community college | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 4

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

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/


Physician Clinics, Processes, and Patient Satisfaction…oh my!

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

A recent study noted in American Medical News evaluated multiple aspects of a patient’s experience in a physician’s practice and determined that the three most important aspects of the experience all related to the doctor. The doctor’s knowledge, time spent with the patient, and access to the patient’s medical records were of greatest importance to patients.

However, there are a few points that might not be so obvious. Six of the next seven most important attributes all dealt with process – ease of billing, efficient billing process, time spent in the waiting room, etc. We believe that the 3 drivers of customer satisfaction in any industry are Employee Attitudes/Skills/Knowledge, Service Processes, and the Product/Service itself. So this process impact is not surprising, but it’s important. Key Conclusion: Make it easy and efficient for the customer to do business with you.

But another point in the article is typically as important. Other studies have shown that 40% of customer dissatisfaction is because their expectations weren’t met. This article notes how many patients compare their experience at a clinic to their experience in other industries. So it’s time for physician clinics like most other businesses to look outside themselves to learn. If the Ritz-Carlton makes you feel special, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If a NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and fill a gas tank in 12 seconds, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If Amazon.com can enable a 1-click purchase, what can the clinic learn from them?

It’s not just for healthcare organizations like clinics; this “looking outside yourself” benchmarking approach should be undertaken by local governments, the business operations staff for sports teams, community colleges and other education industry organizations, and retailers alike.

Key Conclusion: Customers come in with expectations about your business based on experiences with other businesses. So look at other businesses to identify improvement opportunities in your own.

Make it easy for the customer to do business with you…and to enjoy the experience, too!

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

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/


Making Student Retention a Real Focus

Posted on in Business Advice, Education 1 Comment

Vincent Tinto, a Syracuse University professor, recently wrote a paper on Taking Student Retention Seriously. In the paper, he laments that most colleges/universities don’t take effective approaches to improving student retention. They too often think of a new program, a new activity, and a new offering to increase retention. Unfortunately, many of these new ideas result in “student experiences [which] are increasingly segmented into smaller and smaller pieces; their relationships with faculty, staff, and each other becoming more narrow and specialized; their learning further partitioned into smaller disconnected segments.”

So what does Tinto recommend? He suggests the need to create these 5 conditions which are supportive of Student Retention:

  • When students are expected to succeed, they are more likely to succeed. Success leads to retention.
  • When students are provided clear and consistent communications about requirements and advising on how to progress toward their goals, they are more likely to succeed.
  • When students receive “academic, social and personal support,” they are more likely to stay.
  • When students are involved “as valued members of the institution,” they are more likely to stay.
  • When students are in “settings that foster learning,” they are more likely to succeed and stay.

Tinto focuses on getting at the root cause of issues before defining the required action plans. But many organizations – when faced with customer or employee (or student) retention issues – often jump from symptom-to-solution. They offer the next great idea du jour…and hope it works.

Try to avoid jumping from symptom-to-solution. If you’re having student/customer/employee retention issues, get to the root cause first.

Find what makes students stick with you.

Check out our Education Industry Services: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm