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Customer Service at the Forefront Lisa Blazer. Assistant Vice President, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services-University of Texas San Antonio.

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Presentation on theme: "Customer Service at the Forefront Lisa Blazer. Assistant Vice President, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services-University of Texas San Antonio."— Presentation transcript:

1 Customer Service at the Forefront Lisa Blazer. Assistant Vice President, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services-University of Texas San Antonio & Delisa Falks, Executive Director Scholarships & Financial Aid Texas A&M University

2 Goals for this session Discover why customer service is so important in your office Why core values are so important Evaluate two different models for excellent customer service See their success, accomplishments, outcomes and challenges Discover innovative practices that may help you improve customer service

3 Texas A&M University Delisa Falks, Executive Director Scholarships & Financial Aid

4 hi Scholarships & Financial Aid Office 50,000 students(undergraduates, graduates and professional) $514 Million dollars in financial aid 80% of students on some type of financial aid

5 hi Goals of Customer Service To build a reputation of efficiency and accuracy To convey a professional image To help customers feel cared for To serve

6 hi What determines the level of customer service? How the customer feels at the end of the interaction.

7 hi Core Values Integrity Relationships Excellence

8 hi Integrity We value sincerity, reliability, responsibility, and faithfulness as individuals and as an organization. We strive to make principled decisions. In doing so, we seek to provide genuine customer service, remain compliant, and uphold the vision of Texas A&M University.

9 hi Relationships We value building interdependent relationships within the department and externally. We strive to increase communication and mutual understanding and an appreciation of different offices, departments, and individuals. In doing so, we seek to compliment others and strengthen ourselves.

10 hi Excellence We value empowerment, innovation, creativity, and diligence. We strive to be a premier organization. In doing so, we seek to continually improve our preparedness, efficiency, and service.

11 hi

12 Customer Service Goals Focus on the student first Contribute to a welcoming, friendly, and professional atmosphere Know aid programs, processes, and opportunities Listen actively and seek solutions Deliver prompt, thorough, and accurate information Follow through to resolution on requests/issues

13 Customer Service Strategy Demonstrate positive personal regard and respect when dealing with the customer Be polite and courteous Create a welcoming environment free from discriminatory or biased statements/ language Listen and respond appropriately Provided correct/accurate information Offer solutions/alternatives

14 Service Structure Evolution 1995Two support staff at front desk Two support staff on phones 2000Two support staff, one student at front desk Two support staff on phones 2005One rotating support staff, two peer advisors at front desk Rotating Teams and peer advisors on phones Rotating Counselors of the Day

15 Service Structure Evolution, cont’d 2007One advisor, one rotating support staff, one peer advisor at front desk Rotating Teams and peer advisors on phones Rotating Counselors of the Day 2010Dedicated Service Team Two advisors, one support staff at front desk Three advisors, peer advisors on phones Rotating Counselors of the Day 2011Two advisors, one support staff at front desk Three advisors, peer advisors on phones One permanent, one rotating Counselor of the Day

16 Front counter - Service Desk

17 Counselor of the Day Service Feedback

18 Call Center

19 Financial Aid Liaison Program Provides Regional Recruiters with a direct point of contact within the financial aid office. The Liaisons are available to answer questions pertaining to programs, policies, and student- specific situations. Access to financial aid information in student system.

20 Technology and Service Scholarships & Financial Aid Websites – financialaid.tamu.edu – scholarships.tamu.edu – jobsforaggies.tamu.edu – veterans.tamu.edu – moneywise.tamu.edu Scholarships & Financial Portal Customer Sign-in System (CSI) Aggie Answers

21 Training and Service Training Specialist Training Curriculum – For full-time advisors – For full-time support staff – For peer advisors – For regional advisors – For admissions counselors Weekly Staff Training Compliance is a MUST

22 Measuring Success Customer Comment Cards Periodic Surveys Observation Focus Groups Advisory Boards Other

23 1. Was the staff member assisting you friendly? Not at all Somewhat Absolutely 2. Did you feel that you were treated with respect? Not at all Somewhat Absolutely 3. Did the staff member assisting you listen to your concerns? Not at all Somewhat Absolutely 4. Did the staff member assisting you explain your options? Not at all Somewhat Absolutely 5. Do you feel that the time you spent in our office today was worthwhile? Not at all Somewhat Absolutely If you have any comments or concerns about the staff member you visited with today, please let us know:________________________________________________________ We are interested in your experience with visiting our office today. Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

