One of the areas that we find quite common from doing onsite customer service audits is the disparity of office functional hours. Most offices that students need to complete their activities to go and pay for school are not available to the second segment of the college or university – the evening students.
Most schools have two populations. There is a daytime dedicated population of students for whom going to school is their work for the week. And there is an adult population who cpo0mew from work to go to school. Yet, the schools act as if there were only the daytime dedicated students when it comes to the hours that their offices are open to help students.
Here is an excerpt from a mini-audit that points out the problem and provides some simple solutions to solve it.
Hours of operation
An issue that is allied to scheduling of classes is the hours that offices are open to serve students. The College has two populations which are separate for the most part. There is a full-time dedicated day college as well as an evening college of working adults who are attending part-time. The daytime students receive also the services they are paying for while the evening college receives almost none of the services they are paying for.
For example, the one-stop center is a good idea but it closes at 5:00 pm. That means there are no business or student service functions that can take place for an evening student should he or she wish to get something accomplished. If for example an evening student wanted to pay a bill, he could not do so because there is no one there to receive it. If she needs a transcript for a job interview, she cannot get it because the records office is closed prior to her coming on campus.
This means that many, if not all, of the activities of the evening students cannot be done on campus while they are there. They are distinctly inconvenience. This is a situation of obvious service bias and discrimination for a large sector of paying customers.
Not only are the offices in the one-stop shop closed, the bookstore and all but the Hawk’s Landing and the Resource Center/Library are closed to evening students.
This is very poor customer service. It forces the working adult who wants or needs to accomplish an interaction with the college to either leave work and come to campus or try to accomplish the work on line. According to evening students, they would choose to come to campus and give up lunch time rather than try to accomplish work on line. They find the on-line resources to be cumbersome and difficult to use. This starts with the on-line admissions application and continues from that. This forces students/customers to sacrifice and that is not good customer service at all.
Schedules should be reallocated to make certain that there are at least one or two staff members on duty to at least 7:00 each evening. There may not be steady business but that would be similar to the level of business I observed during the daytime for the day students as well. Moreover, the one-stop shop should become truly more of a one-stop in that all people who work in it, indifferent to their assigned point of work should be cross trained to know all of the functions and activities of their counterparts. This would allow a student to go to any of the four offices, whichever seems most appropriate and get an answer to most every question he or she could bring up. What the College has now is more of a service mall in that there are four separate offices close to one another which cuts down on the amount of walking a student has to do to get some situations answered but does not remove being turfed from one office to another to get an answer. This situation still creates the feeling of being shuffled around in the quest for information or an answer.
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