Friday, January 22, 2010

Sometimes words aren't enough.

Sometimes you just have to do something to demand good service. Here's an example.


Customer Charges Bank Service Fees

Tired of Wasting His Time on Bad Service

After spending seven hours on the phone trying to obtain bills due, correct bank errors then pay a credit card bill, customer service consultant Neal Raisman sent an invoice to James L. Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank to collect for his time and services. A representative of Mr. Dimon said Chase can charge customers but they cannot charge the bank. So Raisman is suing to collect his original invoice of $1375 plus additional service charges and aggravation equal now to $100,000 dollars.

“I have every expectation we will prevail in court” Raisman said. “Their errors and horrible customer service took away seven hours from a customer service audit report I needed to complete. This wasn’t the first time I had to call Chase credit cards on the same issues. They had not sent me a credit card bill since November but had no trouble adding late fees and telling me to start an online account to get the bills so they could save money on printing and postage to make me do all the work I am paying them to do. “

Raisman also said that when he did pay on line as he was told to do, the Chase bill pay web site had a blatantly false statement that caused him extra time, aggravation and late fees. The Chase payment website stated the payment would be made the same day, the 19th of December. But, the payment to Chase from Chase was not made until December 22 so a late fee was charged. Moreover, Raisman’s wife was publicly embarrassed when the card was turned down on the 23rd after Raisman was assured the card was reinstated the day before.

“What they are doing is artificially generating scenarios that will cause customers to be charged extra fees due to Chase’s misinformation and errors. Their poor service, misleading statements and falsifications cause Chase banking and credit card customers to be hit with deceptive service and fees. This seems be a common occurrence in the banking industry. As a result, I had to expend time, effort and emotional capital over a period of seven hours I should have been spending working to have Chase try to resolve the errors they caused” asserts Raisman.

Raisman is an internationally renowned customer service trainer and researcher who specializes in teaching colleges and universities how to treat students appropriately so they will stay through graduation. Three of his academic customer service books are best sellers in the academic world. He has retained Douglas J. Segerman of McFadden, Winner, Savage and Segerman of Columbus, OH.

“I feel that not only is my cause actionable and just, with the anger being directed toward the banking industry for their excesses the timing is right for an appropriate decision to make the banks stop these deceptive practices just to make additional profit. I owe this action to all the people getting ripped off by banks” Raisman said

Contact: Neal Raisman


86 N Cassady Ave

Bexley OH 43209

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Under Promise-Over Deliver Academic Customer Service

There is actually something worse than delivering poor or weak service. And that is promising great service and then not delivering. Or mollifying the customer by telling him or her you’ll look into the situation, will get it resolved and either do not get it resolved or not get back to the customer.

Say a student or customer comes to you and asks for help. Perhaps a student leaves a phone message or an email account of the problem asking for you to assist in a problem he or she has. You get back to him or her by telephone but miss the person. So you leave a message.

I am sorry to hear that you feel you may have a problem……..

(Yes we do use the conditional all the way through to protect ourselves as the HR and lawyers taught us to do. May, perhaps, could, maybe, might, possibly, or combinations might possibly may perhaps have an issue…..But never simply say, holy sh%t, he did that? Never commit or accede. That’s the way to please the lawyers but perhaps, maybe, possibly upset the customer more.) But then we go and commit to look into it and make what the student takes as a promise.

…I will look into the issue, see if anything can be done and get back to you as soon as I can.

Granted soon is… well to us it is a sensible period of time as we see it. Soon as I can get the information, or contact the person, or find if there is a problem or even if there is a solution. To a customer or student with a problem, soon is now or by the end of the day, if not …well if not sooner.

Or the person tells the student, I’ll look into it and get back to you by Friday. If you make that commitment you’d better get back by Friday. That is a promise of delivery of service that the student customer will expect to be fulfilled. And rightly so.

Or the person has been to the legal seminar on commitment so he says I’ll get back to you by Friday if I have anything to tell you. There’s the conditional again. If I have anything to tell you. Covers you. Right? Nah it doesn’t because what the student hears is I’ll get back to you by Friday period. The expectation is that you will have something to tell him or her even if it is I have nothing to tell you yet.

