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Everybody Wins When Students Are Respected Customers

 

I helped a friend and her daughter navigate the FASFA and a last-minute college application. My friend did not attend college, so mother and first-generation daughter, Paige, were understandably overwhelmed. This month Paige is graduating with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from the public university that I helped her apply to almost five years ago. And even better is that Paige’s internship turned into a full-time and well-paid position.

From what I heard from Paige, the university was helpful, transparent, and supportive in numerous ways – outside of the classroom. The good customer service she received was positive to the point of being encouraging and a contributing factor to her success. Over the years, I have heard stories of how this university assisted Paige and her mother. They describe this university as a good choice.

Completing a college degree cannot be accomplished alone. A campus employs many support staff for good reason. Graduating each student is one thing, but a satisfied graduate builds up positive experiences, outcomes, and your brand.

Yet for some, the term customer service as an expectation of staff and student interaction is controversial. But, patiently demystifying financial aid paperwork, showing genuine concern when there is a question, or making courses fit into a livable schedule, empathically, truly does matter. Exceptional customer service, on-campus and elsewhere means always applying the Platinum Rule: doing unto others as you would have yourself done unto.

If improving retention is a goal, why not investigate if the Platinum Rule is the norm on your campus? Paskill Stapleton & Lord can observe and analyze service to students through secret shopping. We also offer a Workshop for a Student-First Culture that addresses the customer service best practices that matter most.

And while Paige’s story is positive, unfortunately negative experiences are often the ones that get shared. In fact, people are eight times more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one. This means your college brand is being devalued when negative experiences go unchecked and even snowball in this digital age. Now more than ever customer service on campus is more important to monitor and cultivate. Let’s talk today about how to get your campus started.

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Janet Sieff,

Over 30 years of experience in higher education marketing, admissions, and financial aid. Fifteen of those years spent on a campus managing the high school recruitment operations and negotiating articulation agreements. Off-campus experience includes consulting for college cost affordability, tuition payment plan implementation, online media campaign sales, lead generation, college prep content sales, and strategic planning for national branding.

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