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Looking through their Lens

Last week I was working on a large university campus training internal managers to become trainers of a customized 3 hour staff workshop on Service Excellence. This was the culmination of several months of prior work that involved developing a Service Philosophy and Service Standards, creating a Service Excellence Team, and conducting Manager Workshops. The trainers were very excited about their role as facilitators and ambassadors of this culture change. Not that their current culture was bad in student service, but the administration wanted to stay competitive and viewed the student experience as the differentiator in student selection of a higher education choice.

While on campus, I had a meeting with the Provost and she asked me what would be the first signs of a Service Excellence culture. Language was my response, the use of certain terms and phrases; such as, Who’s lens are we looking through? Everything speaks – what message are we sending? Create little Wows and Make it Easy to do Business with us. I shared this conversation with the trainers and they suggested that they wanted to identify even more visible signs of a student-focused culture. Here are the three actions they believed would very quickly be felt by everyone on campus that a                                                                                               change was occurring:

1. Be on the lookout for “lost” students, parents, or visitors. Don’t wait for them to ask you where to go. Take the initiative and proactively help them find where they need to go.

2. Be aggressively courteous. Be the first one to say “hello” and smile when you pass a student, parent, or co-worker in the hallways, elevators, walkways on campus.

3. Pick up one piece of trash every day. If everyone on staff would pick up just one piece of trash, it would help the campus to look its very best and beautiful at all times.

The trainers are going to incorporate these 3 visible signs of a service excellence culture into their workshops as an immediate Call to Action upon completion of their workshops. Three visible signs that cost absolutely nothing. Imagine the impact of thousands of staff at this university performing these actions. The end result will be incredibly powerful.

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