Thu, Aug 28 2008
LeTourneau University's Austin Education Center was honored with an award for providing excellent customer service from the Austin Chamber of Commerce at the 8th Annual Greater Austin Business Awards banquet Aug. 27.
LeTourneau University received the "Austin Insight" Award and was recognized as a company that demonstrates outstanding levels of customer service and satisfaction in all aspects of sales and after-care services. The award congratulated LETU for its customer service policies and standards that reflect a clear and consistent customer service policy linked to specific training and development of staff.
"Our School of Graduate and Professional Studies launched a program in 2007 to ensure that we provide excellent care to our students" said Murlene Watwood, director of the LETU Austin Educational Center. "We groomed our faculty mentors in what we want ‘The LeTourneau Experience' to be. We know many of our adult learners are fulfilling a lifelong dream and have responsibilities with jobs and families, so their education has to be relevant to their daily lives.
"LeTourneau University is unique in that we address the whole person: mind, body and spirit," Watwood said, adding that when students have trauma in their personal lives, LeTourneau's Master's Touch program provides chaplains to listen to their concerns, pray with them, and provide referral services if needed.
The average LETU working adult student is 34, but recently a 74-year-old completed his teacher certification training at LETU.Evaluation of customer service at LETU is ongoing, Watwood said. "Our students complete end-of-course surveys about the curriculum and faculty members after each course. We review each response and seek to keep those faculty members who impact students the most."
Watwood said that when students have complaints, a student services coordinator is in place to respond by e-mail to all complaints within 24 hours. All students are assigned a student advocate, academic specialist and, in some cases, a career education specialist to address students' needs and concerns.
LETU Austin also made sweeping changes in 2006 when a major glitch was discovered in how financial aid was being awarded to working adult students. To handle an onslaught of questions and confusion when a transition was made to a new financial aid process, several departments gathered together to respond to student requests via a special toll-free number, enabling the school to address issues in a kind and timely manner.
Created in 2001, the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual awards program recognizes small, medium, large and not-for-profit businesses in the categories of Innovation, Customer Service, Education, Community Relations, Take On Traffic and Environment as well as the Freescale not-for-profit $5,000 award winner.