Awareness Training Presented by Academic Affairs

Presented by: Work Session Leader: Ron Paul Joyce Hanley & Ron Paul

Why are you here?

Mandated by Cal U’s Administrative Council and

the Board of Trustees

Goal: promote positive interaction with our



Know how to handle inquiries (in-person and on the


Know how to obtain necessary information from

callers and visitors

Be able to utilize the features of the phonesKnow how to utilize online resources

Agenda – Customer Service

What is good customer service?Who are our customers?Why is good customer service so important?

Agenda – Communication Skills

Good communication skills – what are they and why

do we find it so hard to communicate?

How can I improve my active listening skills?

Agenda – Phone Coverage

What to do when the phone ringsWhat to say firstTop 5 list of things to askHandling transfersPutting callers on holdHow do I find the right person or

department? What resources are available to me?

Customer Service Part One

Customer Service What constitutes good customer service?


Why is good Customer Service so important?

“First impressions are indelibly marked on the fabric

of the mind.”

Our goal is to create a

positive experience for every customer.

Who are our Customers?

ExternalProspective StudentsParentsOther interested partiesInternalStaffFacultyStudents

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Increase in Enrollment and Better Services Good Customer Service Better Customer Experiences

But my degree isn’t in Public Relations!

You come into contact with customers everywhereYou are the face of Cal U – they will judge Cal U by

their impression of you

In other words …

You are Cal U !

Quick Check

What is good customer service?Who are our customers?Why is good customer service so important?

Communication Skills Part Two

What are the costs of ineffective communication?

Lost opportunitiesMistakes/reworkConfusion/mistrust

Barriers to Effective Communication


Barriers to Effective Communication

Environmental – parts of your surroundings that

have a negative effect on communication

Verbal – ways of speaking that get in the way of

good communication

Interpersonal – relationship issues between people

that have a negative effect on communication

StereotypesHot buttonsAttitude

Ways to overcome barriers

EnvironmentalControl the settingPlan to talk when there are minimal disruptionsVerbalKnow what you want to say and be clearAsk questions and confirmListenInterpersonalSet aside biases and assumptionsBe alert for possible differences in perceptions

Hearing vs. Listening

What’s the big deal?

Hearing vs. Listening

Hearing is a physical process The ears hear.

Listening is an intellectual and an emotional process.

The whole body listens.

Hearing is a sense of sound.

Listening is a search for meaning.

Why don’t we listen?

InterruptionsFear of not having all of the answersBelieving that you know more than the speakerThe speaker pushes a hot buttonPseudo-listening

Active Listening

Confirm your understanding by repeating itAsk questions if you are unclear about anythingRead back critical information to ensure that you got

it right

Top 10 Tips for Active Listening 10. Take notes!

9. Be a CSI!

8. Stay calm!

7. Forget about this weekend – concentrate!

6. Listen for the unspoken!

5. Don’t be judgmental!

Top 10 (continued)

4. Let the caller know you understand!

3. Don’t interrupt… well, unless you must!

2. It ISN’T all about you!

AND 1. Be prepared!

There is a reason why we were born with: 2 ears and only 1 mouth!

Quick Check

What are the three costs of poor communication?Name three types of barriers to communication.How can you overcome those barriers?What are 5 reasons we do not listen well?Name the top 10 tips for active listening!

Phone Coverage Part Three

It’s ringing… now what??

Offer a salutationState the name of the departmentGive your name (first name only, no nicknames)Offer assistance – how may I help you?

What’s Hot & What’s Not

May I tell him who

is calling, please?

May I ask what

you call is in regard to?

May I have your

phone number, please?

May I have her

return the call?

Who’s calling?What’s your


Will she know who

you are?

What’s it


What do you


Would you like to leave a message?

Full nameDate and time of callCompany or department or student’s name (if a


Their phone numberThe message

I can’t tell them what??

Do not disclose information about a student to an

external caller (parents, other parties) – schedules, grades, SSNs, financial aid information, etc.


Transferring a Call

How do you feel when someone says

they will transfer you?

Why do you feel that way? What is

the worst that can happen?

Try alternative phrasesI’ll connect you with Ms. Burns nowI will put you in touch with the Bursar’s

office now

And, most importantly…

Don’t hang up!!

Why stay on the line?

Avoid the dead-end transferProvide the introductionNameReason for the call and transferJust remember – the caller can hear you the ENTIRE

time – so be RESPECTFUL!

How to transfer a call in 5 easy steps 1.








Tell the caller: that you are going to transfer the call the name and extension of the person you are transferring to preview the process if applicable Press the Transfer button once. Enter the extension you are transferring to. It will ring and a person will pick up. Introduce yourself and that you will be transferring a call and tell them who the caller wishes to speak with.

Press the Transfer button again. Hang up! The call will automatically connect to the number you’ve transferred it to. Job well done!

