HISD’s Business Operations developing new customer service initiative

Courtney Franks, a business analyst in Risk Management.

Courtney Franks, a business analyst in HISD’s Risk Management Department.

HISD’s Business Operations Department is hard at work behind the scenes on its new customer service initiative, which is geared to maximize the positive impact district employees can have on their customers.

Over the past several months, the department has hosted Service Excellence training workshops for both managers and employees. During the sessions, employees learn key elements that affect the customer service experience and tools to improve the experience through the eyes of students, parents, teachers, administrators and the greater HISD community of businesses and neighborhoods.

HISD Business Operations Senior Business Analyst Priscilla Martinez said the sessions are beneficial because all the workshop activities relate back to real life, work situations.

“A lot of the positive feedback has been about the interaction,” Martinez said. “Employees come up to us at the end of trainings telling us how much they enjoyed this workshop because it’s different. We have group activities which are relevant and fun.”

Business Operations includes about 7,000 employees in the areas of transportation, police, nutrition services, construction and facility services, and business assistance. The purpose of Service Excellence is to create a culture of service excellence by having all HISD employees work together to uphold the department’s service philosophy:

“We improve lives and build trust by providing exceptional service that creates a safe and caring environment.”

To help employees understand how they can help promote the service philosophy, the team has identified four key standards, which include behaving in a safe, courteous, responsive and efficient manner. The goal is to have all staff trained by the end of the 2014-2015 school year. Martinez credits a cadre of dedicated employee-trainers for helping to spread the message.

“The training is mandatory but because it is so important that we reach all 7,000 employees. So that by the end of the trainings we are all speaking the common language of Service Excellence,” Martinez said. “Service Excellence is a culture change, and it will take time for everyone to adopt, but in the end we’re looking to create a culture of service excellence.”