Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

Investigate for FACTS - 7/12/22


Sometimes the issues that we deal with don’t have an immediate resolution.  There’s unknown information and conflicting stories.  Many individuals are involved, or possibly whoever is involved is not available.  You have to investigate. For situations where you have to be clear on what occurred, make sure you’re gathering all Read more

Become a Great Teacher - 7/5/22


Are you one of those people who really liked school?  School is always made more enjoyable by great teachers and professors. Do you love sports?  Many coaches in football and basketball, in hockey and baseball view themselves as teachers…teaching the game they love to their team. True leadership is about growing Read more

Don’t Assume Their Motivation - 6/28/22


The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time. At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader Read more

It’s Not Always About the Outcome - 6/21/22


We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.” But all those great Read more

Ask: What is your goal? - 6/14/22


Through these Tips, we’ve shared our technique about how to meet the customer’s need right the first time.  It’s a conversation – a give and take with the customer where you hone in on what their true need or concern is, seeking more clarity to more quickly get to Read more

Make it Sincerely Yours - 6/7/22


I’d like to hear more.  I’m sorry about the situation.  Resolving your issue is important to me.  We appreciate your business.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These phrases are generally well-received depending on the situation.  But we want to make sure when we’re speaking to others that 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/