Every college or university I have visited complains of the silos between departments. These silos are like invisible walls that prevent co-workers from working together and building relationships. These walls create a competition between departments and people that makes it so much more difficult to deliver a wonderful experience to the student. The student gets caught up in the middle of this tug of war.
The development of a Service Philosophy and Service Standards can break down the silos. A Service Philosophy provides a common vision to all employees so everyone can work towards the same goal. It communicates the higher purpose as to why everyone was hired and gives meaning to each job position within the college. For example, at Disney, the service theme is to create happiness; therefore, every cast member tries to find a way to create happiness in each guest interaction. With 60,000 cast members at Walt Disney World, that’s 60,000 people all looking to create happiness with guests! Very powerful!
The Service Philosophy should provide an emotional connection that is the result of the service delivery. How do you want your students to feel at the end of their interaction with admissions, enrollment, financial aid, registration, scheduling, etc.? Every department adheres to the same Service Philosophy. Imagine the effect this would have on your students to have all employees striving to evoke this common connection. This is what begins to create a seamless experience for your students. No matter what department or employee they encounter, they get the same feeling reinforced over and over. Very powerful!
This Service Philosophy also applies internally between departments. Each department begins looking at the next department as their internal customer and they look for ways as to how they can convey that emotional connection to that department. Walls start to break down as departments begin to get great service from each other and that makes everyone’s job easier. The domino effect then occurs. Internal service rolls out to the external customer – the student. Everyone wins and silos fade away.