The program is titled, “Creating and Leading a Customer Service Culture,” and is the result of a group effort by Susan Szpyrka, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance; Tamara Moore, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Marketing; and Gary Reynolds, Executive Director of Facilities Services.

This program takes a more insightful and engaging approach to typical internal and external customer service training. Participants are asked not only to define their customers, but also for whom they are a customer. Supervisors and supervisees quickly become aware they serve as customers to each other. Participants also consider how trust, self-awareness, mindfulness and communication styles affect the customer experience. The age-old question, “Are students customers?” is debated and the model of “Students as Patrons” is presented for consideration. Some elements of Disney Service Excellence and Steven Covey’s work are incorporated into this interactive training along with additional, original material.

Participants have experienced the following insights/learning outcomes:
1. Everyone is a customer to someone (individuals and departments).
2. Anyone can be a leader and impact the customer service culture.
3. Effective communication styles and methods vary depending upon the situation.
4. One has the power to choose how they respond.
5. The role of trust and the emotional bank account.
6. The importance of mentoring and being mentored.
7. The role of self-awareness and creating a threat-free environment.


The program offers simple, impactful, easy-to-remember concepts to improve the service delivery environment at the University. The training is successful because the focus is on self-awareness and how individual attitudes, initiatives and trust can lead to improved team and organizational performance. One person can make a difference that can impact faculty, staff and student recruitment and retention.


This idea initially began as the, “CSI: Customer Service Initiative” three years ago. The training was created by and for auxiliary service departments at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). The program was a success and expanded to campus-wide departmental participation the following year. This past year the program continued on the UCCS campus and was also presented to the University of Colorado Emerging Leaders program and to the University of Colorado Procurement Business Services staff.

Submitted by: Tamara Moore, Executive Director,Auxiliary Marketing,UCCS