Managing Service Excellence in Your Department

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We're here to help you. Welcome to our online overview of tips for managing service enhancement in your department. This presentation is a guide to strategies you can use to support your staff who serve students and other customers. The University Human Resources Professional Development Program

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Managing Service Excellence in Your Department

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1. Managing Service Excellence in Your Department

2. We’re here to help you… Welcome to our online overview of tips for managing service enhancement in your department. This presentation is a guide to strategies you can use to support your staff who serve students and other customers. The University Human Resources Professional Development Program is available to help you improve service. We offer related programs as open enrollment workshops and custom sessions for departments.

3. Before you get started… Print this presentation or use a pad to have a handy place to jot your thoughts. Decide what personal learning goals you have. What do you want to get out of this presentation? As you progress through the session, think about points you may want to discuss with your peers and staff.

4. In this session you will… Understand the components of an action plan for enhancing service Identify your department’s role in the Rutgers service chain Develop customer service performance standards appropriate to your department Learn how you can assist your staff to: Identify their customers Realize the need for quality service at Rutgers and in your department Define what constitutes “service excellence”

5. Why you should be interested in customer service Rutgers exists in a competitive environment. The university faces competition for students and funding from other public four-year institutions, two-year institutions, and private colleges. Rutgers needs to maintain credibility as top-notch university to garner continued support by legislature and continued and new support from alumni and other donors.   The pursuit of high-quality and consistent service throughout Rutgers University is a value espoused by our executive management. Success can be enhanced by a comprehensive action plan that outlines what deans, directors, department heads, and other managers can do to enhance service excellence in their departments. Using such a plan should be considered by all university departments who provide external (students, parents, alumni) or internal (employees, other departments) customer service.

6. Departmental action plan for service enhancement The components of comprehensive departmental action plan include: Identifying service chains Identifying service values Job descriptions Job searches New employee orientations Pay for Performance Unionized staff work assignments Training for all employees Training for supervisors Reinforcement of standards and behaviors

7. Identifying service chains Deans, directors, and department heads should identify how their department collaborates with other service departments and how communication and information flows among them. Managers should identify how their units collaborate within the department and how communication and information flows among them.

8. The service chain… Every employee at the university is a link in the service chain We either serve students directly or… We serve others who serve our students directly. (Sometimes these people are departmental coworkers, sometimes they work in other RU departments.) Every link in the chain is vital; everyone’s individual effort can make a big difference

9. The service chain… Let’s look at an example… If you work in one of the satellite Housing offices, you serve students directly on the phone and in person at the counter If you work in Payroll, you serve the employees who work directly with the students If you are a manager or supervisor, you support the staffs that serve the students and/or support those who do so indirectly Service Chain: Manager serves Payroll Representative serves Housing Unit Coordinator serves Student

10. Identifying service values: Deans, directors, and department heads should identify customer-service related values that pertain specifically to their departments. These values should be used to develop customer service-related standards, tasks, and behaviors appropriate to the individual department.

11. Job descriptions: customer service-related behaviors and tasks should be a part of all job descriptions

12. Job searches: customer service-related behaviors and tasks should be included in postings and advertisements

13. New employee orientations: customer service values and standards of behavior should be emphasized as an important part of the job

14. Pay for Performance: customer service-related behaviors and tasks should be detailed in performance expectations Unionized staff: customer service-related behaviors and tasks should be included in work assignments

15. Training for new employees: all new employees should attend mandatory customer service training either in person or via online materials Training for existing employees: all employees should attend mandatory customer service training that works with departmental values and standards Training for supervisors: all supervisors and managers who supervise customer service employees should attend mandatory service training that works with departmental values and standards

16. Reinforcement of standards and behaviors: Departmental values, standards, and behaviors should be reinforced in a variety of ways appropriate to the department; e.g., posters, newsletters, periodic emails, individual coaching, public recognition of service-enhancing accomplishments.

17. Who are your customers? Who are they? Take a few moments and list all of your customers… ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Based on the service they receive, what kinds of decisions do they make?

18. There may be additional performance standards appropriate to your work unit and department. The following are suggestions for expectations for staff whose job duties have a strong customer service component:   The employee will be able to identify the department’s external and internal customers. The employee will understand how to provide the components of high-quality customer service: courtesy, caring, flexibility, problem resolution, and recovery. The employee will maintain a high level of respect for the diversity of each customer, and treat each customer as an individual. The employee will greet customers with warmth and enthusiasm. The employee will be able to empathize with a customer’s feelings and show interest in what interests the customer. The employee will utilize active listening skills. The employee will demonstrate clear and concise communication skills. The employee will be able to manage personal emotions and positively resolve difficult situations. The employee will be willing to take personal responsibility for resolving customer complaints. The employee will be able to anticipate problems and be proactive in addressing them. The employee will demonstrate good time management skills and provide timely service to customers. The employee will understand the power of teamwork and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills in collaborating with coworkers to provide service. The employee will be willing to attend skills training and take personal responsibility for applying new skills and abilities in the work environment.  

