Every organization that remains successful over a long period of time has one thing in common: happy, loyal customers.
At the University of South Alabama, we have the unique opportunity to serve two distinct groups of customers — students on our main campus and patients in our healthcare system. To address the needs of ALL of our customers, we created FIRST, a customer service initiative and training program. We named it “FIRST” to help each one of us remember that great customer service starts by putting our customers and their needs first.
To make FIRST a part of our culture, all new USA employees learn the basics as part of their orientation. Selected front-line employees—those directly in contact with students or patients — also are a regular part of FIRST training. FIRST training includes three major components that are the foundation to deliver great customer service:
- Empathy - excellent service starts when you identify and understand the customer’s perspective.
- Anticipating Needs - customers expect interactions to be fast and simple and that can only be done when we anticipate their needs.
- Problem Solving - customers present us problems to solve, and how we do it goes a long way toward creating satisfied and loyal customers.
The following content on this page contains elements of the FIRST customer service initiative for you to use at your convenience. If you have additional questions, please contact our FIRST committee chairs, Charles Smith in Human Resources and Warren Greene at USA Health.
Download the FIRST training presentation (PDF).