Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 7

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

What Community Colleges Get Right About Student Success

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Community colleges are rapidly moving in their efforts to foster Student Success. The term is defined as students getting a certificate, going to a 4-year college, etc. There are many great initiatives being undertaken by these institutions to facilitate success as well. In the article WNCC continues efforts to boost student success, the author recognizes Western Nebraska Community College for its initiatives including:

  • “Learning resource center, math and writing centers and its TRIO Program”
  • “Students taking classes online also (having) access to a tutoring resource”
  • Forming “a Student Success Committee that consists of faculty, staff and members of the administration who serve on five sub-committees. Initiatives include: First Year Initiatives-Intrusive Advising, Early Alert System, Wise Choices, Advisor Training and Predictive Modeling.”

This is a great list of programs for all organizations to consider. But I want to focus on two of these points that too many educational organizations miss – an “Early Alert System” and “Predictive Modeling.” While I’m not familiar with WNCC’s programs specifically, what these terms typically mean is identifying students at-risk of not being successful. This risk can be linked to what courses they take (and in what sequence), their educational history, psychosocial factors, socioeconomic factors, academic performance, and other key factors.

What WNCC and other community colleges need to include in these predictive systems is ongoing 1-on-1 research and relationship-building communications with students. It’s one thing to look at historical factors and the risk they project forward and apply those to current students. But it’s even more accurate and beneficial to simply ask current students questions to gauge their comfort, commitment, feeling of success, and expectation for moving forward.

The best system for anticipating student success is one that puts a priority on having a strong Voice of the Student program. Ensure that all the efforts for the student are done with the voice of the student being heard.

Interested in our Education Industry services? Go to: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm


Student Success Centers and Foundation-Building

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

In today’s strong focus in community colleges on student retention, completion, and success, there are many initiatives being undertaken to try to help students succeed. Success for community college students is often defined as “getting the certificate.” For example, the students get a degree from a community college or transfer to a 4-year institution where they work toward their degree.

To address Student Success, many community colleges are creating Student Success Centers. Here are three examples:

  • Hillsborough Community College’s Student Success Center (SSC) “houses tutorial services, a radio station and a G.E.D. program for those not yet enrolled in college. It also hosts seminars on subjects such as note taking and navigating college.”
  • Central Piedmont Community College has an SSC that provides “guidance, goal clarification, answers to questions, tutorial assistance, advising and counseling, and access to all enrollment services.”
  • The Florida Keys Community College’s SSC offers developmental math courses, a resource-connections service, tutoring, and academic workshops.

So the commonalities are tutoring, communication, getting developmental courses and skills addressed, ongoing advising, counseling, and navigation of school processes and systems. Essentially, make sure the starting point for Student Success involves foundation-building from 3 perspectives: 1) Core academic knowledge, 2) Direction on how to proceed through their program, and 3) Contacts and communications to address their needs and facilitate their movement through the program.

Look at these three perspectives for addressing new students (or for any business, new customers). How can you – from the start – ensure you begin building their knowledge of what you offer? How can you ensure they can understand how to navigate through the experience? How can you proactively stay in touch with them as they move through their journey and relationship with your organization?

To help your students (or customers) succeed, build that foundation of knowledge, comfort, and communications from the start.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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


Student Success Government-Style

Posted on in Business Advice, Education, Government Please leave a comment

Jerry Brown is all about Student Success…or is he?

In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Student Success Act of 2012. According to a press release from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, there are four major provisions:

  • Target “existing student services resources to support orientation, assessment and education planning services and lays the groundwork to expand these services as more resources become available.”
  • “Utilize a statewide system of common assessment once available, to improve consistency and efficiency within the 112-campus system.”
  • “Require colleges…to post a student success scorecard to clearly communicate progress in improving completion rates for all students and closing the achievement gap.”
  • “Require students whose fees are waived because of their economic need to meet minimum academic standards.”

If we wanted to break these down such that they apply to any college, the focus is on:

  • Ensuring first year students have a plan, knowledge, and comfort level to be successful.
  • More consistently assessing students.
  • Posting college performance metrics.
  • Expecting performance from students receiving funding.

The good of this Act is that it focuses on upfront orientation/education, transparency, competitiveness, consistency, and accountability.

The main negative is that it only does one thing that promotes Student Success – that upfront orientation and planning. That’s not necessarily a shortcoming of the Act, but it’s the reality of Student Success. Government cannot mandate or create Student Success. They can try to influence it with regulations, bills, or funding. But it’s up to the college and the student to create the Success.

And that Student Success relies on an organization truly understanding what helps each unique student to complete their education. That solution is unique to each college and each student.

So colleges may embrace these types of legislation, but the real results come from the internal process, cultural, programmatic, structural, and relationship-oriented changes that the colleges undertake.

Don’t blame or give too much credit to government for Student Success. It takes a college and its students moving toward the same goals to truly create Student Success.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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