24 Academic Year 2010-2011 44,143 Students visited our office 81,403 Telephone calls were answered 13,794 Main email box 85,757 visits on Aggie Answers 303 required staff research/response- Aggie Answers Note we have other email inboxes

25 Customer Satisfaction Survey Sent each fall to a random sample of aid recipients Assesses the following services: – Website – Portal – Email notifications – Telephone service – Help desk service – Advising

26 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey In regards to our telephone service: – 80.4% rated Friendliness as good or excellent – 81.7% rated Approachability as good or excellent – 85.7% rated Professionalism as good or excellent – In regards to in-person service: – 85.5% rated Approachability as good or excellent – 88.8 % rated Friendliness as good or excellent – 91.3% rated Professionalism as good or excellent

27 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey Overall rating of Scholarships & Financial Aid: – 36.6% Excellent – 48.7% Good – 9.4% OK – 5.3% Needs Improvement

28 Overall rating of Scholarships & Financial Aid: – 36.6% Excellent – 48.7% Good – 9.4% OK – 5.3% Needs Improvement

29 reet each visitor promptly and warmly. SFA Service Commitment G I G E M A G S nform students and parents of options for funding an education. uide students through application for and processing of financial aid. xplain terms and conditions of financial aid awards clearly and thoroughly. aximize federal, state, and institutional financial aid options. dvise on campus resources available to students. ive information on outside funding resources. erve each student according to individual needs.

30 University of Texas San Antonio Lisa Blazer. Assistant Vice President Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

31 Delivering our Promise to Students at UTSA We promise to serve students by providing excellent customer service, accurate information and quick and efficient processing. Core Values – Honesty/Respect – Teamwork – Continuous Improvement – Accuracy – Service

32 Excellence in What We Do – The 4 Cs Communicate - To achieve excellence in service and programming, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services professionals must effectively communicate by: – Providing clear, concise, knowledgeable, accurate and timely information; – Using multiple means of communication – Identifying and anticipating needs – Serving as advocates – Suspending assumptions – Listening to understand – Understanding and respecting diverse perspectives – Interacting in a professional and courteous manner – Being accountable for our own actions

33 Excellence in What We Do – The 4 Cs Connect – To achieve excellence in service and programming, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services professionals must connect by: – Making every interaction positive and memorable – Realizing every moment provides an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact – Engaging the community in the process – Providing individualized attention – Building relationships and community – Recognizing the dignity and worth of the individual – Showing appreciation – Providing a nurturing and safe environment – Recognizing and honoring commonalities and differences

34 Excellence in What We Do – The 4 Cs Collaborate – To achieve excellence in services and programming, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services professionals must collaborate by: – Effectively utilizing resources – Cooperatively working with others – Building and maintaining lasting relationships and community – Being open to change and diverse ideas – Practicing mutual respect – Creating synergy across the division and the university – Balancing service with operating procedures and policies – Learning to appreciate the duties and responsibilities of others

35 Excellence in What We Do – The 4 Cs Create – To achieve excellence in services and programming, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services professionals must create unique and innovative experiences by: – Recruiting individuals who are passionate about student success – Taking risks – Working to reduce obstacles – Building stability through our daily actions – Researching new trends – Fostering creative, safe and welcoming opportunities – Assessing and analyzing results – Encouraging input across the division – Challenging the status quo

36 Outcomes of Excellence Include: Communicate – peak seasons are successfully managed; guidelines and priority dates are met; we are the last to serve Connect – we are creating a positive experience for students; we are fully present; the students trust us Collaborate – we are providing resources and making students aware; we are working closely with several offices to ensure excellent service (fiscal services, academic advising, Academic Affairs) Create – creating new ways of communicating with our students through social media and outreach; we continually evolve in our interactions with students and with each other; we see a lot of change from federal and state regulations – we accept the challenges as opportunities

37 Our Structure – Brief History Student Enrollment Services – frontline one-stop- shop serving approximately 31,000 current UTSA students in person, on the phones, via email, outreach, website and Ask Rowdy – financial aid, admissions, registrar, fiscal payments – Main Campus Counter – Downtown Counter – Main Campus Call Center – Outreach Student Financial Aid – processing and stewardship of all financial aid funds and awarding - $236 million per year – Scholarships – Special Grants/Programs – Student Loans – Verification/Imaging – Information Technology- processing Administration – Compliance/Risk Management – Administrative/Office Management/Training

