What does your office look like? How are students greeted? Long lines or speedy service? 1. First Impressions
Seattle Sonics example Chick Fil A philosophy Happy Staff = Happy Customers
Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington DC 3.Happy Customers = free positive advertising
A dissatisfied consumer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 peo ple. White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington DC NASFAA’s 2012 Staffing Model Report indicates that only 20.4% of students are satisfied with financial aid services. 4.Unhappy Customers = Free negative advertising
Student Perspective: Counselors seemed like they were “annoyed” with students. Lines were too long. Counselors could not answer basic questions.
Actual blog post from student: “I am attempting to attend a university which has persistently lost my financial aid paperwork. You did not address the difficulty and anxiety of providing very detailed financial records and information, like bank statements and IRS documents, and how it feels to interact with indifferent, incompetent staff who believe that they are always “right”…ESPECIALLY when they lose that same paperwork, which often has your social security and other material listed prominently.”
HOW can we effectively provide customer service?
1. Hire the right people “WHO” is on your team? Evaluate your team members’ skill sets and place them in areas that best serve the team. Put your best people on the front lines! Revisit the evaluation process to ensure everyone’s serving in the right place on your team.
Customer Service Manager’s Perspective Looks for: Punctuality Positive attitude Good communication skills Willingness to learn and understand the information Advice to other managers: Provide encouragement to staff often Do not micro-manage
Financial Aid Advisor’s Perspective Look for someone who is honest, detail oriented, a team player, excellent computer skills, critical thinker, preferably has a Bachelor’s Degree Communicate, communicate, communicate! Encourage staff often Bring treats if necessary
2. Train and communicate OFTEN Provide periodic training on policies and regulations Offer access to certification in areas that pertain to financial aid Cross train staff Host an annual staff retreat Provide scheduled time for processing of loans, verification, etc.
3. Exceed Expectations Address the student by name Listen intently Return phone calls/e-mails in a timely manner Resolve issues as quickly as possible
4. Improve the process Implement a Student Checklist to help reduce repetitive questions Designate one line for students turning in documentation ONLY (Express Lane) Provide privacy for students who need to discuss sensitive family circumstances regarding financial aid
5. Help Angry Customers Actively listen – allow “vent” time Body Language – give undivided attention Restate what you’ve heard Resolve the issue as quickly as possible
One last thing… “ People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
For more information: OSFA’s Outreach Team is available to provide Customer Service Training to your staff. Please contact: Lori Auxier Director of Outreach Services 561-357-6340 Lori.Auxier@fldoe.org