What if I reach their voicemail instead of the live person?

1. Press the Resume Call button to return to the caller. Tell the caller that the party is not answering.

2. Ask if they would like to leave a voicemail message a. If YES – tell them to follow the directions to leave a message and follow instructions again to transfer the call and hang up.

b. If NO – tell them to call back later and hang up.

How to put a call on hold 1. Ask permission FIRST!!

2. Press the HOLD button.

3. To pick up again, press the Resume Call button.

4. When you come back on the line, THANK THEM for holding.

5. Don’t leave a caller on hold more than 30 seconds without checking back.

6. Don’t leave them on hold more than 3 minutes EVER.

Top Five Hot Buttons for Callers 5.



I can’t I don’t know I’ll be honest with you 2.

You’ll have to AND 1. I’ll try

What do we do with an angry caller?

Duck!Hit back!Disconnect them!

These solutions render you…


What do we do with an angry caller? Let’s try again…

Why do we get angry? Because we care about


You have been given a gift – the opportunity to

make something good happen!

Just do it!!

Handling an Angry Caller

Use the EAR method to calm an angry callerE – EmpathizeA – Acknowledge/ApologizeR - Responsibility

Show ‘em what you got!

Be careful with humor!Avoid jargon!Avoid slang!NEVER speak disparagingly about the department,

the school, your coworkers!

Put a smile in your voice!

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…

Online Resources

Telephone Directory

Quick Links

Organized by name and


Has name, department, title,

room, phone and mailbox number

Quick Check

What do you say when you answer the phone?What information should you obtain when

taking a message?

What are the steps for transferring a call?What are the steps for placing a caller on hold?What is the EAR method for handling angry


What two resources should you always have

handy when answering the phones or greeting visitors?

Completion of Course

In order to complete the course, you must successfully complete a short test on customer service and listening skills at the end of this presentation. Please use a SCANTRON form for the answers. If you do not already have one, you may request one from your work site or pick one up in Academic Affairs , Dixon 301, from 8:00 – 4:00 daily.

Be sure to include your name, the department in which you work, a phone number, and email address on the SCANTRON form. Return it to your supervisor.

When you complete the test successfully, your Certificate will be mailed to your work site.

If you do not complete the test successfully, you will be asked to review the materials and re-test.

Please call Academic Affairs at x4407 with any questions. Good luck!

Customer Service Test

1. One of the four characteristics of good customer service (as provided in the presentation) is: a. Sympathy b. Empathy c. Practicality d. Efficiency 2. There are two types of customers: a. Staff and Faculty b. Internal and external c. Inner and outer d. Internal and guest

Customer Service Test (continued)

3. An example of an external customer would be: a. Staff b. Faculty c. Parent 4. The goal for the training is to create a _______ experience for every customer.

a. Memorable b. Positive c. Impressive

Customer Service Test (continued)

5. An example of an internal customer would be: a. Staff/Faculty b. Student/Parent 6. When we provide excellent customer service, our customers are happier with their University experience, and that translates into higher enrollment and better services.

a. True b. False

Customer Service Test (continued)

7. Which of the following is NOT a cost of ineffective communication: a. Confusion/mistrust b. Lost opportunities c. Loss of self-esteem d. Mistakes/Re-work 8. The ways of speaking that get in the way of good communication are interpersonal barriers. a. True b. False

Customer Service Test (continued)

9. The parts of your surroundings that have a negative effect on the communication are environmental barriers.

a. True b. False 10.When people push hot buttons, it has little if any impact on their ability to communicate effectively.

a. True b. False

Customer Service Test (continued)

11.Our brains are able to process words about three times as quickly as our mouths can speak the words.

a. True b. False 12.Which of the following is NOT a tip for becoming an active listener: a. Be prepared b. Listen for the unspoken c. Sympathize with the customer d. Empathize with the customer

Customer Service Test (continued)

13.You use the Transfer button when placing a caller on hold.

a. True b. False 14.When you use the EAR method for dealing with irate callers, you: a. Empathize, Apologize, Respond b. Emphasize, Apologize, Responsibility c. Empathize, Apologize, Responsibility

Customer Service Test (continued)

15.When taking a message, you need only get the caller’s name and phone number.

a. True b. False 16.If a parent calls and asks for a student’s schedule, you are not permitted to divulge that information to the caller.

a. True b. False

Customer Service Test (continued)

17.When transferring a call, you should immediately hang up as soon as you have dialed the extension.

a. True b. False 18.You should never leave a caller on hold for more than 30 seconds without checking back.

a. True b. False

Customer Service Test (continued)

19.The Telephone Directory provides both the campus location and the mailbox number for all staff and faculty.

a. True b. False 20.The interaction that a customer has with you might be the basis for their opinion of the University overall.

a. True b. False