The Division of Student Affairs staff engage customers with an ethic of care in a manner that demonstrates courtesy, attentiveness, active listening, proactive problem-solving, and patience while executing the functions of their job. It is expected that staff across the division possess cultural sensitivity and awareness of our diverse customers.
Campus Solutions Services Creates Slogan to Amplify Division Customer Service Standard
Campus Solutions Services is a department within the Division of Student Affairs with a unique opportunity to serve all the campuses of the University of Houston System, putting them in a position to illustrate the notion that anyone the department interacts with is a customer.
History of the standard
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) Assessment committee engaged the division in a conversation on customer service, specifically around the elements necessary to create a division-wide expectation of customer service in the 2015-2016 academic year. In the summer of 2016, the committee summarized those conversations into themes that set in motion the standard for each unit to follow. The standard was unveiled at the “State of the Division” meetings in October of 2016.
Definitions for the Customer Service Standard
ETHIC OF CARE
Utilizing an ethic of care means that staff listen fully and react quickly to issues and concerns, anticipate peoples’ needs, give accurate information, and ensure people feel heard, valued, and cared about, even when sharing difficult information.
CULTURAL SENSITIVITY AND AWARENESS
Cultural sensitivity is the ability to appropriately adjust behaviors as needed to respectfully attend to differences in values, belief systems, and experiences resulting in the successful navigation of multicultural interaction. Cultural awareness is the understanding that culture has the ability to influence and inform our experiences, perspectives, and world view. Through this behavior and understanding, DSA Staff demonstrates the foundation of the standard of cultural sensitivity and awareness.
POINTS OF EXCELLENCE
Acting with courtesy is affording politeness to every individual. It is being respectful, considerate, and friendly in the forms of outward displays of behavior and in nonverbal behaviors, such as tone of voice and body language. It also includes using another’s preferred name in conversation and following up after interactions in a timely manner. Courtesy would involve using gender-appropriate language.
Using attentiveness is concentrating full attention on the current person or interaction, one individual at a time. This includes all aspects of conduct beginning when the individual approaches you, listening to the individual, maintaining eye contact, and open body language. Attentive behavior is being mindful of an individual’s needs and responding to each person with a personable response. If necessary (and able), move to an environment that is free of distractions or noise and is appropriate for the nature of your work. If attention must be diverted away from the individual, an explanation will be given to ensure the individual understands the diversion.
Active listening is the act of consciously hearing and attempting to understand the meaning of words spoken by another person with the goal to improve understanding. It may involve non-verbal gestures (e.g. eye contact, nodding of head) that indicate where attention is directed, as well as the listener giving feedback in the form of a paraphrased interpretation of what the hearer thinks the speaker has said. Similarly, active listening can include taking notes, responding to verbal cues, and following-up with what the individual has said.
Proactive problem solving is used to identify, diagnose, and resolve and/or then prevent situations before they cause more incidents. Data may be used to detect, prevent, and manage actions. It also means to provide comprehensive service that not only addresses the questions being asked, but also any foreseeable or related questions.
Patience is the act of taking the time to listen or respond carefully with a good understanding of an individual’s issue while keeping an unbiased attitude and not expressing anger or annoyance. This also includes ensuring the individual feels heard and understood while keeping a polite, respectful attitude while remaining calm and unaffected in order to ensure you hear their concerns and assist them appropriately.