This past week three Tech staff members were awarded the University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor’s Customer Service Awards. The awards were set up in August of 2007 and were created in order to boost awareness about customer friendly service within the USG. This year, all three of Tech’s nominees won awards in various categories. These awards exemplify Tech’s ever increasing emphasis on better, more efficient customer service.
Loren Sumerlin won silver for the Customer Service Excellence by an Individual award. Sumerlin is the operations manager for the Student Center and is in charge of coordinating the day-to-day activities of the Student Center. “I don’t think I do anything that is that tremendous or out of the ordinary. Everyone comes to us with a question. To take those questions very seriously and honestly and answer them passionately is our goal,” he said.
Sumerlin is responsible for ensuring that the Student Center is properly maintained and ready to address any questions that students, faculty, or parents may have. “We process about 15,000 meeting requests per year. To facilitate all of those requests and make sure that we get answers back to the students and departments as quickly and efficiently as possible is a difficult task,” he said.
Sumerlin also recognized that there is room for improvement in the Student Center. “You can always get better, more efficient, and more customer-oriented,” he said. As an example he cited the newly implemented online reservation system for rooms, which gives instant feedback to users. “Before we had a three-day turn around for our room reservations. Now you can get instant feedback for your requests. We lose a little customer interaction but we gain customer satisfaction, and that’s really our main goal,” he said.
Rosalind Meyers, the associate vice-president for Auxiliary Services won silver for the Outstanding Customer Service Leadership award. She oversees the management and direction of Parking and Transportation, Housing, Dining, BuzzCard Center, bookstore, Vending, Student Center and Student Health Services. This award recognizes leadership on campus to improve customer service.
Meyers designed a customer service satisfaction survey that has proven very effective in improving customer satisfaction and spans all auxiliary service departments.
“It is random, on-line and very comprehensive. It allows all the departments to compare themselves against each other, and also to measure areas that are particular to them. The results are then used to make improvements. Each year, the ratings from students have improved as we have worked to improve our services based on the feedback we receive and student suggestions,” Meyers said.
Looking to the future, Meyers outlined some of the projects that she and her department have underway.
“We are working on a Parking and Transportation Master Plan and a new contract with our bus and trolley contractor to get larger vehicles, improve routes and maintain schedules,” she said. Her department is also in the design phase for a new dining hall at the North Avenue apartments. In addition, her department is at work making the Academy of Medicine Building ready for the campus community next year.
In addition, Rosser Jones, a Stingerette driver, received honorable mention in the 2008 Excellence Award of the Year category. Rosser provides late-night shuttle service to students and was recognized for working especially hard to continue the service during the driver shortage. The recipients of these awards were invited to the office of the Board of Regents.