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UT Dallas - Human Resources

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Catch Comet Pride: Service Excellence Certificate Program

For More Information

Terry Cartwright,
Organizational Development & Training

(972) 883-5328

David Gleason,
Organizational Development & Training
(972) 883-4131


In 2009, Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, VP for the Office of Administration, working with a subcommittee of the Cabinet consisting of Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Executive VP and Provost, Dr. Darrelene Rachavong, VP for Student Affairs, Dr. Jim Gary, VP for Information Resources, and Ms. Susan Rogers, VP for Communications, charged a campus-wide committee to change the culture by creating a standard for providing excellent customer service. As a result of this committee's work the Human Resources training team was charged with developing a new training program called, "Catch Comet Pride." The training program was developed by staff from Human Resources and successfully piloted in July of 2009. In an attempt to get as many UTD employees as possible through the training, a certificate training program is currently offered on an ongoing basis. The HR training staff is also open to presenting the "Catch Comet Pride" Certificate Series to specific departments with 12 or more staff members.

The "Catch Comet Pride" certificate program consists of four (4) sessions. The sessions are approximately 2-2 ½ hours in length. Once a new series is launched, a session will be offered approximately every every two weeks. Listed below is a brief description for each session in the series.

Session 1:  Catching Comet Pride -- The participants will begin to understand the rationale and reasoning behind providing excellent customer service in higher education.  They will also be introduced to five (5) Guiding Principles that were created to shape and direct the services we provide to both internal and external customers of UT Dallas.    The participants will also be introduced to our service model, which will serve as our framework for series and the sessions that follow.

Session 2:  Practice Makes Perfect (I) --The participants will be re-introduced to the customer service model and exposed to customer service best practices & common barriers to providing good service.  This session will also discuss and practice simulated customer service transactions and situations with special focus on welcoming behaviors. 

Session 3: Practice Makes Perfect (II)  -- Participants will continue to look at how to deliver good service to both happy and angry customers. Building on the skills emphasized in session 2, participants will learn about delivering good customer service under stress (i.e. when the customer is frustrated, upset or angry). Additional topics of discussion will focus on customer service etiquette skills--in person, by email and over the phone We will also identify important transitioning behaviors for those times when we must refer a customer to someone else or are unable to deliver what the customer expects or wants from us.

Session 4: Making It Work, Making It Personal – The participants will identify and create strategies for ensuring ongoing, excellent customer service at UT Dallas (start to finish.)  This will include learning a model that can be used to evaluate our customer service efforts in each department and work unit.  Then each participant will be asked to develop a personal action plan they can implement immediately to provide excellent customer service in their work area. This session also includes certificate presentations to class participants who have attended all four (4) sessions.

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This program is open to all UT Dallas employees. All interested applicants should discuss the series with their supervisor before registering. In order to receive the certificate, an employee must attend each of the sessions listed above.  If a session is missed, an employee is eligible to make-up the session and receive their certificate at the completion of the missed session. Employees who miss a session will be placed on a reminder list and notified when that particular session is offered again.

Catch Comet Pride - Pilot Class

A special thank you goes out to all of those individuals who participated in the pilot session during the summer of 2009.


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Click on the above link to view a list of Training and Employee Development staff that can assist you.