Process Flowcharting to Improve Quality Service

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MASFAP Fall Conference
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Process Flowcharting to Improve
Service Quality
Carol Buchli
Consultant, School & Student Services
[email protected]
866-329-7673 x 0202
1
Session topics
• Quality Service.
– Defining Quality Service in a college/university setting.
– Common Quality Service problems.
– What is a Moment of Truth?
• Flowcharting.
– Background and use of flowcharting for business processes.
– Sample flowchart.
– Your process flowchart.
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Quality service is everyone’s job
“That’s Not My Job”
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody,
Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and
Everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have
done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it
was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but
Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that
Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could
have.
- Author Unknown
3
Key questions
• Is higher education a service industry?
• Do colleges have “customers” like those of other businesses or
organizations?
• Do students experience dissatisfaction with the quality of service
provided?
• Can colleges and universities significantly improve the quality of
service to students?
4
An important distinction
Student as Customer
vs.
Student as Learner
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Customer services and higher education
• Colleges and universities are traditionally product-, not customer-,
oriented.
• They establish requirements, policies and procedures students are
expected to meet and follow. Students tend to (but not always)
acquiesce.
• Increased competition, changing demographics, attrition rates,
students’ complaints, and successful programs of quality service
have all begun to change the institution’s approach to student
service.
6
Definition of a customer in higher education
• Any individual or organization who exchanges tuition or fees for
educational programs or services.
7
The student is…
…the most important person on the campus. Without students, there
would be no need for the institution.
…not a cold enrollment statistic but a flesh-and-blood human being
with feelings and emotions like our own.
…not someone to be tolerated so that we can do our thing. Students
are our thing.
…not dependent on us. Rather, we are dependent on them.
…not an interruption of our work, but the purpose of it.
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The student is…
• We are not doing them a favor by serving them. They are doing us a
favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
9
Common quality-service problems
• What are some common service
problems encountered by students at
your college or university?
10
Common quality-services problems
• Technology behind the times.
• Little effort expended to “educate” the customer: students, parents
and the public.
• Repeat the same mistakes term after term.
• Complicated fee-payment procedures.
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Common quality-services problems
• Poor communication between offices and divisions.
• The “run-around’ or “shuffle” from office to office.
• Staff hired and placed in positions with little regard for their personal
strengths.
• Administrative policies and procedures designed for convenience of
school instead of students.
12
Common quality-services problems
• Financial-aid processes and policies.
• Telephone system.
• Parking.
• Class availability.
• Too much standing in lines.
13
What is a flowchart?
• Pictorial representation describing a process.
– Provides a common language or reference point as teams study or plan
projects.
• Several types of flowcharts.
– We will focus on a “process” flowchart technique.
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Best practices for process flowcharts
• Define the boundaries of your process clearly: What is the start?
What is the finish?
• Use simple symbols.
• Make sure every loop has an escape.
• There usually is only one output arrow out of a process box;
otherwise it requires a decision.
• Let participants in the process identify places where things can and
sometimes do go wrong (“bombs”).
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Flowcharting symbols
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Start and End
Process (X does
this noun, verb)
Wait (Delay)
Decision (Yes/No)
How do I submit a FAFSA?
Submitting
the FAFSA
No
Complete
the paper
form
Wait
for
SAR
Mail the
paper form
Talk to aid
office at your
school
Web?
No
Yes
Go to PIN
site
Wait
for
PIN
PIN?
Yes
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Complete
the Web
form
E-sign Web
form and
submit
Wait
for
SAR
Your team flowchart
• Choose a service problem involving a process.
• What is the student’s flow through the process?
– What are the start and end points?
– What does the student have to do?
– What decisions are made along the way?
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Where are your problem areas?
• Use red stickers to indicate where things can, might, or usually go
wrong!
– People may have different opinions about where the problems are.
– Problems indicate areas for improvement.
– Team approach to removing problems should be taken.
19
Reflect on the process
• What other processes in your office could benefit from flowcharting?
• Who should be involved in producing the flowchart?
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What is a “moment of truth”?
• Any instance when a student comes into contact with some aspect of
the institution, and makes a judgment about the quality of service the
institution provides.
21
SAS Airlines’ “Moments of Truth”
• 10-million customers per year.
• 5 staff contacts per customer.
• 50-million “Moments of Truth” per year.
• 142,000 per day.
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One College/One Student/One Year – Moments of Truth
Cafeteria ID Checkers/Food Servers
Faculty
500
Library Staff
320
Custodians
160
Receptionists/Clerks
100
Security
Grand Total
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1,240
20
2,500
What is needed?
• It is very difficult for staff to deliver caring and helpful service without:
–
–
–
–
–
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Student-friendly delivery systems.
Adequate facilities and equipment.
Adequate staffing and remuneration.
Supportive management.
Well-trained staff.
Some reasons for the knowledge/performance gap
• Busy/rushed/overworked.
• Failure to identify individual
needs/situation.
• Poor listening skills.
• Lack empowerment.
• The “Law of Familiarity.”
• Personal distractions.
• Reaction to student.
• Physical condition.
• Service-system problems (for
example, policies).
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Next steps
• What are some quality-service needs on your campus?
• What has this brought to light for your office/campus?
• What is the most-important quality-service-action item for your
campus to improve student satisfaction?
• What are your next steps?
• Who should be involved?
• How can flowcharting the student’s experience help you in other
areas of service delivery?
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USA Funds® is the nation’s leading education-loan guarantor.
A nonprofit corporation, USA Funds works to enhance postsecondaryeducation preparedness, access and success by providing and
supporting financial and other valued services.
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