This is the psychological background the student brings to any conversation in which service is offered/promised. Offered by you. Promised in the mind of the student. And soon is now. Oh yes, let’s not forget, the student expects a solution especially if you or your school tries to claim it cares about it students. And well you should because we are there for student success which is our success.

What is above is essentially the same we expect from service providers we pay. For instance right now I am getting quite frustrated by a guy who put in some tiling in a bathroom so I could work on my new book. There were a couple tiles that were not quite right. They need to be taken out and replaced. He said he’d be here at 9 a.m. It is now 11:25. He has failed. I will let him know so by the rating I will give him on Angies’s List. I will also tell anyone needing a tile person not to hire him. For him and a college that disappoints on promised service the Malthusian Custopmer Service Progression definitely comes into play here. Students may not go to Angie’s List to comp-lain. They will show their dissatisfaction by ending up on the drop list. Then they will tell everyone who even hints at asking about college or why he dropped out.

So here it is.

The Six Point Solution to Proper Call Backs

When you tell a student you will look into IT:

  1. If you are not sure when you will have an answer - say you are not sure when you will be able to get back but I will get back to you.

  1. If you know you can get back on a certain date – say you will get back by XXXXday but I cannot promise I will have an answer/solution. Then, MAKE DAMN SURE YOU CALL ON THAT DAY even if all you have to say is I don’t have answer but I am working on it. Then provide an update on what you and/or others have been doing.

  1. If you get a resolution or answerer sooner than when you told him or her to expect an answer it is okay to give good news early.

  1. If you are not able to call back on time, it is imperative that someone calls for you and givers an apology and an update for you. Though do realize the customer will surely believe you just don’t want to talk with him. Not a god thing but better than no call at all on the anointed date.

  1. You can let someone else call back with good news. No one complains if you let someone else tell them good news.

  1. You cannot let someone else call with bad news. If you do, you will create a doubly angry person who will eventually come to see you anyhow as if to check if what he heard was really true.

Finally, DO NOT SAY YOUI’LL CALL AND DON’T DO IT AT ALL. That will make the student feel like a jilted lover. And you’ve seen the movies about the rejected lover and the rabbit or the guy in the hockey mask.

That’s right. Michael Myers was expecting that call from the Dean that never came. Look what happened!!!

BTW, I am waiting to hear from a major communication (internet, cable, telephone) company that has promised to call back and said it will try to help on two issues. If the company which I won’t name just yet but WOW, they were named as the best by Consumer Reports for service. But at this time, it seems local service is good but WOW, some of the corporate…. They may be trying but need to read this piece and not let passive aggressive types work with customers. Nor should you for that matter. I mean WOW, use the right WAY to do things.


AcademicMAPS is the leader in increasing student retention, enrollment and revenue through research training and academic customer service solutions for colleges, universities and career colleges in the US, Canada, and Europe as well as businesses that seek to work with them
We increase your success

Neal is a pleasure to work with – his depth of knowledge and engaging, approachable style creates a strong connection with attendees. He goes beyond the typical, “show up, talk, and leave” experience that some professional speakers use. He “walks the talk” with his passion for customer service. We exchanged multiple emails prior to the event, with his focus being on meeting our needs, understanding our organization and creating a customized presentation. Neal also attended and actively participated in our evening-before team-building event, forging positive relationships with attendees – truly getting to know them. Personable, knowledgeable, down-to-earth and inspiring…. " Jean Wolfe, Training Manager, Davenport University

“We had hoped we’d improve our retention by 3% but with the help of Dr. Raisman, we increased it by 5%.” Rachel Albert, Provost, University of Maine-Farmington

“Neal led a retreat that initiated customer service and retention as a real focus for us and gave us a clear plan. Then he followed up with presentations and workshops that kicked us all into high gear. We recommend with no reservations; just success.” Susan Mesheau, Executive Director U First: Integrated Recruitment & Retention University of New Brunswick, CA

“Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop at Lincoln Technical Institute. It served to re-center ideas in a great way. I perceived it to be a morale booster, breath of fresh air, and a burst of passion.”
Shelly S, Faculty Member, Lincoln Technical Institute

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guaranteeing Student Retention and Academic Customer Service

