Better service tackled

If receiving net checks on time made some Florida A&M University students happy, wait until they see what’s next.

Interim President Henry Lewis III said he has an agenda for the first 100 days within his current position.

Lewis has already dealt with the first item on the agenda, net checks.

“Our next major issue is customer service,” Lewis said. “We want to provide the customer service that our students need.”

After conducting impromptu telephone calls to various departments, Lewis said customer service must be addressed.

“I began calling different offices discreetly to access how they answered the phone…I didn’t like the way some answered the phone,” he said. “There needs to be a friendly voice on the other side of the line.”

Lewis said he wants to make sure that those offices interfacing with the public are very customer-service oriented.

“The first contact (with the university) is either via phone or Web site,” he said. “So customer service is very important.”

Lewis is trying to put together an audit group that will assess different offices on campus in regard to customer service.

One of the duties of the group is to focus on students’ impressions of offices on campus to identify the problems.

Some of the offices that will be assessed are financial aid, admissions, bookstore, post office, dining hall, student accounts and the library.

While Lewis is making his list and checking it twice, some students are not hesitating to say who has been naughty or nice.

“I’m glad that somebody is going to take the initiative to fix things around here, too bad it’s my last year,” said Anitra Walden, a 23-year-old elementary education student.

Walden, a senior from Fort Lauderdale, said poor customer service is one of the reasons it has taken her five years to graduate.

“If I knew then, what I know now…I would have graduated,” she said. Walden made it clear that in order to accomplish anything you have to know someone in the office. “If you don’t know nobody, you’ll be lost because the staff is not going to offer any information,” Walden said. When customer service becomes a priority, staff will help everybody in the same way, she said.

Shametria Trice said she found a friend that works in financial aid so that she can months. And after that the training will follow.

Lewis said he has great staff and faculty members here but some need to do their job differently. “I got people here to do the job we just have to make the pieces of the puzzle come together for a common cause,” he said. “We are here for the students.”

Lewis said “I wouldn’t have a job and they (staff and faculty) wouldn’t have a job if the students were not here.”