When trying to provide timely and efficient customer service, Abbott and Costello may have stated it better than anyone else: “Who’s on first?” How do you determine when and who gets your attention first when there are numerous customers that need your assistance, and the cast of characters varies? Your decision of who is on first should be based on the priorities of your organization and of you as an effective manager. However, the decision is not always simple. Let’s take a look at some of these characters and how they may affect your customer service decision, and ultimately, your decision of who is on first.
WARNING: Following the practices in this article may be hazardous to your printer’s health, your ink cartridge budget, and the life expectancy of trees. Please continue at your own risk.
Even though digital documents began in the 1950’s, they became available to most offices in the 1980’s with the development of the personal computer. Users could finally create and share digital information without the use of any print material of any type. At the same time, however, the rise in the use of digital printers grew at an amazing rate side by side personal computers. After almost thirty years of designing and developing student registration systems, I am always amazed at how often digital data is printed and distributed. The process seems counterproductive to me. During a recent meeting with a customer, however, the front office staff finally helped me understand the error in my thought process and why it is important to print everything. Here is a summary of what I learned.
The common idiom “if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well” comes to mind when thinking of a continuing education program manager’s job. Always striving to do more, do better, and improve the program. A lofty and impressive aspiration, but easier stated than reached. Adding a few weekly habits to your schedule could make a noticeable difference, especially with what really matters to your staff and your customers. Consider the benefits of these six actions when done on a weekly basis.
It’s the end of the course. Your students have gained knowledgeable insights and will utilize their data in the future. For many of these students, you will see them again, especially if your course part of a continuing education program meant to offer annual licenses or compliance. So, even though this is the end, it’s just the beginning. Fortunately, data can help you plan for the future. Whether your next course is next month or next year, time is of the essence. If you utilize a program such as XenDirect, all the data you need is right by your side. But which metrics are best for the future? Below we explore some simple features and reports that can offer a plethora of information and potential.
What is the goal of an educational course? To help your students pass and move forward to your next course? Not quite. To weed out students who can’t make the cut to focus on those with the most promise? Nope. Instead, it is to deliver the material in a way that improves knowledge retention and deters knowledge decay. To do this, you need to understand how a learner retains a course’s material.
Studying year-end metrics can help you on multiple levels. The first level is assessing the results of the course that was just completed. You will be able to gauge the course’s efficacy and how your students benefitted from the material. Such immediate insights are especially helpful for continuing education courses or courses administered by contract trainers. The second, however, involves looking at your course on a macro scale: its student base (target audience), the suitability of the materials, and much more. To truly understand where your course is heading, you need to know where it has been. You learn this by determining the appropriate metrics and gathering the applicable data.
Metrics allow you to view your education or training program from a fresh perspective. By approaching your course analytically, you will quickly be able to identify the successful elements of your strategy. Not only that, you will be able to single out aspects that require improvement to better satisfy your learners and further attract new students. With your findings in mind, you will be able to fully understand where your course stands and what needs to be done to improve your current status quo. But to use metrics, you’ll need data.
Did you know there is a big difference between data and metrics? While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually separate–yet equally important–concepts. If data is the answer; metrics is the test. Metrics are specific ways that we measure raw data and define performance. For educators and course administrators, metrics will help you understand how students perceive and perform in your course. Studying metrics will help you better manage your program. You can use this information for future upgrades. No matter what your industry or format is, clearly defined metrics will enable you to get the most from your course.
Unless you establish a baseline, all the data in the world will be useless to you. A baseline will help you organize your information and establish results. was your course a success? Is there room for improvement? Without a baseline, you won’t be able to tell your course was successful or not. But how do you create a baseline? Furthermore, how do you determine what is important for your course? What areas should you focus on when making improvements?
All educators should look for better, more innovative ways to improve their courses. Whether you’re a contract trainer with corporate clients, a facilitator for a continuing education course, or a member of a university administration team, part of your job is to improve the experience of your students. What’s the best way to do that? Use the data you have.