Academic Customer service, student retention, customer service,
The AcademicMAPS Guarantee
After much discussion and self-study, Great Service Matters/AcademicMAPS has decided not just to help colleges, universities, career and community colleges. We have decided to guarantee our assistance and its results.
Budgets are tight and schools need to be sure they will really get value for their investment. Just as students expect a good return on their investment, we want to assure our clients they can be guaranteed a solid ROI when they hire us to work with them. That is simply ethical and good customer service.
It may strike some as unusual to guarantee our services but then guarantees are nothing new to me. Back in the early 1990's I led the college I was president of to offer a guarantee. Yup. That's right, we guaranteed that we would do what we said we would. I figured that if you got a guarantee with a toaster a student should get something more than a promise with a college degree.
And now, we are offering a guarantee with our work and services to our clients.
If we do not succeed in helping a college, university, community college, career college, school or a business client increase its retention and thus its population and revenue, we will return any fees paid to us for our work.
All we ask is that the school actually implement at least the two major retention and/or academic customer service solutions we provide in a workshop and/or implement an agreed upon set of findings from an audit.
That’s it. Just do what you and we agreed should and could be done from the assistance you paid us to provide.
If you do so and retention does not increase, we will refund any and all fees,
New Fairer Fee Structure Too!
We have also have decided to change our fee structure to be even fairer, clearer and based on what it is we and you are so appropriately focused upon – student retention and success. It also takes into account the per student revenue received from each student at a school. We will not have a set fee but one that fluctuates based on a school's annualized per student tuition. This will work to allow the school to also better gauge its and our success.
We work with colleges to save and retain students. Retention is a student by student issue and each additional student retained equals a set amount of money. Each school has a different student tuition. So our fees should recognize that and not just charge everyone the same. This way finally is fairer since schools with lower tuition will actually be paying less under the new system and certainly less than they would have under the old fee structure.
Besides, it is not fees any of us should focus on but students and their success.
So here is the structure.
Full Campus Customer Service and/or Retention Audits
Category Fee equals the annual per student tuition
Private colleges and universities 2 students
Public colleges and universities 2.5 students
Community colleges 4 students
Career Colleges 2 students

Workshops and presentations
Category Fee equals the one semester/term tuition for
Private colleges and universities 0.5 student
Public colleges and universities 1 student
Community colleges 1.5 students
Career Colleges 0.5 student.

Other services such as research, surveys, training will be determined based on the scope of the work but will be guided by the categories above.
We also realize that there will be a few schools that will need to be considered for a scholarship due to their particular circumstances. We will of course consider the actual situation of each school and if it is appropriate, we will adjust appropriately.
Our guarantee will be in place for all our work indifferent to whatever fee is agreed upon.
Books and Presentation Special Pricing
The Administrator's Bookshelf which publishes my book The Power of Retention: More Customer Service in Higher Education has agreed to repeat its special offer to pay for a workshop or presentation when a school makes a bulk purchase of books. Here is the Administrator's Bookshelf's offer.
For any school, college, university, business or conference that purchases 25 or more copies at a 20% off cost to make things even easier, Dr. Raisman will provide a one-hour audio seminar on any topic you choose or wish. We will also help out by dropping S+H to just $2 per copy.
If a school or other purchases 50 or more copies and hires Dr. Raisman to give a workshop or seminar on-site, we will pay for his travel expenses and provide a follow-up seminar on any topic of your choice.
If a school or other purchases 100 or more copies and hires Dr. Raisman to give a workshop or seminar on-site, we will pay half his fee.
For much less than the value of retaining just one more student, you and your school will save as much as $5,000, get copies of the Power of Retention and Dr. Raisman’s services, and increase you present and future success.
And Dr. Raisman will provide a year of telephone consultation for free. We will also help out by dropping S+H in the United States to just $2 per copy for up to 50 copies and a dollar each for over 50 copies instead of the usual $4.95.
To take advantage of this special arrangement, click here and enter SXO after your name on the order form.
If you have any additional ideas to make the structure fairer, please let us know.
We hope this guarantee and approach will take the concern out of moving forward to increase
For more information or details about our guarantee, services and/or solutions just call 413.219.6939 or email at