Service Excellence

Service Excellence: One Interaction at a Time

The Service Excellence: One Interaction at a Time is Administration and Finance’s (A&F) customer service initiative. It was developed within the framework of UMB’s core values and A&F’s guiding principles. The initiative seeks to improve the customer’s experience when interacting with any A&F unit, whether in person, by email, or by telephone. Both unit stakeholders and employees will be asked to evaluate each unit along each of five primary dimensions of customer service behaviors.

Service Dimensions

Excellence is the expectation and is represented by our commitment to demonstrate the following service dimensions and associated behaviors:



  • Demonstrate proficiency with policies and procedures.
  • Seek professional development opportunities.
  • Understand customer needs.
  • Identify/respond to common issues.
  • Acknowledge when you don’t know something.
Process Improvement

Process Improvement

  • Align processes with outcomes and needs.
  • Seek innovative solutions.
  • Seek efficiencies.
  • Work collaboratively to improve workflow processes.
  • Communicate with customers workflow processes, roles, and responsibilities.


  • Demonstrate a results-focused “can- do” attitude that reflects understanding of customer’s needs.
  • Adopt a “happy to help” attitude.
  • Be attentive to tone — put a “smile” in your voice.
  • When you encounter barriers, think of alternatives to the customer’s request.
  • Provide positive and memorable experiences.


  • Listen actively to customer concerns, probe for in-depth understanding of customer needs.
  • Respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner.
  • Provide complete, accurate and consistent information to customer requests. 
  • Keep customers informed of changes.
  • Use technology for effective communication with customers.


  • Clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Partner with customers and take ownership for building the relationship.
  • Follow up and confirm that customer needs are met.
  • Avoid blaming others by taking responsibility for your actions.
  • Measure work progress and results.

Project Components

Elearning Modules 
Well-trained employees are the key to a successful Service Excellence program. Learning modules are designed to A&F employees with the “why” and “how” of delivering quality service value that will bring about the best customer satisfaction and solution. Our end goal is to build the competence of A&F staff in service delivery behaviors that are consistent with customer needs and expectations.

There are a series of eight on-demand learning modules that will include direct application to internal and external customer service interactions:

Module 1: Service Excellence Introduction

Module 2: Attitude Is Everything

Module 3: It’s All About Communication

Module 4: Active Listening

Module 5: Problem Solving for Results

Module 6: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Module 7: Process Improvement

Module 8: Utilizing Our Guiding Principles to Support Customer Service


Project Phases 
Each cohort completes activities in four phases. The first three phases are completed within the first six months.

Orientations, Surveys, Analysis to Training (eLearning Modules), Coaching, Action Planning, to Support & Implementation to Follow - up (1 year later)

Phase 1:


  • All employees in the cohort attend a virtual orientation with the Project Administrator and Dr. Dawn Rhodes to learn about the history, goals, expectations, and timeline of the initiative.
  • Managers attend an in-person training after the initial all-staff orientation. Designed for any A&F manager who supervises at least one employee or is a manager, this training will share transfer-of-learning and coaching principles and strategies so that managers can help employees apply new knowledge and skills on the job.
  • All employees in the cohort will take a self-assessment survey based on the five service dimensions.
  • Unit leaders will identify key stakeholders who utilize their services. The stakeholder survey is similar to the self-assessment survey and based on the five service dimensions.  The Project Administrator will distribute stakeholder surveys, monitor completion, compile and analyze the results, and share with unit leaders and employees. Areas of strengths and opportunities for growth will be identified. 


Phase 2:

eLearning modules:

  • All employees and managers will be assigned and complete eight (8) modules in the Percipio Learning Management System (LMS). Each module is roughly 15-20 minutes in length and focuses on the five Service Excellence dimensions and associated behaviors of customer service.


  • This can include any post-module debrief opportunities for managers and/or employees and any interventions to help sustain and apply knowledge gained from training. It can also include coaching to assist managers and employees with action planning.

Action Planning:

  • Project Administrator will work with unit leaders and others on the team to create and support the development of the action plan. The action plan will be based on survey results, service excellence skills training, and manager and employee input.


Phase 3:

Support and Implementation

  • Managers will discuss action plan activities with employees at unit and 1:1 meetings and will work toward overall competition of action plan items.
  • Project Administrator will assist managers and employees with implementation, providing ongoing support and troubleshooting any difficulties. This could also include refresher training focused on a specific area identified, small group or 1:1 coaching.
  • Project Administrator will provide regular updates to A&F leaders and develop annual report of updates and accomplishments.


Phase 4:

Follow-Up/Program Sustainability

  • 12-18 months later, both surveys will again be administered to measure the sustainability of the program’s effectiveness. Discuss progress with unit leaders and managers and provide updates to senior leaders.

Action Plans 

Please view all action plans for different departments on the Action Plans page.


Project Administrator: Elisa Medina, LCSW-C, ACC
Project email: