Tech Joins State Effort to Improve Customer Service

University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. is asking the 38,000 faculty and staff employed by Georgia's 35 public colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech, to provide faster, friendlier, more efficient service to the USG's 'customers' - more than 253,500 students.

In coordination with Gov. Sonny Perdue's launch today of the state's new Customer Service Improvement Initiative, in which all state agencies have united in an effort to make Georgia the best-managed state in the country, Davis announced that every USG campus is poised to implement a plan for improving customer service beginning Aug. 1.

"Each Georgia citizen who walks through our door for a government service is an opportunity," said Gov. Sonny Perdue. "It is my intention that Georgia government employees will take advantage of those opportunities, showing citizens that we respect and value their time."

"Georgia Tech has a long-standing commitment to enhance the quality of the undergraduate experience," said Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. "Our Customer Service Improvement Plan gives us clear direction to better achieve that goal."

To kick off its new efforts to improve customer service, Georgia Tech will initially focus on two key service areas - academic advising and personal transactions.

Student advising is central to retention, timely graduation and student satisfaction, and Georgia Tech will work to strengthen its advising efforts. Special attention will also be paid to the convenience and efficiency of human resource transactions for the students, faculty and staff that work for Georgia Tech.

"We think Governor Perdue's new initiative is a real shot in the arm to our ongoing efforts to improve campus customer service. We are all for any program that encourages us to do a better job for our students and stakeholders," said Hal Irvin, senior director of organizational development at Georgia Tech and leader of the Tech's Customer Service Improvement efforts.

This past spring, Davis named Jim Flowers, special assistant to the USG's chief information officer, to serve as the USG's representative on the Governor's Customer Service Team, charging him with developing a customer service improvement plan for the USG. The chancellor also directed USG presidents to appoint Customer Service Champions to launch, guide and manage improvements that will make the services provided by each campus "faster, friendlier and easier" to access.

Customer service champions will work closely with their campus presidents, who - for extra motivation - recently had customer service improvement added to the list of key performance indicators on which they will be annually evaluated, Davis said.

He added that visitors to the Web site also will be able to submit their suggestions and criticisms via an online comment tool.