19. There may be additional performance standards appropriate to your work unit and department. The following are suggestions for expectations for staff whose job duties have a strong customer service component:   The employee will be able to identify the department’s external and internal customers. The employee will understand how to provide the components of high-quality customer service: courtesy, caring, flexibility, problem resolution, and recovery. The employee will maintain a high level of respect for the diversity of each customer, and treat each customer as an individual. The employee will greet customers with warmth and enthusiasm. The employee will be able to empathize with a customer’s feelings and show interest in what interests the customer. The employee will utilize active listening skills. The employee will demonstrate clear and concise communication skills. The employee will be able to manage personal emotions and positively resolve difficult situations. The employee will be willing to take personal responsibility for resolving customer complaints. The employee will be able to anticipate problems and be proactive in addressing them. The employee will demonstrate good time management skills and provide timely service to customers. The employee will understand the power of teamwork and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills in collaborating with coworkers to provide service. The employee will be willing to attend skills training and take personal responsibility for applying new skills and abilities in the work environment.  

20. Your customers include: Did you list all of these? There are even more! Customers: Decide to: Students remain Prospective students attend Parents recommend Alumni contribute Employers hire graduates Research funding sources contribute Donors contribute Public support Coworkers/other Rutgers staff provide teamwork

21. The customer… … is not always right … is always the customer Take a few moments to think about what this means to you…

22. The customer… … is not always right … is always the customer A student may not have filled out the right form. A prospective student may have missed a deadline. A parent may make an unreasonable request. An alumna may act impatiently. They are still the reason we are here…

23. Important: customer loyalty Each time we solve a customer’s problem, it helps to build loyalty that results in… Referrals: Students, parents, and alumni tell relatives, friends, and family that Rutgers is a good place to study and work Additional business: happy undergraduate students become master’s and PhD students Retention: Students stay at least four years; employees build long, productive careers Reputation: Rutgers maintains a reputation as a top-notch institution of higher education

24. When you are the customer… Take a few moments to jot down some thoughts about what is important to you when you are the customer… What do you look for? What makes you go back? Think of a time you experienced exceptional service. What happened that made the experience so positive?

25. Four things customers want Your notes probably include these: Friendly, caring service – those serving you make you feel as though you are special Flexibility – your feelings and circumstances are taken into consideration Problem resolution – even if sometimes the answer must be no; positive alternatives are presented Recovery – mistakes are admitted, apologies are forthcoming, extra efforts are made

26. Two pieces of a puzzle There are two pieces to every customer service encounter. Both are important: Business piece Policies, procedures, regulations, rules What your organization does to conduct its normal business Human piece Smiles, eye contact, information, solutions, recovery How your organization handles each customer service encounter

27. Two pieces – an example Undergraduate Admissions: A family shows up for a campus tour The business piece includes checking the registration, reserving space on the bus, handing out a brochure, giving the actual tour, handing out evaluations The human piece includes a cheery greeting, offer of refreshments, a comfortable seating area. The human piece may also include changing the reservation if the family is larger than expected, making special allowances for an unexpected handicapped individual, etc.

28. Two pieces of a puzzle Think about a typical service encounter in your department. Jot down how these two pieces might apply… Business piece ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Human piece ____________________________________________________________________________________________

29. People remember… Good service… for 18 months and tell 9-12 people Bad service… for 23 years and tell 20 people a year Therefore, it is vital that we at Rutgers do everything we can to create good service and impressions because bad impressions tend to be much longer lasting.

30. Moments of truth A “moment of truth” is any instance in which the customer comes in contact with any aspect of your organization and forms impressions about the quality of service you provide. There are thousands of these moments of truth around Rutgers every day. They include phone calls, in-person contacts, letters, email, brochures/fliers, web sites, advertising, etc. Each is important.

