People are at the core of everything we do. Our staff, customers, and students are the reason our business exists and why the work we do together is so important.
There are many great quotes about serving others, but one that exemplifies how we approach our customer relationships is:
“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.”
Throughout the year, we will be featuring our own “Support Superstars.” These Superstars will be interviewed by other CollegeSource staff. First up is Wendy Astorga, who works on our Client Relations Team in San Diego.
Pictured above: Wendy Astorga. Known internally as “Queen of Customer Service.”
Wendy sat down for an an interview with Stan Novak, Interdepartmental Liaison at CollegeSource.
SN: Please describe what you do.
WA: What don’t I do? …[laughs]…I handle all the data-related cases.
SN: Then she started to rattle off a formidable list of tasks…
I’ll try to capture the essence of that list: She is the member of the CRT (Customer Relations Team) who specializes in shepherding data-related issues through the case system. The most common requests are for updates or corrections, some of which Wendy passes on to our Production Team for collection or repair. Wendy filters and tracks them all, and personally handles the more complex of these, as well as the less common types of other data-related issues.
*** Think of her as your very own “Fixer”, except without the criminal connotations. ***
She operates across multiple worlds, coordinating externally among the needs of clients, users, and data providers — who are NOT always the same people and do NOT always have compatible needs — bridging their differences and tracking down sources of errors and sources for data, and then arranging internally with our various departments for the best resolution to the issue at hand. Then she keeps a watchful eye on the workflow until all the duckies are in their rows.
SN: What is your theory of “good service”?
WA: “Customers come first.”
SN: Care to elaborate?
WA: I don’t think this needs any elaboration. It speaks for itself.
SN: Maybe it isn’t really a philosophy, but when I picture how Wendy’s work-mind is constructed, the image I get is one of those old-timey telephone switchboard things: Everything is about connections.
- She connects with users so she can see the issues as they see them, and relays that insight to our departments if there is a problem that is not easily seen from inside.
- She brokers discovery of connections between errors and their origins in our own Production processes, which helps prevent repeats of those errors.
- For errors originating in the source data, she connects with Providers so she can notify them of the errors in their data, or get clarity on data that only seem like errors…which she then relays back to Production and the users.
- She gets new connections from clients and users to help track down new providers for data update requests.
- She connects users with other users to help them clarify some of the more complex issues.
- And she stays connected with a case (and the User who created the case) all along the way, not just with initial acknowledgement and final resolution, but also status updates along the way.
It’s always great to hear affirmations from clients who are being helped. Below are just a few of the testimonials we’ve received over the years about Wendy.
- “…I’m very happy with the client support that Wendy Astorga provides. She’s fantastic!”
- “…thank you for everything you did to help me understand this process…Thank you so much for all the support…”
- “Thank you for coordinating so well, we really appreciate your effort and time…”
- “Thank you for your time and consideration in helping us…”
- “I appreciate you taking the time to respond and letting me know the current status of the data.”
- “You’re awesome Wendy! Thanks for the update on the course data sets.”
One more fun fact… Wendy’s most easily exploitable fatal flaw: A deep and abiding weakness for pie.
We’d love to hear from you if you have comments or stories to share about Wendy or any of our staff! Post in the comments, on our Facebook page, or email Alanna Fenton-Esquinas.