Three Simple Rules for Great Customer Service

During the April All Hands meeting, Senior Customer Relationship Manager Candace Jarrett discussed the feedback her team is receiving from our customers, and communicated some strategies to improve our relationships with them. Candace’s team has received customer feedback demonstrating the strengths and the limitations of the current WashU IT customer-service model. Details about this feedback are available in the PowerPoint presentation and video of the meeting on the WashU IT website.

John Norenberg, interim executive director of End User Services, is the son of an entrepreneur and a long-time leader in IT customer service. He held his first job at his father’s pharmacy, where he gained a perspective on customer service that continues to guide him in leadership roles.

He explains that the WashU IT mission, vision, and values (MVV) offer a model for great customer service. He summarizes his own strategy, which reflects much of the WashU IT MVV, in three simple rules.

  1. “What any of us do—no matter what our profession—is in some way, shape, or form in service to other people.”
  2. “Ninety percent of customer service is merely having good manners.”
  3. “When you understand that you’re here to serve, it becomes apparent that the mission comes first.”

Norenberg reiterated that the mission is to serve our WashU educators, researchers, and physicians; to provide the infrastructure they need to be creative and productive.

According to Norenberg, his father would end each staff meeting with the same closing statement, “. . . and remember folks, the customer is not always right but the customer is always the customer. They are the reason we exist.” This sentiment, Norenberg hopes, will become a cornerstone of customer service delivered by WashU IT.