Service Obstacles System Unveiled

June 08, 2011

SOS screen shot


With an uncompromising commitment to making the Service Excellence initiative a permanent change-agent at Rollins, members of the Service Excellence Committee launched another supportive tool. The Service Obstacle System (SOS), an online problem resolution system, has been designed to give the campus community the opportunity to identify and remedy obstacles that impede the delivery of excellent service.

Intended for issues that are larger in scope and may affect more than one person from providing excellent service, the SOS “better enables us to evaluate service problems in a systematic way from a broad, institutional perspective,” said Director of Human Resources Matt Hawks. “Issues that are submitted through the SOS are evaluated by a cross-functional group of Service Excellent Team members as well as management and staff representatives of the departments closest to the issue.”

 “The unique aspect about the SOS is that it’s not a complaint box,” explained Director of Special Projects Trish Moser, who serves on the SOS development committee along with John Sharkey, Karen Hater, Micki Meyer, Ray Rogers and Jeff Eisenbarth. “It’s an interactive and collaborative tool for indentifying and addressing systemic challenges or barriers that make it difficult for us to deliver a great experience to our students, colleagues, and other members of our community.”

After a campus community member submits a service obstacle, an administrative committee reviews it and then assigns appropriate submissions to an ad hoc team affected by or knowledgeable about the issue. That team investigates the problem, explores possible solutions and ultimately develops a suitable resolution, all the while keeping the obstacle submitter in the loop with an automated communications system.

 A great example of a service obstacle is visitor parking passes. At the moment, the process by which visitors obtain a parking pass is cumbersome and can be riddled with inconveniences. If this example was submitted and investigated, the SOS team would then begin to develop a visitor parking pass system that makes visiting Rollins more pleasurable and less stressful, thus elevating the service experience overall.

 “In order for service improvement to be effective, it is important to identify service obstacles that prevent employees from providing good service and then work to remove those obstacles,” shared Jeffrey Eisenbarth, vice president and treasurer.  “A service obstacle system is a necessary and important part of the service excellence initiative, as it will provide an on-line tool for bringing service obstacles to the attention of those with the responsibility to eliminate or change those obstacles.”

The underlying sentiment of the SOS is that fellow staff members are the best source for identifying and solving service problems. “They are the ones who see an ongoing problem and have a vested interest in its improvement,” explained Moser.

To submit a service obstacle, visit

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
For more information, contact

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