I recently read an article in Inside Higher Education titled: “The Customer Is Always Right” http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/03/marymount-enlists-students-mystery-shop-its-offices-improve-service, and it got me thinking some things.
As an adminstrator, it is always a good idea to find out how your students (or customers) are doing, and whether they are satisfied with you. Notice I said satisfied not happy because it is very difficult to make everyone happy (seriously). Anyway, I started asking myself some questions such as: is it truly necessary to use subterfuge to find out all this information? Can we not just straight out ask our students or be more visible to the point where they always know how to find you on campus?
We often ask students to fill out survey after survey, and even though these surveys are anonymous, it is often not difficult for a staff member or professor to figure out who wrote what comment; and because of this lack of anonymity, students are no longer filling out the surveys or they are not honest on the surveys. Even worse, the surveys have become a venting forum full of completely non-constructive criticism.
How easy it to see or talk to your campus director, campus dean, academic deans, or even the chancellor? Do you even know who they are? Do these administrators know who you are?
We can do better, and I think the answer is sometimes very simple: be visible and be accessible.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The E Team Educational Consulting Group