By Thomas Guengerich

SOCORRO, N.M., Oct. 15, 2008 – New Mexico Tech is aiming to become a friendlier place.

Human Resources Director Joann Salome is spearheading the effort, which will begin with a comprehensive survey and training sessions.

At Tuesday’s Board of Regents meeting, Salome presented the new customer service initiative that Tech President Dr. Daniel H. López is championing.

“I don’t think we, as a university, are as accommodating and friendly as we should be,” López told the Board of Regents. “We’re not terrible, but we’re not as good as we should be.”

The survey mainly targets students and parents, but also aims to gather feedback from community members, vendors, employees and other university “customers.”

The online survey is on the Tech website, nmt.edu, beginning Wednesday, October 15, and will stay live through mid-November. Everyone is encouraged to complete the survey, which includes rating-style questions and two open-ended questions. Tech has contracted with an outside company to conduct the survey. All participants will remain anonymous and all results will remain confidential.

Click here to access the survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=tlbSZVsnILogqnr4BkXYpA_3d_3d .

The survey results will help Salome craft a series of customer service training sessions for all employees beginning in January.

“Our No. 1 priority is being friendly to students and parents,” Salome said. “We want them to feel that this is a comfortable place and that we are customer-friendly. It’s a culture. It’s typically related to front-line people, but everybody needs to think about it.”

Salome has a daughter attending New Mexico State University and has had positive experiences dealing with university staff members in Las Cruces.

“They are extremely customer-friendly and they are a huge university,” Salome said.
Beginning in January, Salome will facilitate a series of workshops, beginning with a kick-off event. Each month, Tech will host workshops on different topics: Getting Ready, Emotional Aspects, Business Aspects, Reflecting and Hiring. The exact content of the workshops will be crafted based on the results of the survey.

In addition, Salome will institute an incentive program. She will name a Department of the Month and Employee of the Month, all of whom will be recognized at the annual Christmas party. She will also hold monthly luncheons and give plaques to winners. The program will also offer pins and cards periodically for employees recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing exceptional customer service.

In November 2009, they will assess their progress and set new goals for 2010.

– NMT –