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Welcome to Nordstrom. We're glad to have you with our Company. ... Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use your good judgment in all situations. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: P1246341505twPNJ

Southern Polytechnic State University

Move Over Nordstrom Building the Best Customer
Service Program on the Planet Dr. Robert A.
Sevier Senior Vice President Stamats, Inc. Cedar
Rapids, IA 52406 (800) 553-8878 bob.sevier_at_stamat
About Stamats
  • We are an award-winning, nationally-recognized
    higher education research, planning, and
    marketing communications company. Our mission is
    to help college and university leaders achieve
    their most important marketing, recruiting, and
    fundraising goals through the creation of
    customized integrated marketing solutions.
  • Research, Planning, and Consulting Services
  • Image and competitive positioning studies
  • Tuition price elasticity studies
  • Alumni and donor studies
  • Marketing communication audits
  • Recruiting audits
  • Campus visit audits
  • Integrated marketing plans
  • Brand clarification and communication plans
  • Recruiting plans
  • Strategy development and strategic plans
  • Board presentations
  • Project-specific consulting
  • Creative Services
  • Recruiting and fundraising publications
  • Web site development
  • Virtual tours
  • Direct marketing strategies (search, annual fund)
  • Targeted e-mail marketing systems
  • Advertising
  • Creative concepting
  • Content management systems
  • Dynamic news and events calendars
  • Message boards/chats

Offices Cambridge, Richmond, Portland (OR),
San Francisco, and Cedar Rapids
The Big Questions
  • When you hear the phrase customer service what
    is your immediate reaction?
  • What is customer service?
  • Why is customer service important?
  • Why should faculty and staff be concerned about
  • Are students the only customers on your campus?
  • Why do so many customer service programs fail?

What are the indicators that you might have a
customer service problem?
Caveat emptor Cave emptorum
The customer is not always right, but the
customer is still the customer!
If 99.9 Percent Is Good Enough, Then
  • Only three planes will crash each day at OHare
  • Only two million documents will be lost by the
    IRS this year
  • Only 22,000 checks will be deducted from the
    wrong bank accounts within the next 60 minutes
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled in the
    next hour
  • 1,314 telephone calls will be incorrectly routed
    by telephone companies in the next hour
  • 12 babies will be given to the wrong parents in
    the next hour
  • Only 493 financial aid applications will be
    mishandled today

What Is Customer Service?
  • The ability to effectively manage your
    institutions moments of truth
  • Underpromising and overdelivering
  • A willingness to go the extra mile
  • A recognition that you only have one chance to
    make a first impression
  • The golden rule

When have you experienced great customer
service? When have you experienced bad customer
Moments of Truth
  • A moment of truth is when someone comes in
    contact with the college and has an opportunity
    to form an initial impression of the institution
    that is positive, negative, or neutral
  • Every college has thousands of moments of truth
    each daythousands of opportunities to make
    positive, negative, or indifferent first
  • One goal of a campus-wide service program is to
    manage these moments of truth

Where are you most likely to find positive
moments of truth on your campus? What about
negative moments of truth?
Why Is Customer Service Important?
  • Why students choose a college
  • Availability of a specific major
  • Location
  • Safety
  • Cost/financial aid
  • Why do students leave?
  • Financial reasons
  • Because of how they are/were treated
  • Currently, about one-third of students attend
    three or more colleges while earning their BA

Important - continued
  • Consider how much colleges spend to recruit
  • A private 4-year spends about 1,562 to recruit a
    freshman (under 1,000 students 1,968)
  • Average public 4-year spends about 560
  • Average 2-year spends about 225
  • Reflect on retention
  • Institutions are hemorrhaging students
  • About 2.3 million students will enter higher
    education this year
  • About 1.6 million (57) will leave without
    receiving a degree
  • Over the past 10 years, the average retention
    rate has actually fallen and will likely continue
    to drop

Important - continued
  • Students who have a bad experience at an
    institution are very likely to tell others
  • Importance of Word of Mouth
  • When a customer is satisfied they tell four to
    five people
  • When a customer is dissatisfied they tell nine to
    12 people
  • Seven of 10 dissatisfied customers will stay IF
    you solve their problem in their favor
  • 95 percept will continue as customers if you
    resolve in their favor on the spot

Important - continued
  • How much does a dissatisfied student cost?
  • Lost TRBF dollars
  • Decides to go elsewhere after a negative visit
  • Lost annual fund dollars, lost word-of-mouth
    support, lost legacies
  • More than just students
  • Poor service contributes to poor morale of
    faculty and staff
  • Poor service undermines your image efforts

