university | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Student Success – Align to Achieve

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

It’s a core management belief – if you want to change the behaviors of employees, you need to reward and recognize those desired behaviors, because some people are motivated by the carrot, by the incentive.

Benedictine University is applying that philosophy to its customers – namely, its students. In the article Benedictine University Announces Student Success Award, one the approaches that Benedictine is taking to improve Student Success is highlighted. The University has enacted a program for “students in good standing (a GPA of 3.0 or higher) who are on track to complete their online degree within a designated period of time.” Essentially, if they meet the criteria, the University may offer awards that defray from $1,000-$10,000 of their remaining tuition.

If you read many of the studies and best practices about Student Success, particularly in community colleges, the vast majority are internally focused on programmatic, orientation-based, or advising-related initiatives. But if we view Student Success as a partnership between the college and the student, community colleges also need to look about how they can affect student behaviors, how they can motivate the students to Succeed, how they can align student “incentives” with organizational goals.

When you’re planning your Student Success strategy, ask yourself “How can I motivate the students to succeed?”

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s customer/student satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/







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/







Who is Your Retention Director?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Lamar University was just nominated for an award by the State of Texas. In the article titled “Mentoring program selected as finalist for Texas Higher Education Award” (http://www.lamar.edu/newsevents/news/207_8985.htm), Lamar’s African-American Male Professional Connections Mentoring Program is in the running for the prestigious award.

There are two especially interesting points in the article. First, the person interviewed from Lamar references how the sense of community on-campus (while the individual is a student) helps to lead to long-term involvement of alums post-graduation. So that sense of community is a huge driver of retention.

Second – and equally as compelling – is a point only referenced once in the article but which is key to any successful retention program. The individual from Lamar who was interviewed is the “Interim Associate Provost for Student Retention.” That’s right, his title puts him in charge of retention.

Think about all the initiatives that organizations have underway to improve the customer experience, or to retain students, to renew season ticket holders, or to enhance customer service. The ultimate goal of each is client retention and growth. But who is truly accountable in your organization for client retention and growth? Is it a committee, a team, a group…anybody?

By having someone with the title, an accountability structure is put in place, priorities are set, resources are dedicated, time is allotted. In other words, this University must be serious.

Make sure your organization is serious about retention. Make sure you have a designated team or person who is your Mr. or Ms. Retention.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/