student success | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Student Success Starts with Knowing Them

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Blog 4-23-14Phillips Community College in Arkansas won an award recently for Student Success – increasing its graduation and 4-year college transfer performance.

With the plethora of best practices and concepts, programs and pathways, you might think that the Student Success was driven by these proven strategies…but you’d be incorrect.

According to the article PCCUA recognized for student success, the starting point was understanding the student. Who are they? What is their background? What’s the lens through which they see college life and experience PCCUA? Apparently, many students come from generational poverty, and the faculty and staff do not.

This basic fact gets at a core problem with many organizations in the education industry and other industries as well these days. There are leaders, faculty, or staff that know a product, they know a topic, they know a program. But delivering that knowledge effectively often requires that they know the person to whom they deliver. We can’t assume that all students receive and process information in the same way, that they all want the same learning environment and examples.

Sometimes to best impart knowledge, we have to – first – know the student.

Survey your students. Ask them questions. Learn about their past. Then learn what most effectively guides them to a future of possibilities.

Student Success starts with knowing them.

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Student Success is About Getting to One

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

The article Community College Group Launches Texas Success Center has Lone Star Community College System Chancellor Richard Carpenter noting that “There are about 30 different student success programs at Texas colleges. They are programs designed to help students complete their two-year degrees or successfully move on to a four-year university. ‘We find ourselves initiative rich,’ he said. ‘All of these initiatives must be herded.’”

This statement is followed by the announcement that a new Texas Success Center “will be supported by about $2.4 million provided by the state’s 50 community colleges, the Kresge Foundation, the Houston Endowment, the Greater Texas Foundation, the Meadows Foundation and TG, a nonprofit corporation that provides financial planning support to Texas students.”

Just percolate on that for a minute…there are 30+ initiatives, and the State needs $2.4 million to aggregate, or simplify, or eliminate, or better communicate about those initiatives. Most likely, what is being done at the community colleges to improve Student Success is laudable and is specific to that college’s students, curriculum, faculty, and future vision. So any effort to herd initiatives should be done with that understanding of local focus in mind.

In addition, a litmus test for each dollar spent and each initiative tested needs to start with the basic agreement that Student Success is about getting to one. It’s about knowing (at times, even before the student knows) how each one individual student can succeed, how the student defines success, how likely they are to succeed, and what can be done to ensure success. In other words, how does one initiative help one community college to help one student succeed?

Get to the point where each college can know each student on a 1-to-1 basis, and you’ll get the point where Student Success is within reach.

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Coach for Student Success

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Vince Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers, but would his style really work well in an Education setting? Apparently it did – along with being a great football coach, he also was a successful teacher of Latin, algebra, physics and chemistry. In other words, teaching and coaching can be very similar.

And in the University and Community College arenas these days, teaching doesn’t just apply to the classroom. Much of what students need to be taught involves everything that surrounds the classroom. It’s the financial aid, general time management, navigating school processes and policies, dealing with school-specific tech applications, or navigating a campus.

To address the need to teach about these aspects of the Student Experience, some colleges are investing in Success Coaches. In the article “Success coaches” prodding college students to graduate, examples from Wallace State Community College and the University of Toledo are highlighted. Essentially, the coaches’ responsibilities can involve many tasks including:

  • Monitoring student accounts to ensure students are staying on-time and on-track with registering, attending, and completing classes.
  • Communicating with faculty about issues or red-flags, then taking action.
  • Being almost like an account representative for a pro sports team’s season ticket holders, being the main point of contact for the student.

Of particular benefit to First Generation Students, these coaches have a 1-to-1 perspective of their relationship with the students, working to keep tabs on, develop relationships with, and help to navigate their student experience.

Think of all the information that your organization has available on your customers or your students. Then ask, who is that dedicated resource charged with looking at and acting on that information to ensure student retention, a great student experience, and long-term success?

Find a coach to help guide the student to success.

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