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Customer Service Through the Chaos: Staying Student- Focused Elaina Bielser Patricia Simpson Todd Spinner School of Chemical Sciences Career Services and.

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Presentation on theme: "Customer Service Through the Chaos: Staying Student- Focused Elaina Bielser Patricia Simpson Todd Spinner School of Chemical Sciences Career Services and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Customer Service Through the Chaos: Staying Student- Focused Elaina Bielser Patricia Simpson Todd Spinner School of Chemical Sciences Career Services and Academic Advising University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2 “We’re not perfect. But we try hard to reach perfection with every order. It creates an attitude of service. That is why your call is never an interruption. Your question is never dumb.” -Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters Olympia, Washington

3 Just a few customer service facts How good does your work have to be? What percentage of customers should we try to please? 90%, 95%? How about 99.9%? If other professions used the 99.9% mark:  At lease 20,000 wrong prescriptions per year  8.6 hours of no water or power per year  500 incorrect surgeries per week  2 short or long landings at major airports per day  2,000 lost articles of mail per hour We could not accept 99.9% in many fields, what do we expect with regard to ourselves?

4 Illinois Tuition and Fee Facts Cost for Chemistry Life Science Tuition, Fees, Costs  $33,482 for in-state students  $47,054 for out of state students  $48,054 for international students Can we see why our students would expect excellent customer service from advising?

5 Customer Service  If you fail to meet expectations, you will get dissatisfied customers/supervisors  If you meet expectations, you will get indifferent customer/supervisors  You must exceed expectations  If you cannot solve the problem, find someone who can  Be proactive, seek out and solve problems  Take personal responsibility (but don’t take it personally!)  Always explain what you can do for the customer, not what you can’t  Don’t say “I’m sorry” unless you mean it  Never place blame on anyone else  Provide solutions, not excuses

6 Customer Service  Most people are not rude or discourteous, just indifferent  No eye contact  Talking to others while assisting a customer  Talking about someone else within ear-shot of a customer  Working on other tasks while customer waits  Pointing to an item or room rather than showing/taking customer to it  Failing to immediately greet a customer  Responding “I don’t know” without attempting to find out  Failure to follow through with promises

7 “It is critical for all people to strive to carry out their work with professional competence and with an attitude of service to others.” -Dr. Carlos Cavalle IESE Business School University of Navarra, Spain

8 The Student is…  the most important person at our University, without students, there would be no need for your position  not a cold enrollment statistic but a flesh and blood human being with feelings and emotions like our own  not someone to be tolerated so we can do our thing, they are our thing  not dependent on us, rather, we are dependent on them  not an interruption to our work, but the purpose of it, we are not doing them a favor by serving them, they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so

9 Customer Service Based Advising  SCS has been moving to a customer service based advising philosophy/theory for the past three years  Student satisfaction and response has been positive  It is a work in progress  Not all your interactions will be positive, all the time

10 Professional Competence  Appropriate Education  Strong interpersonal skills  Availability to advisees, faculty, or staff  Appropriate referral activity  Use and dissemination of appropriate information sources  Monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals  Mastery of institutional regulations, policies, and procedures  Participation in and support of advisor development programs -Criteria for NACADA Outstanding Advisor Award

11 Attitude of Service  Availability to advisees, faculty, or staff  Frequency of contact with advisees  Caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty and staff  Meeting advisees in informal settings  Participation in and support of intrusive advising to build strong relationships with advisees  Ability to engage in, promote and support developmental advising -Criteria for NACADA Outstanding Advisor Award

12 Avoid Gossip  People choose to spread rumors because it makes them look good, feel better or casts an unfavorable light on the individual  Gossip can cause irreparable damage  Refuse to spread or listen to gossip

13 Set an Example, Walk Your Talk  When we focus on being positive and responsive to the student regardless of their attitude, we present a positive image for others to see and emulate  The impression we present of our department and institution is memorable  People want to be around positive individuals and are more willing to follow the example you will set

14 Be Accountable  Avoid placing blame on another department or colleague for a mistake  When you blame someone else for the problem in front of a student, it only generates more ill feelings  Be accountable for your department and institution and provide alternatives in order to fix the situation

15 Avoid Complacency  Strive for constant improvement  Recognize areas you need to improve and establish personal and professional goals  Tackle the most difficult areas first  Look for the positive during your personal growth and change processes

16 Listen to your Speech  Hear what you say to others and how you say it (i.e. tone of voice)  Mentally observe your body language  People will mirror your message and your body language  If your communication is positive you can better expect a favorable response

17 Resolve conflicts immediately  When we delay the resolution of conflicts it allows more time for people to let the situation fester and create negative scenarios  Address a conflict when it arises and ill feelings will be doused before they have the opportunity to begin “When there is an elephant in the room… introduce him.” -Randy Pausch

18 Use Positive Language  Use positive terms  State what you can do, not what you can’t  People to tend focus and remember the negative words more then the positive

19 Avoid Negativity  Listen to your inner voice  Surround yourself with positive people  Negativity breeds more negativity  When you are around others who have a positive attitude it will be easier for you to remain upbeat and focused

20 Be Proactive  Don’t wait to take action  Look for positive solutions to challenging situations  Your genuine concern and upbeat willingness to take immediate action will be remembered longer than the negative feelings

21 Remember…  What you do is not inherently easy  Select a student-focused attitude  Strive for constant improvement  Avoid gossip  Set an example and walk your talk  Be accountable  Avoid complacency  Listen to your speech  Resolve conflicts immediately  Use positive language & avoid negativity  Be proactive

22 Assessment “A systematic appraisal of advising is necessary to determine whether student and institutional expectations are being met and to justify professional recognition.” -Frank J. Spicuzza University of Tennessee, Knoxville

23 Assessment  Create a survey  Can be either paper based or computer based or both  Web Services on campus has a tool to create a form  Can be anonymous but you can leave an to have students to get a response from someone if they want

24 Indicators of Advisor Success  Student Success  Student Attitudes  Administration/Faculty/Staff Attitudes

25 Some Issues  Advisor Load (Student/Advisor Ratio) Majors, Minors and Prospective Students “The field of advising has yet to produce definitive research on the relationship between advisor load and either student satisfaction or advisor effectiveness.” “Frankly, there is no magic formula that fits determining advisor load at every institution…In a sense, the issue of advisor load is predicated on understanding the differential needs of your students.” -Wes Habley ACT, Inc.

26  Compassion vs. Accountability  Work Environment  Under appreciation  Personality Conflicts  Student Responsibility Some Issues

27 Questions? Thank You!


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