Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 6

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

Student Success – Align to Achieve

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

It’s a core management belief – if you want to change the behaviors of employees, you need to reward and recognize those desired behaviors, because some people are motivated by the carrot, by the incentive.

Benedictine University is applying that philosophy to its customers – namely, its students. In the article Benedictine University Announces Student Success Award, one the approaches that Benedictine is taking to improve Student Success is highlighted. The University has enacted a program for “students in good standing (a GPA of 3.0 or higher) who are on track to complete their online degree within a designated period of time.” Essentially, if they meet the criteria, the University may offer awards that defray from $1,000-$10,000 of their remaining tuition.

If you read many of the studies and best practices about Student Success, particularly in community colleges, the vast majority are internally focused on programmatic, orientation-based, or advising-related initiatives. But if we view Student Success as a partnership between the college and the student, community colleges also need to look about how they can affect student behaviors, how they can motivate the students to Succeed, how they can align student “incentives” with organizational goals.

When you’re planning your Student Success strategy, ask yourself “How can I motivate the students to succeed?”

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

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


Help Drivers be Students

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

The quality of the experience of a school student is based purely on their relationship with their teacher, right? The quality of the customer service at a hotel is based purely on their interaction with staff at the registration desk, correct? The season ticket holder’s perception of a sports club’s fan relations is based purely on their relationship with their sales representative, right?

I hope you didn’t agree with these statements, because so much about a customer’s perception of how they’re treated and valued is determined by people other than these key employees.

In the article New chief of Broward school buses: ‘We can fix things’, the new transportation director highlights one of her four key areas of focus being customer service improvements, particularly by training bus drivers. Now my company has actually trained bus drivers for a large school system as well, and there are reasons why this is done – whether drivers are with a student for 10 minutes one morning a week or for 45 minutes each way 5 times per week, a great deal of the student’s opinion (as well as their parents’ opinions) about their school experience can be impacted by these drives to/from school.

Granted, the experience in that classroom is hugely important, but many issues, relationships, discussions, delays, and general topics that require customer service skills occur on the bus.

The big point to take away is that we cannot assume that only one person impacts the customer’s opinion, and others are not relevant. We can’t assume that if an employee has a technical skill, then their communication and customer service skills are irrelevant.

Look at your organization through the customer’s eyes, and look at all of the touch points they have with individuals in positions not named “customer service” or “fan relations” or “reception.” See the impact that these others have on customer perceptions, and ensure they have the customer service skills to succeed.

Make students of your employees by teaching them customer service skills, techniques, and principles.

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/


What’s the Score?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

When you’re competing with others, it’s easier to know if you’re winning if you’re keeping score. Seem obvious? When you’re playing an individual sport (like golf), it’s easier to know if you’re doing well if you have a goal. Also obvious?

Well here’s something that might not be as obvious. What is your key measure of success in customer service? How do you know (in measureable terms) if you’re winning, if you’re doing well?

In the article California community college students losing ground, the author notes “Statewide, 49.2 percent of the students who enrolled in 2006 to earn a certificate or transfer to a 4-year college did so within six years, compared with 52.3 percent of those who started college in 2002. Completion rates for black and Latino students were below 40 percent.

Bay Area schools reflected the statewide trends, with completion rates sliding at about two-thirds of the colleges.

Essentially, the State of California has defined “winning” for community colleges as the percentage of “students who enroll and earn a certificate or transfer to a 4-year college within years.” They monitor performance via trends and stratify it by district, ethnicity, etc.

To improve performance, you need a goal. You need a target. You need something measureable, but then you need to understand the true drivers of that measure – the causes to the effect. Remember that metrics like these do not point out what problems exist; they point out the symptoms of problems, but then the community colleges must take the next step to identify root causes.

Customer Service is not a soft science, and Student Success is not an altruistic goal. Student Success has financial impact, economic development impact, documented business and social impact. Make it more tangible by creating the scorecards that measure success as real-time as possible at both the organizational and individual student level.

Define “winning.”