Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

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

Educating Educators on Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Assuming something is rarely a wise course of action. If you’re a manager, you know how to manage. If you’re in a leadership position, you have great leadership attributes. If you serve the public, you are great at customer service.

For anyone who’s known bad managers, bad leaders, or people in government who are poor in customer service, you know why those assumptions are wrong.

The new Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District understands the need to avoid those assumptions, as well. In the article Will “High-Quality Customer Service” For San Diego Principals Mean High-Quality Schools?, Cindy Marten (the new Superintendent) views her role as one of supporting principals, and part of that support involves viewing principals as customers. Marten notes “We’re providing high-quality customer service for our principals, and the reason why we’re doing that on behalf of the principals is that we expect high quality service for our principals to have with their teachers and with the community members, and you can’t deliver high-quality customer service by yourself — you’re not an island.”

In any business, before you change behaviors, you have to set expectations with staff about what are those desired behaviors. Marten is setting expectations with central office staff that they view and treat the principals and schools as customers – being proactive and responsive to needs. The thinking is two-fold: First, help the central office staff to see that they’re impacting student success by impacting the schools’ success. Second, help principals to realize that the high level of customer service provided to them by the central office should be mirrored by the principals in interactions with the parents and teachers.

The statement “you’re not an island” is one we’ve used a lot in our client conversations. Don’t feel like you have the entire weight of the world on your shoulders when addressing a customer’s needs – tap into others. But also realize that others are impacted by your actions, others are stakeholders in your encounters and decisions; so think about the downstream effects to co-workers and customers of what you do today.

When you want to change a culture to be more customer-focused, start by setting the right expectations of staff in their dealings with each other.

Did you like this post? Here are other K-12 education-related posts:

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm


Transferring to a Competitor Can Mean Success

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

There are not many industries where transferring a customer to a competitor is considered the right thing to do. There are even fewer where encouraging a customer to go to a competitor is common. And even less frequent than both of those occurrences is where one organization plans for a customer to leave them after a couple years to go to a competitor.

Now we’re not talking about a typical competitive relationship in this case; here, we’re talking about community colleges and 4-year universities. Where community colleges and universities often do compete for students, more and more universities are suggesting to some students to consider the community college route and transfer to a university after two years.

But the situation we’re describing in this post is where the community college – from Day 1 – should begin helping students to think longer-term – Where are you going after the second year here? What can we do in 2-3 years at our community college to get you positioned for an effective transfer to a 4-year university?

In the article MCCC Boasts High Student Transfer Rate, Monroe County Community College was recognized by CNNMoney for its high student transfer rate. That’s right…community colleges are considered successful if they transfer a high rate of students to a four-year institution. This Student Success-related metric is becoming more discussed and more used in determining future funding of community colleges. It’s because the educational system as a whole is being encouraged to better utilize community colleges as a lower cost way of getting (or at least) beginning a process toward a degree.

Beginning with the end in mind is not just good Covey phrasing. If community colleges want to be successful, they have to proactively work with students to create a plan to achieve that higher ed vision. They have to help individual students to understand what needs to be done in year one at the community college to graduate from the University in year four or five.

It’s not simply about getting the student admitted, getting them registered, or getting them into a program (and those processes aren’t often “simple” anyway). It’s about viewing each student as an individual, understanding their vision (or helping them create one), and – even when that vision goes beyond the college to the university – getting them on track to succeed.

Know if the Vision is the Transfer.

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s customer satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/


Should Schools Clap for Parents?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Imagine being a customer walking down an aisle in your home improvement store, and employees are lining the aisle…clapping for you! You know what I call that? Unrealistic.

Maybe you’re a customer walking down a hallway at a hotel, and employees are lining the hallway…clapping for you! You know what I call that? A reality.

That’s what happened to school employees at a Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, GA. According to the article Enota 1 of 4 honored by state for welcoming families, “A line of Ritz-Carlton employees stretched down the hotel hallway, and applause erupted as a group of public school educators walked by.” Apparently, the hotel occasionally uses the “wall of applause” to convey appreciation for its customers.

So if employees clapped for you, how would you feel (besides “awkward”)? Would you feel appreciated? Valued? Special?

The article notes that “With research showing a clear link between parent engagement and student success, education officials say it’s essential that parents are involved, and they must make sure families feel welcome at schools that can sometimes feel like fortresses.

Many schools are becoming even notorious for loading down parents with early school year paperwork, requests to follow teachers and the school on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail distribution lists, etc. Demands on parents are increasing, and much of this is for the better (to encourage more parental involvement, better communications, safety, etc.). But when you ask your “customer” to do more, at some point you need to show appreciation for that involvement, for that effort, for that reciprocal communication.

Think about what you ask of your customers, particularly if that customer has few alternatives for your services (K-12 schools and local government, for example).

Then identify ways to convey appreciation for involvement, thereby encouraging positive customer behaviors to continue.

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s parent/community satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/