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Things are H.E.A.T.–ing Up for National Customer Service Week

September 7, 2018
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With National Customer Service Week coming up the first week of October, we've got some helpful tips to help you celebrate in style.

It's time to turn up the temperature on your customer service skills with H.E.A.T.—four steps you can use to navigate tough situations.

  1. Hear Them Out: While it may not always be easy, truly listening to what a customer has to say can go a long way towards making them feel better about the situation. If you give them a chance to vent, you can clear the way to a solution—one they're finally ready to hear.
  2. Empathize: Allow yourself to feel what your customer is feeling. Put yourself in their position, and try naming their emotions: I understand you're frustrated, and I can see why. I would be too. Showing you understand can help calm the situation and demonstrates your willingness to help.
  3. Apologize: This may seem like a simple thing, but it can make all the difference to your customer. Even if you aren't personally responsible for the problem, hearing "I'm sorry" from someone who represents your institution lets your customer know you're part of a team, and that your team works together to solve problems.
  4. Take Action: Follow up your apology with action. Offer some solutions, and let the customer know what they can expect to happen next. Laying out a timeline—and sticking to it—proves you are prepared to help them at every step of the way until the issue is resolved.

Not Hot Enough For You?

Check out our upcoming SmartSessions webinars designed to take your customer service efforts from lukewarm to hot stuff.

Customer–Centric Service in the Aid Office: Raising the Bar with Comprehensive Training — Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Central

Quality customer service in the aid office is critical to your institution. Do you know how to train your team to provide a customer-centric approach? Comprehensive customer service tools empower your staff to engage with students, solve problems proactively, and improve results. A solid training program is critical to this effort. Come to this session to learn how to build and implement a customer centric training program in your office.

Sharpening Your Skills for Tough Conversations — Thursday, October 4, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Central

Having tough conversations, whether it's with your staff, co–workers, or students, are never easy. They can make us feel nervous, stressed, or troubled—however tough conversations are inevitable in every work environment. Your ability to diffuse anger and frustration during tough conversations and create a problem–solving approach is an important skill to have. During this webinar we'll help you sharpen your skills for handling tough conversations positively and effectively with proven techniques. With the right preparation and mindset, you'll feel more confident in your ability to handle every conversation that comes your way.

Good is Good, but Why Be Average? Taking Your Customer Service to the Next Level — Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 2:00 p.m.

Good customer service has become the expectation in the higher education environments. It's the minimum of what students want from their school. So if good is good, how do you take your customer service to the next level? Most of your students and families want more than a friendly face. They expect to have their needs met through a wide variety of ways—and those needs extend beyond the classroom and into all areas of the institution. Your customer service should resonate a culture of excellence in order to recruit and retain your students. You can take it to another level by assessing your current service, identifying competencies, and creating specific goals for improvement. Join this participatory session to learn how.

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