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GHC takes top honors in service excellence


GHC takes top honors in service excellence

The University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby named Georgia Highlands College a recipient of the Chancellor’s Service Excellence Student Improvement Initiative Team Award. The service excellence awards recognize employees or teams who perform well above their expected responsibilities.


GHC was commended for its 411 Ticketing System, an online customer resource management tool used to expedite the process of responding to students’ enrollment questions. By clicking on icons located on various pages of the website, students can enter their information along with a question. This creates a ticket, which is routed to the corresponding department based on the information given. Within 24-business hours, an answer is sent to the student. 


Todd Jones, GHC vice president of student affairs, said, “Our challenge has always involved being a multi-campus institution. We have campuses that have limited employees to assist students and we were looking for an online mechanism to be able to assist students no matter where they are.


“We had heard about other institutions that had implemented a similar resource management tool and how effective it was for them. However, we wanted to think outside the box and find a more affordable and efficient way to meet our needs. Once we brought our Information Technology (IT) department into the conversation, they were able to build an effective ticketing system at little to no cost.”


Six departments use the program, which also includes a knowledge base that can be searched for the appropriate answer to students’ questions. Admissions, advising, registrar, financial aid, the business office and e-learning all utilize the system;however, half of all the tickets pertain to financial aid.


“This has transformed our customer service and enabled us to respond to students during those peak times,” Jones said. “Since this is web based we have staff that have the ability to respond to students on the weekends. During last winter’s snowstorms, it was a critical time when financial aid refunds were about to be released and students were in a panic, we had staff responding to questions via our ticketing system even though the campus was closed.”


On Friday, Oct. 10, Huckaby will present the awards at Kennesaw State University. During the ceremony, the award rankings of gold, silver and bronze will be announced.


USG Director of Process Improvement and Service Excellence Deborah Scott said, “GHC was nominated based on its ability to adopt continuous-improvement methodology that emphasized student or employee satisfaction as well as quality of service. The efforts of your team have resulted in improved satisfaction and student retention.”


The 411 Ticketing System, which took six months to develop, has resolved more than 46,000 inquiries since it launched in November 2013. In August 56 percent of all tickets were resolved in five minutes or less.


“We are excited that GHC is being recognized and it is another example of the team effort that we have here,” Jones said. “It is thinking outside the box and realizing that when an issue involves students it is not necessarily one department’s job to find a solution. We all need to be able to look at the issue and see what we can do as an institution. This need was resolved through the IT department’s effort and the insight of multiple departments.”


This is not the first time GHC has received recognition for its customer service. The first year the governor’s office presented awards for service, GHC was lauded for streamlining a number of financial aid processes and converting to entirely electronic processing, which resulted in reduced wait times and complaints.

ADDED 10/14/14

GHC received the silver award (2nd place) on 10/10/14.

Pictured above left to right: GHC President Don Green, Todd Jones - vp of student affairs, USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby, Rob Laltrello - cheif technology officer


Page last updated: October 14, 2014