Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

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

The Higher Ed Student Retention Strategy – The Upfront Approach

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

If more students stay for four years, then more will graduate. Hmmm. It’s so simple…it’s brilliant!!

But there’s one problem – how do you get students to stay?

In the article Better student retention will help graduation rate, it’s noted how Oklahoma University’s President, David Boren, is trying to increase its graduation rate by increasing year-to-year retention of students – particularly from the Freshman to Sophomore year when the greatest loss occurs.

While this is a smart strategy, the meat of any strategy is based on understanding the true root causes of student loss. So here are four items to determine if you want to get at the causes of student loss and the strategies for retention:

  • Determine if you’re accepting the right students for your college/university. Review characteristics (financial, demographic and otherwise) of past students who have graduated and note differences from those who did not graduate. Make sure you’re accepting those with profiles that tend toward graduation.
  • Determine students’ technical/educational preparedness for success. Understand the cognitive/educational/learning skills vital for success so that a plan can be developed upfront to address any barriers to success.
  • Determine students’ personal/social preparedness for success. Learn about the social “baseline” of incoming students to ensure that – where a plan or resources are needed – students are helped to assimilate into the college culture.
  • Determine students’ expectations of the experience. Ask what they expect, manage unrealistic expectations upfront, and create plans that enable students to have the best chance of getting those expectations met.

Gauge each student’s likelihood for success, so that their time and yours are well-spent on their collegiate journey.

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


Schools Should be in the Business of Providing Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

In a New York Times School Book article titled “Parents Deserve the Best Customer Service…,” a New York City Charter school principal – Jim Manly – tells parents “you deserve the best customer service on the planet.” (I should just say “Amen,” but that would be too short a post).

We’ve performed customer service training and even mystery shopping for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities, and the reason is that some educational organizations do “get it.” They realize that – when parents base decisions on where to send their child, or what attitude they’ll have with an employee, or the opinion about the school that they’ll share with a friend – they base those decisions, attitudes, and opinions on the people they interact with, what’s it like to work with a school, and the quality of the education itself.

So the quality of the education is important, but the respect conveyed, responsiveness to needs and inquiries, timeliness of action, and ease of doing business with the school also matter to most parents. Therefore, schools, community colleges, and universities must have a competitive attitude of “I need to earn the parent’s trust” and “I need to earn the right to teach their child” and “I need to earn their respect by how I interact with them, work with them, and teach their children.

These tenets of great customer service apply to most any business. If more businesses felt like it was up to them to earn the trust, the business, and the respect of their customers, then we would all be providing truly GREAT customer service.

Use customer service to earn your customer’s respect and repeat business.

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/


You Want to Talk to a Person

Posted on in Business Advice, Education 1 Comment

You want to talk to a person. Not get a text; not receive an e-mail; you want to talk to a person – live.

That’s the summary of a recent American Express survey released. In a recent Wall Street Journal article about the survey results, approximately 90% of those who responded wanted to have their inquiries addressed by people on the phone. About 75% would like a face-to-face encounter, and 67% would utilize a website to get their question answered. Approximately 70% of customers are willing to spend more with a business providing good customer service.

So people still want to talk to…well, people. And if that employee is providing good customer service, the majority would be willing to pay more for that higher level of customer service.

What this means strategically for your business is that your decisions about what method of service delivery to use, what method of responding to inquiries to select – those decisions should not be made based on the pure “cost per transaction” question. They should be based on who are your customers, what do they prefer, how much are they willing to spend to have personalized interactions and higher levels of customer service.

Income Statements have a Revenue section along with the Expense section, so when companies make decisions that impact how they interact with customers, they need to think of the revenue impact – not just the cost per unit.

An Education industry client said that university students prefer to receive updates of upcoming events via text, not e-mail. So I’m not suggesting you always go the telephone or face-to-face route. But what I am suggesting is to first do the research to understand what your customers want and for what they’re willing to pay a little extra.

Don’t make assumptions. Ask the customer what they want, determine the FULL impact on your organization of delivering that, and then make the right decision.

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

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