Sunday, November 14, 2004

Customer service in Ann Arbor

Back on another university campus (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) for my son's parent's weekend, and I've been given another amazing dose of quality customer service. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) connected with this university is "on" all the time. Cheerful, pleasant, willing to go the extra mile to help a moderately lost parent (me) yesterday. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, everyone.

So I was thinking about which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Does UMich train and train and train its employees - - - and then the "be nice" but rubs off on the students, or do they recruit amazing kids and those kids are the example for the staff....or is it some of both?

Certainly, one reinforces the other.

Now, most nonprofits don't carefully select their customers (as the university can with its students), but if the atmosphere those customers enter is always friendly, helpful, and caring, what a great place that is to come for service, and to come to work....

Anyway, just an observation. Heading home today I'll probably think more about this.....And tomorrow I get to privilege of teaching again at Kellogg! I'm excited.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Ahhh yes, I just had similar issues moving from DSL to a cable modem. The cable company was fabulous!!!! I talked to 2 different people who understood me and solved my problem. I also talked to 3 people at my router company (all apparently located in the Philipines). What I frequently find with outsourced tech support is that I can understand them, but they can't understand me. Tech 1 made things worse and denied having any responsibility(45 minutes later). Tech 2 quickly pawned me off on their website, without checking to see which operating system I'm using - the website wouldn't work. Tech 3 (priority tech line) was fabulous! She spent 10 minutes with me and helped me reconfigure my router for the new system. Yay!

My moral - I used to HATE the cable company. Now I'm warming up to them. You can change a customer's attitude with good (or bad) service.

Michelle Johnston
Center for Civic Partnerships