College Services - Fall 2014 - (Page 40)

FEATURE Customer Service MONTRÉA NAC AS 20 14 L Educatio n Session Creating a customer-centric culture Key is in thinking about our customers in every decision we make BY ANNA HINTZ A t Brockport auxiliary service Corporation (BasC) at The College at Brockport, customer service is critically important to what we do. it aligns to our mission of supporting the strategic initiatives of the college, which are all about student success, and our vision of providing a positive experience each and every time we interact with the campus community. in addition, in our increasingly value-focused higher education environment where auxiliaries are often times not the low-cost provider nor the innovator with highly unique products, customer service is a way we can differentiate and add value to our campus communities. in many cases, we're interacting with students, faculty, and staff multiple times a day via the key services we provide. This allows us a unique opportunity to get to know and build connections with our customers, and ultimately provide a higher level of service. in fact, at BasC our motto is, "serving you best by knowing you first." i'm pretty sure we can all agree on the importance of customer service to our business. The tricky part is figuring out how to consistently deliver that great service across business lines every single time and to have truly engaged employees who care about their work and their customers and strive for continuous improvement. That is what BasC set out to achieve a little over a year ago. But we didn't have to reinvent the wheel; there are lots of great customerfocused organizations. and as timing would have it, i was working on my master's degree in strategic leadership at Roberts Wesleyan College and learning about many of these companies when my colleague, Mark Gardner, and i embarked on the creation of a plan for our own organization. The plan we put in place is not unique, nor does it hold some secret key to success. it is, 40 CO LLEGE SERVI CE S | F aLL 2014 however, holistic, incorporates the successful thinking and practices used by other customerdriven organizations, and requires broad commitment and hard work for implementation. i am proud to work for an organization that has made this initiative a priority and has dedicated the time and resources necessary to achieve success. our plan adopts the common philosophy held by many, that a customer-centric culture means thinking about our customers in every decision we make, and understanding that, in doing so, we must put our people first, recognizing that they are the key to our organization achieving success. as stephen George and arnold Weimerskirch state in their book titled Total Quality Management: Strategies and Techniques Proven at Today's Most Successful Companies, "new model believers hold that employee satisfaction is a leading indicator of customer satisfaction and that loyal employees develop loyal customers." '' ThE TRICKy PART IS FIgURIng OUT hOW TO COnSISTEnTLy DELIvER ThAT gREAT SERvICE ACROSS BUSInESS LInES EvERy SIngLE TIME AnD TO hAvE TRULy EngAgED EMPLOyEES WhO CARE ABOUT ThEIR WORK AnD ThEIR CUSTOMERS AnD STRIvE FOR '' COnTInUOUS IMPROvEMEnT. The successful companies we've studied have more than customer service programs per se, they have a customer service culture - it's just the way they do business. With our goal to foster a similar kind of culture, we've put a number of best practice strategies in place to move us in this direction. These include some of the topics in George's and Weimerskirch's book: leadership, training and empowerment, recognition, continuous improvement, goals and measurement, and communication and reinforcement. Throughout the year, we've implemented a number of tactics at both the corporate and unit level for each of these strategies. as a leadership team, we've talked about key philosophies in a people-first culture, like, how it is our responsibility as leaders to role model the behaviors we expect in others, and to ensure that we have the systems and processes in place that allow our team members to be successful. Learning from tools available via the national association of College and university Food service (naCuFs) Customer service institute, our leadership team recently developed an employee promise as a way to publicly state the importance of our people in accomplishing our mission and vision. We've also created service standards that we'll use as a basis for training and evaluation. EMPOWERING EMPLOYEES one of the training and empowerment tactics we implemented was the creation of a Connection specialist program where employees volunteered for an additional 16 hours of training that included learning about what motivates them, understanding today's generation of students, learning how to recognize others' behavioral style and adapt accordingly, discovering the power of a positive perspective,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of College Services - Fall 2014

Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
The conference for higher education ancillary services
Explore the Business Solutions Center in Montréal
Welcome to Montréal
University dining as a “third place” experience, the next big thing
Students not ready to part with print
Farm to campus
Is it time for a wellness check of your auxiliaries?
Creating a customer-centric culture
Leaving a footprint
Sustainable campus food: For people, planet, and profit
Regional Conferences
Congratulations Kevin D’Onofrio, United States Military Academy West Point
Professional Development Calendar
In Closing: Executive Summary
Advertisers Index/

College Services - Fall 2014