Despite the gaps in traditional customer service training, our private sector counterparts do manage some of the same challenges that colleges face. Like colleges, business manage an overwhelming number of demands on staff time from a constituency that the organization does not want to lose—for businesses, those constituents are customers. For colleges, they are students.
In his book, The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook, Jerry Manas outlines several recommendations to maximize the use of limited resources. The first recommendation is seemingly obvious, but is often missing in higher education research: reduce the volume of demand. Other customer service research from organizations, such as the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), emphasize the need to reduce effort for customers as they engage with a company. Our members asked us to investigate how these corporate theories apply in higher education.