UNM | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

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?

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