Doc Seidman Says……..

……It is common to hear students complain that colleges simply “want their money.” There is a sense that the school doesn’t care about them. They—the students—are only looked upon as numbers and not people.

I can understand why many students feel this way. On a certain level, the college journey can be a never-ending process of negative impressions. Often, when interacting with someone from administration, students need to identify themselves by their school-issued identification number and not their name. Additionally, they are often made to wait in long lines, sometimes standing in the wrong line and forced to queue up again somewhere else. Moreover, I would be willing to guess that throughout the college process, students hear more about what they are doing wrong than what they are doing right. Add in the occasionally snippy interaction with an employee, the never-ending stream of forms and paperwork to complete, and endless trail of emails from the financial aid advisor, and you can have very dissatisfied customers.

Look at it from a different perspective. What does a college have to gain by providing sloppy service and fostering dissatisfied customers? Nothing. Is that what they really want? No way. Your college institution wants happy, satisfied students. When you stop and think about it, they are no different from the retail store in the local mall. They want your business and will do what it takes to make you a satisfied customer.

Student satisfaction means a lot to colleges. Students who are satisfied with their experience are more likely to retain and graduate. Furthermore, happy students turn into grateful alums. Grateful alums are more likely to give back to the college through annual gifts or donations. They can also give preference to hiring future alums. They can also serve as recruiters for the college either directly, through interviewing applicants, or indirectly, through spreading the goodwill of the college.

Like your local retail store at the mall, however, the business of college can have lapses. Good customer service on any level is hard to sustain. Employees may have personal issues that can carry over to the work environment thereby projecting a dourer attitude. The store/college may be not fully staffed, with less employees working than usual. When human beings serve human beings, problems are inevitable.

Students can do their part. Like at the mall, if a customer is rude or snippy, chances are he or she will not get overwhelming amount of love from the employee at the other end of the counter. If the customer, like the student, appears to be hiding something, that, too can make for a more difficult service encounter, Good customer service cuts both ways.

It’s unfortunate that services lapses occur in any industry. It may be forgivable if it is a $10 item at the mall, but when it is a $20,000 college expense, it is a lot tougher to take. Colleges know this and try and do what they can to make the experience a positive one. They have to, like the store in the mall, No, they do not want to just take your money.  their business depends on it.

No, colleges do not want to just take your money. They are far from perfect but they certainly want your experience with them to be a pleasant one. Their success depends on it.


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college, Uncategorized