get it, however, when it comes to retention.  An organization that truly gets it understands that successful retention strategies require a great deal of research with current students on retention drivers, likelihood to stay, preferences, and satisfaction levels.  Research is required on former students to determine the true loss reasons for controllable exits.  Strategies need to have a component to look at the relationship-building structures and processes which need to be put into place to develop relationships with students and to quickly identify students at-risk of leaving.

Strategies need to be created to address internal cultural issues and priorities that currently run counter to the goal of retention.  And measurement strategies need to be adopted to ensure that issues and solutions are identified early enough to be addressed.

An education-based retention strategy needs to have the concerted effort and focus that balances internal culture with external relationship building, where all the key impact drivers of retention are measured.

Do you have a truly comprehensive retention strategy?

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/


Understanding the “Community” Aspect of Community College

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

When most people think of college, they think of going to an institution to learn. They think of the classes and the schoolbooks. They think of teachers and the classroom environment. In the world of community colleges, life is no different. However, when you think of the term “community college,” at some point we need to focus on the word “community.”

The word “community” is important because the community college typically supports a relatively small geographic region. It typically supports a population of people in close proximity.  What is said about the college, what is believed about the college can be transmitted from person to person very quickly in a community.  And so much of the success of community colleges is the success (or lack thereof) of that word-of-mouth – the conversation that takes place between family members and friends and co-workers about what experiences are like at a community college.

And that word-of-mouth is important.  It’s important because it helps to either raise the profile in a positive way such that people are drawn to the college, or it can bring down the general perception of the college such that individuals are unwilling to even give the college a chance.  And the perception that led to that word-of-mouth is often a perception in the mind of existing students who potentially could drop out or come back for additional courses. The perception is in the mind of potentially qualified employees who are considering where to work. If they hear great things, then they might apply for a job. If they hear awful word-of-mouth, then they may go elsewhere. So the perception that the community has of the community college can impact volumes, revenues, retention rates, and the ability to acquire and retain highly qualified employees.

Community colleges need to make sure they understand the drivers of the perception that others have of the institution, they need to understand how to develop relationships with the community, they need to understand how to create a culture of responsiveness and customer service, and they need to make sure that they are measuring this perception and acting on trends over time.

Make sure that the community has a positive perception of your organization.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/


With Customer Service in the Education Industry, Perception is Reality

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Our company has conducted literally thousands of mystery shops in the Education industry, everything from an elementary school to a four year university. And one thing we have noticed consistently is that when it comes to customer service in Education, perception is reality.

When you don’t respond to e-mails in Education, they perceive you’re non-responsive. When customers or parents or students are forced to wait long periods of time without having the wait acknowledged, they perceive that they are not important to you. When the customer has to complete the same information on multiple forms, they feel you’re inefficient. When they leave you a voice mail, and you don’t respond two or three days later, they feel like you don’t care.

Maybe you are organized, maybe you do care, maybe you are responsive, maybe you are organized.  But from the customer’s perspective, you’re not.  And if the customer – whether that be a student or parent or family member or even an internal customer or co-worker – perceives something, then to them it is a reality. And when those people are making decisions about whether to recommend you or not, they are making the decision based on their perception.

When they’re making a decision about whether to talk bad about your organization or you personally in front of others or whether to talk positively, they are making that decision based on their perceptions. When they are recommending you to others or recommending that others go elsewhere and avoid your educational institution, they are basing their recommendation on their perceptions of your organization.  And if they are deciding to attend your school or go elsewhere, if they are deciding to pay tuition or just delay some payments for a while, they are basing these decisions on how they feel about, how they perceive your organization.

For educational institutions, if you want to improve what others perceive about you, you need to be measuring it and taking it seriously.  Because in the decisions people make, it doesn’t matter what you do or what you intended to do as much as it matters what they perceive about you and your organization.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/