UWG Garners the Gold at the Chancellor’s Customer Service Awards

Sunday, October 14, 2012

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby recently recognized UWG at the annual Customer Service Awards where it won gold for Outstanding Customer Service Process Improvement Initiative and Customer Service President and Institution of the Year.

“What a high honor for UWG! We are delighted at two gold awards this year, on the heels of another gold award last year,” said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of UWG.

The Chancellor’s Customer Service Awards were created to honor employees who have gone “above and beyond” their normal job responsibilities. According to its coordinator, Deborah Scott, “these efforts have helped promote excellence by providing faster, friendlier and easier services to our constituents” and “make the system work better.”

UWG wins gold customer service awardThe effort that garnered the gold Outstanding Customer Service Process Improvement Initiative Award was conducted in UWG’s Printing and Publications department, entitled: University Printing: Looking Inward and Outward to Achieve Self-Sufficiency.

“In the case of Publications and Printing (P&P), this was two projects in one,” said Dan Lewis, director of business excellence. “In becoming a self-sufficient operation, P&P was equivalent to someone going from a salary employee to one that is on commission. As state funding continues to decrease, the department had to find ways to supplement that loss. The staff went out and performed their own market analysis on what their customers wanted (e.g., “Fatheads”—vinyl wall images, posters, invitations, etc.) and they delivered.”

He continued, “As a new member of the Division of Business and Finance, they also learned the value of continuous improvement and the synergy from the staff was incredible. The staff bought into the effort and was empowered to make changes in the processes they perform on a daily basis. As a result, the operation not only became self-sufficient, it became more efficient, effective and customer service oriented.”

The operational and financial success in FY12 included an increase in overall revenue of 51 percent, rising out of deficit. Among other accomplishments, the printing facility saw an increase in student use by more than 400 percent, the variety of products and services offered and the use of its services by faculty and staff along with increased customer satisfaction.

President Sethna accepts award from Chancellor HuckabyUWG’s other gold outstanding customer service award went to President Sethna and the university as a whole.

The USG.edu website cites UWG’s efforts as “customer service improvements include examining academic impediments to successful completion of college, to looking at the environmental factors on campus that make for a welcoming atmosphere.” It continues, “Under Dr. Sethna’s leadership, he has continually provided six-sigma training for his leadership team and has increased the team approach in helping students succeed and staff members shine.”

“For our gold award in the area of Outstanding Customer Service Process Improvement Initiative, I congratulate Sally Roberts and all our colleagues in Publications and Printing for their great work, Mark Reeves and Jim Sutherland for having the vision to take over this operation and make it even more successful, to Dan Lewis for his work on efficiency and customer service, and to our Customer Service Champion, Dr. Don Rice for leading the effort to present this material to the Board of Regents,” said Sethna.

“For our gold award in the area of Customer Service President and Institution of the Year, let me first downplay the first phrase and focus on the second,” said Sethna. “My sincere congratulations and thanks go to all our colleagues who have made such an award possible. We truly brought home the gold, and it is thanks to them!”