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About U Message from the administration.

Chaucey Aboutu

CCU Customer Service Initiative: Feel the Teal

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Creating a strong universitywide culture of exceptional service where everyone can Feel the Teal is under way! The primary objective of this service-driven initiative is to make certain that everyone who interacts with Coastal Carolina University in any way—be that person a student, a member of the general public or CCU employees – gets treated with care, courtesy and respect. We are already doing a great job with this, but I am confident that together we can create a culture where people “feel the teal” on a more consistent level and that it remains with them as a hallmark of their Coastal experience.

Several questions about the Feel the Teal initiative have made their way to my desk that merit discussing in detail.

 Who is our “customer?"Our customer is anyone we work with to achieve the mission of Coastal Carolina University – students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, donors and potential donors, employers, community businesses and contacts. It deals not only with student success, but also in how we treat each other and represent this university to all of our stakeholders. Please don't get hung up on the word customer – it is a word we can use for anyone we work with, for and around! We are not trying to change vocabulary. Rather, this initiative is about exhibiting appropriate behaviors that serve all of our stakeholders.

Is Feel the Teal just for staff?
No, this is a universitywide initiative, and we will be customizing two different programs – one for staff and one for faculty – that speak to the unique and complementary roles we play on campus. We have started with a pilot program focusing primarily on staff. Campus Recreation has led the charge and we have had five additional departments express interest. These departments have already scheduled CCU Service Basics training times for January 2013 with Eileen Soisson.Thanks to these early adopters among staff in high-touch service areas where Feel the Teal is already gaining momentum. On the faculty/academic side of the equation, it boils down to one primary focal point: student success.

Is this initiative just about appearance and smiling?
Feel the Teal is more than appearance and superficial change. This is about a paradigm shift in our culture where everyone who interacts with our university feels the pride we have. This program is going to offer training techniques and skill builders to help all of us serve each other, the campus, and those who call it home no matter how long they are here. The training offered under the Feel the Teal banner will give us all an opportunity to practice skills and develop new techniques intended to help us better serve each other and our stakeholders.

I don’t work at Wal-Mart. Why do I have to wear a name tag?
A staff or faculty member wearing a nametag connotes a person willing and able to assist anyone on our campus find something, learn something or simply connect with someone. Implicit in the angst over wearing a nametag is the perception that it minimizes the wearer, but I would argue and I believe strongly that it signals that we are people “in the know.” We work in education to lift our students, each other and our community at large. We do this by providing services, ensuring safety and, most importantly, challenging each other to examine commonly held truisms, and discovery. It is the implementation of the civility concept we celebrate during New Student Convocation.

What is taught in the CCU Service Basics Training and how long is it?
The training is an hour and a half. The workshop identifies who our “customers” are and ways we are currently serving them in our university roles. Participants will come to understand and choose to apply the five steps of service: 1) Acknowledge the person; 2) Clarify his or her specific wants/needs; 3) Manage an angry “customer” and his or her situation; 4) Meet or exceed his or her need; and 5) Confirm satisfaction. Behavioral techniques and skill builders are offered in this training. Additional workshops will be available to build department training programs, and we look forward to announcing those at a later time. If you would like to sign up for this training or have your department attend, please contact Eileen Soisson at or 843-349-2889.


David A. DeCenzo


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