higher education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 4

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

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22


One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22


Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22


When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22


When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22


Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22


Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22


Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22


When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - 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 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/