Incorporates an 8 increase in annual tuition
and does not include other campus spending
Increasing Interest in Transferring
  • More students will transfer more often because
  • Start out at less expensive institutions and
    transfer to better-known institutions
  • Increased use of articulation agreements and
    acceptance of credits
  • Little stigma assigned to transferring
  • Students will have an educational portfolio that
    summarizes each persons education from different
    settings, locales, and providers

Students and Customer Service
  • Most students are very satisfied with what
    happens in the classroom
  • Fairly consistent concern about advising (except
  • Instead, students tend to find the most problems
    with nonacademic areas
  • The business/accounting office
  • Financial aid
  • Registrar
  • What really bugs students
  • They didnt get what they thought they were
  • Someone was rude
  • No one went out of their way to help them
  • No one listened to them
  • An employee projected a cant do attitude

High Maintenance Families
  • First generation college
  • Immigrant families
  • Helicopter families
  • Entitlement families
  • Special interest
  • Students with disabilities
  • Home schoolers
  • Commuting students
  • Parents of athletes

Source Pamela Horne
Counselor Role in a Greek Drama
  • Counselor as
  • Messiah
  • Scapegoat
  • Gatekeeper
  • PR agent and sales
  • Oracle
  • Messenger (in the Greek tragic sense)

Source Patricia Rust-Kovacs
Beware the galloping psychology of entitlement
Students - continued
Student Perceptions of Support Services
Rated on a 1 to 9 scale 1 Poor 9 Highly
Exactly What Part of the Word NO Dont You
For a student (or any other employee for that
matter) to be successful, he or she must
emotionally connect with a person within the
first three to six weeks.
The Student Is
  • The most important person on the campus. Without
    students, there would be no need for the
  • Not a cold enrollment statistic but a
    flesh-and-blood human being with feelings and
    emotions like our own
  • Not someone to be tolerated so that we can do
    our thing. They are our thing
  • Not dependent on us. Rather, we are dependent on
  • Not an interruption of our work but the purpose
    of it. We are not doing them a favor by seeing
    them. They are doing us a favor by giving us the
    opportunity to do so

  • Service is a people business
  • The most important element of service is people
  • People are the targets of good service
  • People are the purveyors of good service
  • Understand the four basic needs of people
  • The need to be understood
  • The need to feel welcome
  • The need to feel important/valuable
  • The need to feel comfortable

Remember All contacts with an organization are
a critical part of our perceptions and judgments
about the organization. The quality of the
people contacts, however, are often the most

Evaluating Your Customer Service Program
  • You must regularly evaluate how you are doing
  • Service audit
  • Customer feedback program
  • Employee feedback program
  • A service audit identifies and measures the
    observable and measurable key indicators of
  • Is retention up?
  • Is employee absenteeism down?
  • Is turnover reduced?
  • What other measures should we consider?
  • A customer feedback system is an organized and
    deliberate way of finding out what your customers
    think about the job you are doing
  • Howd we do?
  • Keep in mind that most customers dont complain,
    they just leave

How Might You Measure
  • Faculty impact on customer service?
  • Bookstore impact on customer service?
  • Food service impact on customer service?
  • Academic deans impact on customer service?
  • Advancements impact on customer service?

  • What would happen if we would
  • organize retention data by faculty advisor?

  • Strategies for gathering customer feedback
  • Get out and talk with current customers
  • Query former customers
  • Organize focus groups or surveys
  • Use suggestion boxes
  • Read their bulletin boards and newsletters
  • Respond rapidly to all customer complaints and
  • KEY As evidence of your commitment to
    customer service, move oversight from the low end
    of the organization to the high end

  • Campus Customer Service Climate Assessment Scale

  • Low High
  • What is the level of employee commitment to
    organizational goals? 1 2 3 4 5
  • How much group cohesion and interaction exists on
    our campus? 1 2 3 4 5
  • To what extent do employees help and support one
    another? 1 2 3 4 5
  • How much opportunity is available for employees
    to develop
  • new skills and knowledge? 1 2 3
    4 5
  • How much involvement and influence do employees
    have in
  • decisions that affect their job?
    1 2 3 4 5
  • To what extent are employees rewarded and
    advanced on the

Assessment - continued

  • Low High
  • What is the level of positive employee/supervisor
    relations as
  • reflected in fairness, honesty, and
    mutual respect? 1 2 3 4 5
  • To what extent does the organization treat
    individuals as adults,
  • with respect and dignity? 1 2
    3 4 5
  • How much confidence do the employees have in
    management? 1 2 3 4 5
  • To what extent do the physical working conditions
    provide a
  • supportive work environment? 1
    2 3 4 5
  • What is the level of economic well-being among
    employees? 1 2 3 4 5
  • How positive are employee attitudes toward their
    jobs? 1 2 3 4 5
  • To what extent do positive working conditions
    reduce job stress
  • in your work environment? 1 2 3 4

