western Illinois | 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 Retention Solution – The Four Cornerstones of Retention-based Research

Posted on in Business Advice, Education 1 Comment

Western Illinois University wants to retain more of its students. Particularly for first year students, a WGEM.com article notes that “More than a third of Western Illinois University’s freshman last year didn’t come back for their sophomore year.” So their answer is that they implemented a new mentoring program – Building Connections. This program taps into faculty and staff to volunteer to mentor incoming Freshmen.

Now whether the program is highly successful or not depends on many things; consider these questions. What’s in it long-term for the “volunteer” staff to fully participate? How well-trained are the staff? Do the students even want a faculty/staff mentor? About what will they be mentored?

But the most important question is “What’s the root cause of the problem?” The article notes that “over half of last year’s Freshman were first generation college students,” but that’s a fact, not necessarily a root cause. I hope that WIU is really digging into research to identify what are the core characteristics of those who do not return v. those who do. The research needs to be based on their historical data, the perceptions of their incoming Freshmen, their current students, and those that left. These are the Four Cornerstones of Retention-based Research.

In other words, I hope they use data to point them toward the right solutions.

When you’re dealing with retention issues, you most likely have a myriad of data on customers who were retained and those who weren’t. Use that as the starting to point to get at the true root cause.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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