Excellence in Customer Service: Institutional Expectations
Employees should accept responsibility for assisting the customer with her problem/issue.
Employees should use reflective listening, such as paraphrasing for clarity and/or asking probing questions.
Employees should demonstrate empathy with the customer's feelings.
Employees should acknowledge the problem/issue and sincerely apologize.
Employees should solicit additional information and determine if the problem/issue can be resolved immediately. If so, employees should take action to resolve the problem/issue.
If the problems/issues are not immediately resolved, employees should provide information to the customer regarding the next necessary step.
Employees should close the conversation with an offer for additional assistance if applicable or necessary, then thank the customer and let her know they were glad to help.
Employees should extend the same level of superior service to internal and external customers.
Employees should listen to the customer with respect and always be polite and focused on the customer's perspective.
Employees should give the customer their full attention and not be distracted by background noise, such as other customers, typing on keyboards, etc.
Employees should continue all conversations in a pleasant tone even if they do not agree with the customer's statement. Employees should not use a condescending tone but acknowledge the customer's point of view, i.e. ''I understand how you must feel about this ...''
Employees should respond to a customer's request within 24 hours by providing a resolution or status report and/or provide the customer with a clear understanding of the steps needed for a resolution and give an estimate of the time needed to fulfill the request.
Employees are encouraged to wear their Macon State College name tags.
Employees should smile and greet customers in person or on the phone in a warm and friendly manner.
If customers are in the office/school, employees should smile and make eye contact. If employees are busy with other customers, they should advise the newly arrived customer that they will be with her momentarily.
Employees should provide quality assistance to customers present in their office/school before answering telephone calls.
General Telephone Service Standards
Employees should always be prepared to answer a phone call and always keep a pen and writing pad near the phone for messages. All messages should include:
-- The caller's name and phone number
-- If offered, the caller's office/department/school
-- The date and time of the message
-- The nature of the message if the caller chooses to disclose that information
-- The employee's name or initials
Employees should use a duplicate telephone message pad and give the original message to the person to whom the original call was placed and refer to the duplicate no later than the next business day to insure communication occurred.
The institution's goal is to have all calls answered by a live person. If an employee is going to be away from his/her desk for an extended period, calls should be forwarded to another employee or to voicemail.
All telephone messages should be clearly and promptly communicated, with follow-up to determine that appropriate return calls were placed.
Time away from the employee's work station should be managed. The employee should ensure that there is ample telephone coverage.
The employee should speak in a clear, calm, upbeat, non-hurried, professional manner.
The employee should close the call with an offer for additional assistance if applicable or necessary.
The employee should extend the same level of superior service to internal and external contacts.
Answering the Telephone
The employee should answer telephone calls immediately or at least by the third ring.
The employee should answer each call with the following information:
-- Identify Macon State College and the appropriate office/school.
-- Identify yourself using both your first and last name.
-- Offer to help the caller.
-- Example script: Macon State College, Registrar's Office, Martha Washington speaking, may I help you?
If the employee is unable to answer the phone in three rings, she should apologize to the caller.
Placing the Caller on Hold
If the employee is answering a call for another employee, she should place the caller on hold before locating the other employee. Before placing the caller on hold, ask if the caller is able to hold.
If the employee has placed a caller on hold, she should check back within the first 30 seconds and always say, ''Thank you for holding.'' If the caller does not want to continue to hold, the employee should offer to take a message or forward the caller to voicemail if available.
Example script: Will you hold, please? ... I am sorry Mary Lincoln is out of her office. Would you like to leave a message or be transferred to her voicemail?
Transferring a Call
The employee should transfer a caller only when absolutely necessary and provide the caller with the name and telephone number of the office or the person to whom the call is being transferred in case the call is disconnected.
The employee should indicate to the person to whom the call is being transferred the caller's name and the nature of the call.
The employee should transfer calls with care, being sure to check the extension, and always transfer calls to a manned telephone.
When transferring a call, the employee should not transfer a customer more than two times. The employee should always tell the person to whom the call is being transferred the number of times the customer has been transferred and, if necessary, take the customer's name and number and take responsibility for conveying the message to the appropriate person for follow-up.
The employee should ask the customer's permission before transferring his/her call to voicemail.
Voicemail should be used as a last resort during business hours.
A recorded voicemail message should provide an option for reaching a live person and should include expectations for a return call.
Employees should keep their voicemail messages current.
Employees are responsible for managing their voicemail to avoid having a full voicemail box.
Voicemail should be checked at least twice each day. Voicemail messages that are left in the morning should be returned by the afternoon of the same day. Voicemail messages that are left in the afternoon should be returned by the following business morning.
The employee should apologize to the customer for missing his/her phone earlier phone call.
It is unacceptable if a caller receives a constant busy signal or constant ringing with no answer.
The employee should take responsibility for helping the customer. This includes listening actively to questions, communicating in a friendly manner and following up to make sure the customer has been properly served.
The employee should verbally thank all customers and let them know that she was glad to help.
E-mail should be checked at least twice each day. E-mail messages received in the morning should be responded to by the afternoon of the same day. E-mail messages that are left in the afternoon should be responded to by the following business morning.
If an employee will be away from the office for several days, the e-mail message should state the time that the employee will be out of the office and should indicate a contact for immediate assistance. When the employee returns to the office, every effort should be made to review all e-mails and respond by the end of the first business day back in the office.
Business-related responses should include name, title, office/school and contact information. Use the signature feature of Outlook to add this information.
If the e-mail response involves a referral to another office/school or person, full contact information should be provided in the response.
Employees are responsible for managing their e-mails to avoid having a full in-box.
Be Helpful and Knowledgeable
Employees should answer a customer's questions accurately and provide appropriate support such as forms, directions, etc. If employees do not know the answer to a customer's question, they should conduct research to determine an accurate response.
Employees should reduce ''bouncing'' or the ''run around'' of customers.
Employees should provide the customer with the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of the person who can provide further assistance if needed in the future.
Employees should always maintain a pleasant and professional tone.
Customize Technology to Meet the Customers' Needs
Employees should familiarize themselves with the student e-mail address rubric in order to assist students requesting information.
Employees should familiarize themselves with the BannerWeb access rubric in order to assist students requesting information.
Employees should familiarize themselves with information provided to them on staff portal dashboards in order to assist customers seeking information pertaining to such things such as financial aid, degree programs, student portal page, etc.
Employees should determine if their voicemail system could be reconfigured to provide better service to customers.
Employees should determine if additional technology might assist them in better serving customers (i.e. hands-free headset, cordless phone) and make the appropriate requests.