Best-In-Class Customer Service: The Friendly Tenet

In Brief:

  • Being friendly and easy to do business with is one of the eight tenets of our best-in-class promise to our partners

  • Our friendly associates always strive to positively impact the students of our institutional partners by carrying out the “Golden Rule” of treating others the way you want to be treated

  • Being friendly allows for open, honest, and efficient communication

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Partnership you can smile about

At the end of the day, a best-in-class partnership should be one that doesn’t feel like a chore. We want to be easy (and enjoyable) to work with. It’s why we hire people who genuinely love the work they do every day. They aren’t just putting on a friendly face – they actually care about you and the success of your institution.

Christina Griecci, director of student financial services at Cambridge College in Boston, says the “Nelnet team is exceptional. They are extremely responsive, always have a solution, and are wonderful to work with.”

Jackie Strohbehn, president of Nelnet Campus Commerce, says being friendly is engaging in open, honest communication and sticking by customers through good times and bad times. She also expressed the importance of empathy. Jackie has been fortunate enough to communicate with hundreds of institutions at conferences, events, and on campuses throughout her career. Listening, understanding their viewpoints, and helping solve problems is what she enjoys most.

“To me, friendliness is being able to have difficult conversations with customers and teammates, while recognizing the realities of the situation and working toward a solution,” Jackie says.

Jackie also applies being friendly to every situation and experience, regardless if it’s at work or not.

“I try to model for my girls, as my parents did for me, to greet people with a smile,” Jackie says. “Take a genuine interest in other people by asking them questions and treat people the way you want to be treated.”

Friendliness impacts your students

Higher education is all about the students. Sure, there are a lot of other interests involved – but the students are why we all got into education in the first place. We want to help them be the absolute best they can be.

That’s part of the reason we take our roles so seriously. When we’re friendly and easy to work with, that makes a successful partnership. And that partnership enables your institution to operate efficiently – creating a better experience for your students.

Laura Giddings, team leader with higher education account management, says she always wants clients to know that she cares about them. Especially their students.

“It’s been important to create a good relationship with clients by learning about their lives and their families,” Laura says. “They aren’t just a name or a phone number at a school, they are a partner.”

We aren’t just providing technology or a product. We’re helping students succeed. “One of the most rewarding parts of our work is that you’re able to hear a student say to you, ‘it was because of your payment plan that I was able to graduate,’” says Jackie.

Treat others the way you want to be treated

We hear it all the time – treat others the way you want to be treated. The “Golden Rule” is a classic for a reason. With an increase in remote work environments, carrying out that ethical standard through different communication platforms has never been so important.

“I was always taught to treat people how you would want to be treated,” Laura says. “So I apply this concept when working with clients and try to establish a trusting relationship with them.”

Implementing the rule into our daily lives is second nature for our team. Fair and empathetic treatment to all of our clients is expected.

Devoted to friendly service

Being a loyal, devoted partner along the way guarantees institution and student success. We want to make certain we’re providing all the necessary care to your intuition so every goal is obtained.

John Saulsberry, a higher education account manager, says he genuinely listens to clients so he can efficiently answer questions and meet their needs. When replying, he smiles through his words and voice.

Judy Wright, admissions and records assistant at Chabot College, says her experience with John has been “A++.”

“He follows in a long line of Nelnet account managers who have served our College with a professional attitude, their expertise, politeness, and respect,” says Judy.

Our team’s curiosity leads to an eagerness to answer and solve any questions or needs that come up.

Jackie says, “Working collaboratively with an institution to deliver a solution that makes their life easier and the student experience better is invigorating and rewarding.”

Curious about the other seven best-in-class traits? Check out this page and stay tuned for more in-depth articles on each one!

Nelnet Campus Commerce
Author: Nelnet Campus Commerce

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