Score interpretation 15-24 Youre in danger
25-39 Nonsupportive 40-54 Little support
55-70 Supportive 71-75 Very supportive
The Three Most Important Ingredients in Customer
  • Empathy
  • Intuition
  • Follow-through

Components of a Customer Service Program
  • 1. Obtain commitment from the top
  • The administration must send a clear and
    unequivocal message
  • to all employees that customer service is
    critical to their survival
  • Part of the campus culturefrom the president to
  • Check your motivations and level of commitment
  • Commitment is spelled
  • Commitment must be long term
  • Commitment must be public

Everyone is someones customer

Institutions Committed to Customer Service...
  • Are attuned to the needs of their students,
    clients, and customers
  • Are obsessed with making a positive impact at
    every moment of truth
  • Have managers who keep policies and procedures in
  • Have managers who support front-line employees in
    every conceivable way
  • Hire people who can and will exercise judgment
  • Encourage employees to bend rules in order to
    resolve problems
  • Are more interested in fixing the problem than in
    affixing the blame
  • Keep their promises
  • Have initial and ongoing orientation programs
  • Reward and fire for quality

Program - continued
  • 2. Designate a champion, someone who will serve
    as the catalystfor customer service
  • Powerful
  • Respected/trusted
  • Knowledgeable about basic customer service skills
  • Effective champions always have sponsors

Program - continued
  • 3. Listen to your customers. Conduct research to
  • Which programs, processes, and services are most
    important to your clients
  • How your clients perceive those services now
  • Whether, after implementing changes, those
    services are improving

Changes in Perceptions of Quality
After the first data were collected (the
baseline), the institution implemented a series
of strategies to improve performance in key
areas. The second bar shows data collected two
years later.
Pay-off Matrix
  • As you struggle with prioritizing your options it
    is easy to get lost in the minutiae
  • Jurans the vital few and the trivial many
  • Dont major in minor things
  • Make sure whatever you do is sustainable
  • Expectation management

Program - continued
  • 4. Examine policies and procedures that inhibit
  • Policies are often designed to protect the
    institution from a few students rather than being
    designed to serve the vast majority of students
    who are honest and sincere
  • A surprising number of service problems are
    caused by nonsensical or irrational policies,
    procedures, or rules that prevent employees from
    responding quickly to customers needs

Program - continued
5. Within reason, and based on your research,
define quality from the perspective of the
How do traditional-age students describe
quality? Or adult student? Or faculty? Or donors?
Based on Our Research
  • Students (of all ages) and donors expect
  • Respect
  • Responsiveness
  • Situational awareness
  • Produce/service knowledge

Six Sins of Customer Service
  • Apathy
  • Brush-off
  • Coldness
  • TDC
  • Robotism
  • Rulebook
  • Runaround

Program - continued
  • 6. Set service standards and be prepared to
    enforce them
  • Are your standards something that all employees
    can believe in and support?
  • Defendable
  • Can you communicate your standards and service
    program in concrete terms?
  • Can you dramatize a service program to employees
    at all levels?

Welcome to Nordstrom   Were glad to have you
with our Company. Our number one goal is to
provide outstanding customer service. Set both
your personal and professional goals high. We
have great confidence in your ability to achieve
them.   Nordstrom Rules Rule 1 Use your good
judgment in all situations. There will be no
additional rules.   Please feel free to ask your
department manager, store manager, or division
general managers any questions at any time.

Program - Continued
  • 7. Select and train employees to work for the
  • Employees at all levels must be concerned about
    customer service
  • Understand its importance
  • Understand the costs of poor service
  • Understand their role in customer service
  • Understand the resources that are available to
  • Understand their range of authority
  • Understand what will happen to them if they do
    not willingly serve customers

Customer Service Training
Hiring for Service
  • INC. magazine says a mis-hire costs an
    organization about 7x the salary expended
  • It is often more effective to hire for service
    than to train for service
  • It generally takes months to improve a behavior

The Interview
  • The key to hiring for service the interview
  • Ask general, open-ended questions that do not
    suggest a particular answer
  • What do you consider most important when working
    with people?
  • Describe how you would handle an angry or
    difficult customer
  • What have you done in the past that reflects how
    you enjoy people?
  • What job accomplishment do you feel particularly
    proud of?

