Fairmont State University Office of the Provost and Fairmont Advising Network are sponsoring a workshop to help create a more meaningful student experience by utilizing some customer service service techniques from Disney World.
“Disney Magic: Transforming the student experience with world-class customer service” taught by Wendy Schindler is all about using the same customer service techniques as Disney World but in the world of higher education.
A meet and greet will be held Thursday, October 11 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. followed by a workshop from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The same will workshop will be offered again from 10 a.m.-noon on Friday, October 12. All will be hosted in the Falcon Center Conference Rooms.
“We don’t often think of customer service in education, but students are paying for a product. We treat students different than customers but thinking in customer service, students have options,” she said. “If they don’t like something at your college, they have plenty of other places to go, especially if you live in an area with a lot of smaller, local schools.”
Schindler said oftentimes people don’t even think about it, but there are several minor changes that can be made to make the students’ experience better and the customer service lens is helpful in looking at that.
“Right now with the higher education climate in the U.S. with enrollment down and budgets tight, it’s a retention issue, schools aren’t retaining students,” she said. “While sometimes a move can be the best for a student, a lot of times it’s due to simple things that are just customer service easily that can be easily fixed.”
During the workshop, Schindler will be teaching simple, practical and tangible ideas on how to potentially change the student experience without compromising their education and learning experience. Schindler said the workshop is designed to be engaging and interactive.
“This is a lot of fun because Disney is known for their customer service. People think of customer service as a boring issue or something that should be common sense,” she said. “This workshop is a lot of fun. I never feel like the room is bored or the information is stale, I always get good feedback on that.”
Schindler holds a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education from Saint Louis University. Having spent over 10 years in various student affairs roles, including her passion of academic advising, she currently works at Gateway Community & Technical College overseeing a campus suicide prevention program, student philanthropy projects, and LGBTQA inclusion. In addition, she teaches Foundations of Learning courses to incoming freshmen.