38 Our Structure – Brief History The first Enrollment Services Center was established at the Downtown Campus in 1997 and then opened at the Main campus in 1998 – reporting to the VP Student Affairs Initially, there was much confusion from students and staff since no one knew what an Enrollment Services Officer represented Supervision shifted to the Assistant VP for Financial Aid in 2003 and the first Call Center was established – answering calls about admissions, registrar, financial aid and fiscal services Hired a Director of Enrollment Services in 2004 (maintained the Director of Financial Aid position) Increased staff from 18 in 2004 to 30 in 2007 for the Enrollment Services Center

39 Our Structure – Brief History Throughout the “growing pains” of becoming a one- stop, our office experience many restructurings To accommodate our new structure, we had a successful office remodeling 3 Week Training Curriculum for all new Financial Aid Officers and Enrollment Services Officers Enrollment Services Officers also handle all special circumstances and help with awarding, working special reports, verification, etc. Financial Aid Officers – rotate at the counter/phones during peak times (lunch, 5-6 pm, skeleton crew and to bring the lines down – A and B groups on call

40 Main Campus Counter

41 Downtown Campus Counter

42 Call Center – Main Campus

43 Counseling – Main Campus

44 Compliance and Training Annual Audits – we must continue to stay compliant with federal, state and institutional guidelines and controls – affects our ability to provide quality customer service Risk Management Tools – we have to mitigate risks by identifying those items that could put our office and the university at risk Training – Consistent and quality training is essential to providing quality service and meeting our excellence guidelines – we hired a trainer to: – Provide 3 week new hire training curriculum – Provide ongoing compliance and regulatory training – Provide professional development training including customer service, professionalism and teamwork – Coordinates annual Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services conference every March

45 Assessment – How Are We Doing? Student Satisfaction Outcomes – Measure whether students are satisfied with our office – Focus Groups – discover new ways of providing information to students – Online customer satisfaction surveys – 87% rated our customer service as acceptable or higher – of that 70% rate our customer service as good or excellent Student Learning Outcomes – through financial literacy; orientation presentations “Money Matters”; Operational Outcomes – created rubrics to help evaluate staff – Student Service – 90.1% – Paperwork Processing – 90-95% – Emails – 85-90%

46 Technology- How We Use It Goal during 2010-11 – increase communication opportunities with our students – Instant Communication – Ask Rowdy – Knowledge Based Software Program – FAQ system During 2010-11 – 355,982 questions asked Response rate has improved from 88.37% to 93.87% – Formation of a Communications Committee – staff from Enrollment Services and Financial Aid Varied perspectives on how we communicate with students Increased Facebook followers by holding Financial Aid Contests Created ASAP (Banner web for students) modules teaching how to navigate Improvement of website Twitter – instant communication

47 Accomplishments - ESC Student Served during 2010-11 – 86,000 at Main Campus Counter – 36,000 at Downtown Campus Counter – 223,000 Calls received in the Call Center – 592 Counseling Appointments (walk-in and scheduled) – More than $500,000 in credit card payments in the call center – 11,000 Emails responded to for Financial Aid – 3575 Emails responded to for Registrar – Outreach Team had 71,000 contacts at 513 events (through San Antonio outreach team and Rio Grande Valley outreach rep)

48 Accomplishments - FA Online Scholarship Application – increased our volume from 2500 to more than 9000 applications for the 2010-11 year – For 2011-12 more than 11,000 Created new Roadrunner Scholarship as a recruiting tool – yield rate increase was higher than expected – more than 10% Continued to provide the UTSAccess Program – collaborated with Academic Affairs to create a cohort and providing tutoring and advising on a regular basis – improved retention in program For 2011-12 – new donor at $28 million for scholarships – able to create $10-20,000 per year in scholarship funds to more than 36 students

49 Future Directions in SFAES – 2016 Goals Become a Paperless Office Create More Self-Serve opportunities for students Create more staff development opportunities Fully Develop Financial Literacy Programs Train UTSA Staff and Faculty Automate and Streamline Processes, Compliance Management and Funds Management Look for ways to be proactive instead of reactive

50 Making it all happen on both campuses… Communication, communication, communication…. Educate, Educate, Educate (staff and students) Ensure your staff has information pertinent to do their jobs On-going training is key Provide pertinent updates in a timely fashion (to staff and students) Let students know you care – value them as individuals Be consistent in your communication, awarding and processing Continually assess how you are doing and make improvements

51 Contact Information Lisa Blazer – lisa.blazer@utsa.edulisa.blazer@utsa.edu Delisa Falks – delisaf@tamu.edudelisaf@tamu.edu


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