Great customer service
Is missing from our institutions. If it's one thing continuing educators do well, it's customer service. That set us apart 25 years ago and still does, evidently. From The Hechinger Report.
The man in the impeccably tailored black suit has the people in his audience engrossed as he describes the secrets that have made his multibillion-dollar company internationally known for customer service.
They’re here to find out how to do a better job of it themselves, in this case from a general manager in the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, at whose suburban St. Louis location this three-day conference is taking place.
It may not seem unusual for business leaders to seek out other business leaders for ideas that can improve their own customer service and employee morale. But the business these people work in may be a surprise:
They’re presidents and administrators from community and technical colleges and a few four-year colleges and universities, part of a small and little-known organization that uses private-sector lessons from companies — including Disney, Kimberly-Clark, Southwest Airlines, and Ritz-Carlton — to improve the notoriously impersonal and bureaucratic front-office student support functions blamed for worsening the already high college dropout rate.
“There’s almost a confrontational relationship with students in some places,” said John Politi, executive director of the group, called the Continuous Quality Improvement Network, or CQIN.
Registrars, financial-aid offices, and academic advisors are often spread out in separate offices open only during business hours in an era when increasing numbers of students go to school at night or on the weekends, for example. Even when they are on duty, there can be long waits, since there’s an average of only one academic advisor for every 400 students, according to the advocacy organization Complete College America.