Everything You Need to Know to Improve Customer Service in Higher Education

Everything You Need to Know
to Improve Customer Service in Higher Education

A Closer Look at Service Excellence in Higher Education

As our colleges and universities strive to help more students persist and succeed, it's time to have deeper conversations on campus about how we serve our students and other constituents:

  • What do service competencies look like in our sector?
  • What roles do faculty and staff have in improving service on campus?
  • How do we create physical environments that foster better service?
  • Where do we look for effective models of service excellence?
  • How can we best train and certify our people?

Browse our videos, resources, and related programs below to enhance the quality of service excellence on your campus.


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10 Key Takeaways:

Define what service excellence means at your institution.

Who are your customers? Those expecting service excellence on your campus may be a larger and more diverse pool than you think.

The customer is not always right—but it’s our responsibility to make the situation right.

Move from the golden rule (treat others as you want to be treated) to the platinum rule (treat others as they want to be treated).

“It is key for staff to realize that while they may have answered the question multiple times, the person on the other end has only asked it once.” Approach each question as if it’s the first time.

Take the time to explore and understand the frustrations of frontline staff.

Assess service excellence by conducting “secret shopper” exercises.

Don’t underestimate the power of simple, effective signage that can help students, parents, and visitors get where they need to go.

From your written materials to signage, is the messaging that people see on campus supportive of diversity and inclusion?

Train frontline staff to “take the H.E.A.T” (Hear them out, Empathize, Apologize and Ask, then Take action).



Experts Heath Boice-Pardee, Emily Richardson, and Eileen Soisson have partnered with us to create three ways to improve your customer service initiative:

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Bring expert facilitators to your campus with a comprehensive, on-site workshop and certification. Get a large team on the same page and moving in the same direction quickly.

Supplement your training with a practical guidebook packed with templates and examples, authored by the creators of our customer service certification.


Looking for further resources? Try these recorded webcasts and complimentary articles:


Heath Boice Pardee

Heath Boice-Pardee

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Heath Boice-Pardee has worked as an administrator in higher education for nearly twenty-five years in a variety of administrative and teaching roles. He is currently the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and has served as Interim Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, at Rochester Institute of Technology. Additionally, Heath is an Instructor in the College of Applied Science and Technology at RIT and has developed a higher education administration Master’s concentration focusing on service leadership, customer service, and the student experience.

Read Heath's full bio here.

Eileen Soisson

Eileen Soisson

Executive Director of Training, Development and Service Excellence, Coastal Carolina

Since July 2011, Eileen Soisson has been leading Coastal Carolina University’s service excellence initiative, Feel the Teal®, created to enhance the university’s culture and become more service-oriented and focused on student success. She designed the service excellence program into eight training modules and oversees all operations within the initiative. Eileen teaches university employees and others how to deliver better service within higher education.

Read Eileen's full bio here.


Kate Poisson
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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