student retention | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

Determine Who is Retainable

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

I was reading this article on How to Project Customer Retention for a Subscription Business, and it reminded me of a project we worked on about 10-12 years ago for a local Chamber of Commerce.

Essentially, the Chamber was disappointed in their retention rate, and they wanted to improve it, and they had very aggressive goals. So aggressive were the goals that we started questioning whether the goals were based in reality or whether they were the proverbial BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that some executive pulled from thin air. The goal was a BHAG, and once that was determined, we proceeded to get the client focused on what percentage of members are truly retainable.

We’ve used this same approach in helping pro sports teams target a renewal rate, and we created a Retainable Rating system for helping Economic Development organizations prioritize their Touch Point Plans through their Business Retention & Expansion programs. In other words, understanding what percentage of customers/members/businesses are NOT retainable as well as who is more retainable than others helps in prioritization of retention efforts. It helps in work allocation. It helps in goal-setting.

There are 3 core ways to determine retainability (which are best used in conjunction with each other):

– Conduct research with existing customers/members/businesses and ask retention-focused questions.

– Review history in your own databases, comparing characteristics of past customers/members/businesses lost v. those retained and applying that data to existing clients.

– Talk to the employees and account representatives who best know those customers/members/businesses.

Add some realism to your retention goals. Add some prioritization and focus to your strategies. Add some reasonableness to what you expect of staff in managing relationships and retaining business.

Determine who is retainable.

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


Of Napoleon and University Retention…

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Apparently Napoleon and today’s higher education system have something in common…really.

According to Associate Provost for Curriculum Gregory Heileman from the University of New Mexico in the article ASUNM talks retention rates, “Student retention and graduation rates are similar to Napoleon’s march from Paris to Moscow in 1812. It started out with 400,000 soldiers but ended with only 10,000 soldiers.”

The point is – many students come in, but comparatively few graduate. Based on enrollment data from 2005-11, only 45% of students who had first enrolled in 2005 had graduated by 2011.

To resolve this, UNM plans to modify courses that have high failure rates to enable all students to “choose the pace of the course.” This teeters on the brink of lowering standards (or at least expectations) to make sure people keep moving through the system, but UNM assures that they “won’t let you move forward without knowing a concept.”

What else is interesting in the article is that the #1 cause of student loss if the cost of the education, but the main tactic being employed to address this is offering more extended pay plans.

It seems like UNM has decided not to focus on ways to build value but is instead trying to remove the near-term causes of pain (i.e., failing a class or having a higher short-term tuition payment). While these might concepts work to a point, they primarily support the philosophy of making things easier for the student as opposed to making the experience better or facilitating the student’s academic growth.

So let’s broaden this topic to ask a key question – What would you do if your customers were leaving because of an issue with a product or because of the product’s cost?

Would you look to build value or just extend payment terms? Would you look to make the experience better for the customer or remove their hassles? These are tough questions because a university which understands its role fully realizes it needs to grow the person (their willingness to take on challenges, be responsible, and hold themselves accountable) as it helps to build the student’s knowledge and abilities. Most other businesses aren’t trying to effect core changes in the makeup of their customers – such as making them more responsible or accountable.

So this is the approach that UNM is taking. What do you think of it?

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/


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/