Professional Development

StAMP - Putting the Customer First

California State University Northridge exists to enable students to reach their educational goals. Critical to this mission is our ability to celebrate each student’s potential and help them feel that they belong here and can succeed.

We value inclusion at CSUN and recognize that every member of the campus community plays an integral role in contributing to our diversity. As a student assistant, your personal and professional behavior is a representation of your department as well as the spirit of Matador excellence. During the job, you will need the appropriate skills when dealing with different types of people, including difficult guests and those with disabilities, which is why it is recommended to utilize the following tips to ensure a positive environment for you, the community, and your work space.

Matador Excellence

Treat guests how you would want to be treated by following these helpful tips:

  • Be respectful of other people
  • Establish eye contact
  • Greet guests by stating you name, asking their name, and follow up with “How may I help you?”
  • Anticipate needs of guess. For Example:

If someone looks lost or confused, ask “Do you need some help?”

  • If someone is looking for a building on campus, find a map (online or print) and even look up the phone number or hours of operation for the place they are visiting.
  • Smile when greeting a guest in person and on the phone (and yes, they can tell if you are smiling over the phone)
  • Be proactive and solve problems
  • The appropriate answers is never “I don’t know.” Instead, try “I don’t know, but I can find out.”
  • Treat everyone like a Very Important Person (VIP)

Put The Person First

We value inclusion at CSUN. Every member of the campus community plays an integral role in contributing to our diversity and in addressing issues of bias and exclusion. These tips will help us create a better environment on campus for students, staff, and faculty with disabilities.

PUT THE PERSON FIRST

Person with a disability, not a disabled person.

SURVEY THE SITUATION

Talk directly to the person, not to their assistant, companion, or interpreter, unless told it is okay to do so. 

DO NOT USE THESE WORDS

  • Afflicted
  • Confined
  • Crippled
  • Invalid
  • Retarded

PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND

  • You speak first
  • Communicate everything verbally
  • Do not grab
  • Offer arm/elbow

PEOPLE IN WHEELCHAIRS

  • Make sure paths of travel are clear
  • Put yourself at wheelchair user’s eye level
  • Do not lean or rest on the wheelchair
  • Provide a writing surface such as a clipboard
  • Know where elevators and other accessible ramps are within your work area

PEOPLE WITH SPEECH IMPAIRMENTS

  • Listen and concentrate
  • Never pretend that you understand
  • Do not speak for the person
  • Watch their reaction for clues

FOR PERSONS WITH DEAFNESS OR HEARING LOSS

  • Do not cover your mouth or chew gum
  • Do not shout, speak in normal tones
  • When all else fails, use pen and paper

Visit Disability Resources and Educational Services at
http://www.csun.edu/dres, and the Office of Equity and Diversity at
http://www.csun.edu/eqd for more information.

Difficult Guests

As employees of CSUN, we go above and beyond to help students, faculty, staff, and community members. Sometimes we encounter difficult people. Below are steps to handle difficult guests in person or on the phone. 

LISTEN. STAY CALM

Keep a concerned facial expression and maintain eye contact. Nod if they made a valid point. “I see...hmmmm...tell me more.” 

DO NOT INTERRUPT

Never raise your voice. As a student assistant, you are not expected to deal with this type of situation. 

APOLOGIZE OR LEVEL WITH THE GUEST

If you made a mistake, apologize for your actions. Do not apologize for their behavior. Ask the following:

  • “What can I do to fix this?”
  • “How frustrating, what can I do to help?” 

ASK A PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER FOR ASSISTANCE

If you encounter someone that is extremely difficult, seek assistance from a staff member. Simply state, “I am sorry that this has been difficult, let me check in with my supervisor.” Professional staff are equipped to help guests who are unsatisfied and unruly. 

DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY

Many students and guests on campus have a lot on their plates and get frustrated. Try to understand and empathize with this person. Remember, do not see their frustration as an attack on you. They are upset with the current situation, not you. 

END ON A POSITIVE NOTE

  • “Thanks so much for being patient while we sorted this issue out.”
  • “I hope we can be of help in the future.”
  • “Thank you for your feedback/suggestion/comments.”