If I could think of thousands of dollars to spend something on, tuition isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But when that dreaded time comes, I, among 9,000 other UM-D students, depressingly cut a check with an X amount of dollars on it, and I can’t help but die a little on the inside.
So what are those thousands of dollars of financial aid and loans supposed to get you? Well, the idea is that in four or five years you will graduate with a degree from an institute of higher education. However in these times of economic crisis, I am a firm believer that people always want the biggest bang for their buck, I know I do.
When you think about it, maybe a paper certificate of your graduation isn’t all you should be getting. What about good old fashioned customer service? There is nothing more aggravating than paying for a product or service, especially a really expensive one, and receiving “less than” customer support. What’s even worse is if the poor customer service is consistent, and never seems to change.
You may be asking yourself who this “less than” customer service is that I keep referring to, well, if you have ever had to add or drop a class in person, you know what I am referring to. Enrollment Services.
First, let me say that besides one or two employees behind that blue laminate counter, I sincerely question how one can achieve a job with such an uncaring, lethargic attitude. It seems like every time I get called up to the desk in regards to a question I have about my tuition assessment or address change, I always end up walking away with a feeling of regret.
Maybe this spawns from the time that I requested a new tuition assessment, and the Enrollment Services employee literally did not say one word to me and played with her hair over the course of ten minutes. Maybe my frustration comes from the time that I called Enrollment Services because I had a question about a stipend on my account, and the response and lack thereof was nothing but, “Uh-huh,” and “Mmmhmm,” even when I repeated my question four times. Maybe it was the time that I went to Enrollment Services after getting off the phone with said lethargic employee and received the same response in person. I was sure I couldn’t be the only one who experienced this frustration.
In order to dismantle my thoughts of insanity when it came to this subject, I developed the Enrollment Satisfaction Survey to prove that I wasn’t going crazy and that it wasn’t just me. Using the Likert scale (shout out to my Communications 330 professor), I came up with a short thirteen question survey where participants were asked to rate their Enrollment Services experience on a scale from one to five.
The results were shocking. Questions such as, “How satisfied were you with the professionalism of the Enrollment Services representative?” averaged a 2.13 on a scale from one to five, with five being extremely satisfied. “How satisfied were you with your feeling of importance at Enrollment Services?” averaged a 2.2.“Overall, how satisfied were you with Enrollment Services?” averaged the lowest number of 1.75 using the same grid.
To aid the individuals’ responses was a section at the bottom of the survey left open for additional comments. Comments that were provided were mostly negative, with only one comment leaning towards a neutral status.
One UM-D student said that “[Enrollment Services] added me into the wrong section when I clearly had the right section, and made me wait again.”
Another student claimed that, “They seem to be very lazy and not motivated to help you out with your academic needs.”
The most interesting commenter was also the most detailed about their experience at Enrollment Services. “The woman who helped me had an attitude while I was trying to get information for an upcoming name change and made me feel stupid. The same woman the next time I saw her was more concerned about her flat tire than helping me register for my MAPP class. NOT SATISFIED.”
I’m sure that not every person on campus is unhappy with the customer service from Enrollment Services. I’m sure that some people think that they are the most resourceful tool on campus. However, it was unanimous that the students I surveyed were dissatisfied.
Why does this matter? To put things in perspective, think of it this way. Think of all the money you have ever spent on tuition, and think of your money going into a paycheck for someone who didn’t want to give you the light of day.
One thing is certain, good customer service is few and far between, something that you would expect, and something that you don’t receive at the UM-D.