Thank you for allowing me to share the strategies we have put in place to address the concerns that our students shared with me during our Town Hall meetings and those noted in the Herald. There are some strategies we will continue to emphasize and also implement new ones in our effort to be more effective.
Strategies to Resolve:
A. In-House Professional Development: We will continue to emphasize the importance of excellent customer service during our weekly meetings and our Annual Professional Development Training. We will continue to hold the Financial Aid team accountable for implementation of the customer service strategies. We began cross-training with other departments this semester and will continue to do so. I believe it benefits both students/parents and our offices greatly as we understand the basic functioning of each department (Registrar,Admissions,Fiscal-Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices).
B. Open Door Policy: I will continue to have an open door policy. Students are encouraged to ask for me whenever they believe they have not received excellent customer service, or if they are having difficulty with an issue before it impacts them in a negative way.Students may also contact us via our Twitter account @XUFinancialAid.
C. Visit: We understand that having a successful financial aid process is a partnership where both the students and the Financial Aid Office must complete their responsibilities in a timely manner.Therefore, on a monthly basis, I will continue to visit each unit to determine the strength of our processes, evaluate the Counselor’s communication skills as well identify areas of improvements while the students are being counselled.
D. Phone Bank: To help alleviate some of the interruptions that we have while servicing students/ parents at our Front Counter, we now have a Financial Aid Phone Bank which is manned by the student workers who will assist us in answering the phone lines. As the students are trained on basic financial aid questions, we hope to relieve the Front Desk Counselors of some of the responsibilities that come with having to answer the phone while serving those who come into our office at the same time. In addition, we want to be able to ascertain if the caller needs the Financial Aid office or another office and route them accordingly with the hopes of obtaining the assistance the caller needs in a more efficient/timely manner.
E. Town Hall Meetings: We will continue to hold the Town Hall Meetings in the residential halls to allow students to share their experiences directly with me. So we encourage the students to participate.
F. Survey: We have our on-line survey available at all times and we also have a confidential survey questionnaire outside our office for students to communicate their experiences to us. We updated the survey in Spring 2016 after the Town Hall meetings.
G. Email/Newsletters: We will continue to inform students to check their XULA email for correspondences from the Financial Aid Office. We still find that students do not check their XULA email or do not check it in a timely manner.In addition, we currently send out newsletters with important information to both the parents and the students at least two to three times a semester.
H. Referral Forms: We will start using the Referral Forms again when sending students/parents to another department. This will improve customer service.
For more information about Financial Aid at Xavier visit http://www.xula.edu/financial-aid/