  • Less traditional open-ended questions
  • Under what kinds of conditions do you learn best?
  • Give us some examples of times you've been
    criticized. How did you react, and why?
  • If you could structure the perfect job for
    yourself, what would you do, and why?
  • How would you describe your previous supervisor?
  • Nontraditional interpretive questions
  • What is your interpretation of success?
  • What would you like to be doing five years from
  • What concrete steps are you taking to make sure
    this happens?

Look for Individuals Who Consistently Demonstrate
  • A high motivation to serve others
  • Enthusiasm
  • The ability to listen
  • A customer-sensitive orientation
  • Flexibility
  • A high degree of initiative1 better each day
  • A positive attitude
  • Resilience
  • Confidence in themselves and their job
  • Unflappability
  • Did I mention the ability to listen?

Key Customer Service Skills and Attributes
  • Know your job
  • Remember the power of first impressions
  • Watch your attitude
  • While it may be chic to be cynical, it is also
    selfish and childish
  • Make your appearance count
  • Exercise tact
  • Communicate effectively
  • 93 percent of all meaning is conveyed without
  • Watch your V3verbal, visual, and vocal

Dealing with an Angry Customer
  • Remain calm
  • Let them vent
  • Show empathy
  • Restate the problem
  • Find agreement with the customer
  • Slow things down
  • Get on with the solution
  • Words to avoid - Cant - But
  • - Wont - Policy

Listening is more than waiting for your turn to
  • Listen well
  • Be prepared
  • Limit your own talking
  • Turn off your feelings
  • Concentrate
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your customer
  • Ask questions
  • Dont interrupt
  • React to ideas, not the person
  • Dont jump to conclusions
  • Listen for overtones
  • Take notes
  • Summarize
  • Let them know what you will do

People dont change that much.Dont waste time
trying to put in what was left out. Rather, try
to draw out what was left in. Thats hard enough.
Where Do Managers Spend Their Time
  • In the first column, write down the names of the
    employees who report to you in descending order
    of productivity
  • In the second column, write down the same names
    in descending order of the amount of time you
    spend with them
  • Draw straight lines joining the names on the left
    with the names on the right

How many of you would describe the training you
received when you began your job as
  • ? Great
  • Good
  • Not so good
  • Really poor

Program - continued
  • 8. Empower employees
  • Training is not enoughemployees must be
    encouraged and rewarded for extra effort,
    imagination, and initiative
  • Their errors must be tolerated when their
    well-intentioned efforts fail to work out as

  • How Empowered Are Your Employees?
  • How empowered do you, as an employee, feel you
    are? What about other
  • employees you work with?
  • Do empowerment levels shift and change within
    different departments in
  • the organization? Do empowerment levels vary
    greatly throughout the institution?
  • Are managers more empowered than front-line
  • What specific programs could be developed to
    improve the feeling of empowerment among
  • If the level of empowerment is high, how will
    that affect the way you do your job?

Empowerment Grid
Clear Objectives
Nine Strategies for Creating Trust
  • Trust is the oxygen of a customer service team
  • Have clear, consistent goals
  • Be open, fair, and willing to listen
  • Be decisive
  • Support all team members
  • Take responsibility for team actions
  • Give credit to team members
  • Be sensitive to the needs of team members
  • Respect the opinions of others
  • Empower team members to act

Program - continued
  • 9. Develop a reward and recognition system for
    front-line staff that is
  • attractive and meaningful

What are some creative and inexpensive ways to
reward front-line staff? Faculty?
Program - continued
  • 10. Remove people who do not or cannot perform
  • Relocate
  • Terminate

You will never change an organizations culture
unless you are willing to change how people are
evaluated and how they are rewarded!
Kaizen is the ability to make
small improvements in processes and
products every day.
Sometimes the best way to achieve
long-lasting customer service is one small step
at a time.
Lessons I Learned in Kindergarten (Robert Fulghum)
  • Share everything
  • Play fair
  • Dont hit people
  • Put things back where you found them
  • Clean up your own mess
  • Dont take things that arent yours
  • Say youre sorry when you hurt somebody
  • Live a balanced life
  • Learn some and think some and draw and paint and
    sing and dance and play and work every day some
  • Take a nap every afternoon
  • When you go out into the world, watch for
    traffic, hold hands, and stick together
  • Milk and cookies can solve any problem and make
    it a great day

  • Albrecht At Americas Service
  • Beckwith Selling the Invisible
  • Bennis Organizing Genius
  • Byham Zapp! The Lightening of Empowerment
  • Carlzon Moments of Truth
  • Chaleff The Courageous Follower
  • Cowan Small Decencies
  • Klose Breaking the Chains The Empowerment of
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