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Treat Your Students as Customers – The Key to Retention

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❶Customers respond to marketing, but only when there is something in it for them, what I am now taking about is quality, cost and delivery of the product or service. Faculty and staff should be held accountable to pre-set standards.

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Why did YOUR college administrator ask a facilitator to provide customer service training? POLL Question 2 a "series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, Who is currently enrolled in college or who has been recently enrolled in college? Take a moment to describe an experience in which excellent or poor customer service has been demonstrated.

What makes you feel valued? What allowed college enrollment to grow after WWII? What higher education system grew exponentially in the s? What was the percentage in ?

Robesonian, Sept 9, "enrollment is down at the college about 1, students over the past two years. The highest number of enrolled students in the past five fall semesters was 2, in Using the first Brainstorm table in your guide, make a list of companies that offer exemplary customer service, no matter where a store, franchise, branch or office is located. On the other side of the line, make a list of companies that offer unsatisfactory customer service, regardless of location.

The expectation of immediate responsiveness was not around 5 years ago, and in the digital age, we now expect a response to a request immediately. Our students and their parents experience this type of service response daily, and are now expecting the world of higher education to offer the same type of immediate service response. Service in higher education is being compared with service customers are receiving from retailers like Amazon.

When Coastal Carolina University began its customer service program in the summer of , there may have been ten colleges or universities that had such a program. Today, you see almost 75 institutions who have started focusing on the priority of service within higher education. As the number of students in parts of the United States decreases, colleges and universities are looking at models from other industries to attract and retain "customers.

Looking to ideals of "customer service" is a natural route for many in higher education, since one goal for many of us is improving the student experience and student satisfaction. How do you provoke the culture change necessary to achieve superior customer service on campus? However, this does not always happen, so department supervisors need to be willing to step up to the plate and have conversations with their staff about how service can be improved within their division.

You should not wait for a voice from the top to start the discussions, since it is often the frontline staff that provide daily service to multiple customers both on and off campus. Seek frontline perspectives on what can be improved.

Who wants to buy into that? Instead, create an empowering culture that allows and encourages people to go out of their way for the good of the customer. Show them how to do that through training and supportive measures built into the program. Reward and praise the behaviors and results you want to see more of; it is amazing how fast and far that can go in a program that is about serving others. As with any problem, encourage people to look at the data. If you don't have data readily available, identify ways to collect it.

Listen to what your internal and external customers are telling you and heed their advice in measured and public ways. On a college campus, if students aren't satisfied with programs and services, this should be the only provocation necessary to inform change.

Training on customer service in higher education must be done with planned care and thought. I think everyone had at least one, if not more, take-away messages that they could implement in their own organizations as soon as they got home.

Your contribution to the conference is greatly appreciated. Yesterday the presentation was wonderful! The whole group was just raving about you all day. I appreciate everything you did for us. Nothing but outstanding feedback thus far and many attendees really, really enjoyed your session!

All the prep work you did to get to know our audience truly helped make it an amazing session. She presented the perfect keynote to kickoff our first ever professional development event. The event has sparked a cultural change for our entire workforce. What I appreciate about Teri is how closely she worked with us in planning her sessions to incorporate examples that were relevant to our staff. Our staff really appreciated the wealth of knowledge and experience she brought to share with them.

Her presentation received high ratings and really reinforced the importance of customer service and how to achieve service excellence. Pima Community College needed a customer service focus and hands on training to increase student enrollment and retention and improve relationships with internal and external stakeholders. We vetted a number of customer service experts around the country and chose Teri Yanovitch because of her extensive track record of assisting organizations to establish a culture of service excellence and her experience working with colleges and universities.

Teri has considerable experience and expertise in her field and it was a pleasure working with her! Our Guests raved about your address! This event exceeded my expectations and your presentation helped push us over the top. Thank you for hosting the Service Excellence workshop this morning.

I had no idea that 3 hours had passed when the session was over. You were a hit! The feedback from the participants has been positive and folks are still talking about the wonderful experience.

Thanks so much for a great presentation; this is information the attendees will use every day. The evaluations have been tallied and you received an overall rating of 5 out of 5!


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Higher education serves an almost captive customer. Institutions aren't responding to customers off the street. But that's all the more reason to shift the customer service culture, offering clearer communication that is instructive and preventative.

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Customer Service in Higher Education: Finding a Middle Ground. June 18, ; 21 Comments; Ricky L. Boyd, University of South Carolina. In the business world, customer service is a prized commodity as it directly impacts the bottom line.

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Exceptional Front-Line Customer Service in Higher Education Julie A. Selander Director, One Stop Student Services & University Veterans Services. Teri Yanovitch Speaker, Author, Consultant How to Keep Your Students from Leaving. Teri Yanovitch, speaker, author, and former Disney trainer, teaches the keys to upgrading higher education customer service. If your institution wants to stay on the leading edge of .

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Elevating Customer Service in Higher Education provides an in-depth guide by three practitioners with decades of combined experience in the higher education and hospitality sectors. Our authors are deeply embedded in customer service initiatives and have certified hundreds of higher-ed professionals at Academic Impressions’ customer service. This Second Edition of our popular diagnostic, Improving Customer Service in Higher Education, includes additional samples of some of the tools discussed — including a sample policy and procedures audit and sample columns from Susan Leigh’s chart for tracking and anticipating stresses and pressure points for students over the course of the academic calendar.