31. Moments of truth Examples at Rutgers might include: a student visiting Admissions for a campus tour, a parent calling Housing to confirm an application; a potential employer receiving an internship request from Career Services, etc. What are some moments of truth in your department? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

32. First impressions count… First impressions are made in 30 seconds Take some notes… The first time you enter a new place, what do you notice first? about the place _____________________________ _____________________________ about the people _____________________________ _____________________________ Place: No hours posted Long lines Chipped counter Phones not being answered People: On the phone No smile Dirty hands/clothes Head down Complaining to coworker Place: No hours posted Long lines Chipped counter Phones not being answered People: On the phone No smile Dirty hands/clothes Head down Complaining to coworker

33. First impressions count… about the place… you may notice: cleanliness, orderliness, spaciousness, lighting, sound, pleasant or unpleasant odors, furnishings… about the people… you may notice: if they are smiling, if they seem harried, how they are dressed, if they seem to be working together or apart from one another… All of these put together make a strong first (and sometimes lasting) impression Place: No hours posted Long lines Chipped counter Phones not being answered People: On the phone No smile Dirty hands/clothes Head down Complaining to coworker Place: No hours posted Long lines Chipped counter Phones not being answered People: On the phone No smile Dirty hands/clothes Head down Complaining to coworker

34. How impressions are formed Interpersonal impressions are based on: Verbal messages (what is said) 7% Vocal messages (how it is said) 38% Nonverbal messages (face/gestures/space) 55% First impressions 100% You can see from this chart that your “body language” can be powerful in sending positive messages.

35. “Body Language” Body language includes many non-verbal aspects. Here are some of the most important: Face: includes your expressions, the tilt of your head, and your smile (a very powerful tool) Figure: includes your posture, demeanor, dress, and general appearance Focus: includes the length and directness of your eye contact. Different cultures view direct eye contact in different ways, so be sensitive Tone: includes the volume, pitch, and inflection in your voice (your most powerful telephone tool) Territory: includes your physical comfort zone and that of your customer. Again this differs by culture.

36. Difficult customer behavior We all have personal triggers. It’s important to realize what a customer might do that could cause us to “turn off” or not handle an encounter well. Behaviors many people find hard to deal with include: yelling, profanity, finger pointing, name calling, body odor, peculiar dress, name dropping, etc. Think of a few behaviors you might find annoying or difficult to handle; then, on the next slide, write down how you would manage that behavior positively.

37. Difficult customer behavior Our example… Behavior: A customer yells at me Response: I tell the person in a calm voice that her raised voice upsets me and I will be able to help her more effectively, if she doesn’t raise her voice. Your examples… Behavior: _____________________________________ Response: ____________________________________ Behavior: _____________________________________ Response: ____________________________________ Behavior: _____________________________________ Response: ____________________________________

38. The FISH philosophy The employees of Pike’s Fish Market in Seattle, Washington have developed a “philosophy” that has made their store into a world-class operation. These employees work long, hard, and cold days selling fish; but use the following four ideas to put energy, commitment, and fun into their work every day for their own benefit and for that of their many customers.

39. The FISH philosophy Play – You spend more time at work than on any other activity during the day. For productivity, there needs to be some fun in the work day. Experts say humor even boosts the immune system. Make their day – Go the extra step for the customer. Be flexible, be positive, find solutions. Be there – Focus on each person as a special individual. Give each of them your full attention. Choose your attitude – Make a conscious choice to smile and enjoy your day; it’s contagious!

40. Play… Let’s think about this further… how might you add play to your work? ____________________________________________________________________________ Examples might include birthday wishes/cards, coworker compliments, inspirational quotes, work-related cartoons, special events luncheons, teamwork competitions, etc.

41. Make their day… Let’s think about this further… how might you make a customer’s day? ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Examples might include solving his problem when he didn’t think it would happen, “bending the rules” where possible, making them laugh during the service encounter, doing what’s needed to avoid transfers from office to office, etc.

42. Be there… Let’s think about this further… how might you be there for a customer? ____________________________________________________________________________ Examples might include making good eye contact, smiling, acknowledging someone when they first come in the office door, avoiding other distractions while dealing with an individual, keeping personal feelings in check, etc.

43. Choose your attitude… Let’s think about this further… how might you choose your attitude, especially on a day you’re not feeling that well? ____________________________________________________________________________ Examples might include smiling (it does actually make you feel better), playing a favorite song, making a list of ten things for which you are thankful, prayer, remembering a recent happy event, etc.

44. Walk away with… In summary… to handle all service encounters in the best way possible: Know who your customers are Remember how you would like to be treated if in their place Remember the lasting impact of poor service Remain in control Work hard, play hard

45. We’re here to help you… We hope you have enjoyed this online presentation. If you would like to learn more about pursuing customer service excellence, please join us for the open enrollment Service Excellence workshop offered each semester. Our classroom session includes two excellent video pieces plus the benefits of interactive discussion and group exercises. Visit the Professional Development Program web site for information about this and many other programs that will help you build your knowledge and skills at http://uhr.rutgers.edu/profdev.

46. Pursuing Service Excellence

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