Customer Service: A Sense of Mission

(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers) by:

Job satisfaction isn’t something we tend to naturally associate with the position of customer service representative—which is why the team at Kars4Kids is worth a closer look, even if your business doesn’t have a dedicated customer service department.

Burnout isn’t a foregone conclusion for the team working phones at this nonprofit car donation program. One of the reps has, in fact, been with Kars4Kids for seven years. The manager of the customer service team has been on the job for 11 years.

That’s an incredible record, considering the data. These are dedicated customer service people; their sole responsibility is to interact with customers.

Customer service burnout: What the data say

In general, just how bad is the burnout associated with people who work directly with customers? The turnover rate should give you some idea. Back in 2013, turnover for customer service representatives was running at an incredibly high 30 to 45 percent, whereas the average turnover rate of employees for all industries in the United States was 15.1 percent.

Researchers have struggled to understand what might help prevent burnout. More money? Job security? Because if we could only help our customer-facing teams feel good about what they do, the theory goes, it’s likely they’d stick around longer and generate more customer loyalty. There’s generally a limit, on the other hand, to how much an organization can pay people in those roles. That means you’re going to have to find a different way to satisfy those employees so they won’t walk out in a huff.

One research trial found that more important than the money, more important than job security, is that the team member sees  himself as “playing a positive role within the wider organization.” Managers can help with this by keeping the team well-informed about the organization’s mission, even in for-profit companies. The manager can also convey to team members that they are valued and that their contribution is important. Finally, if reps feel they’re benefiting from company practices, they are more likely to feel good about their place of work and stick around a spell.

The right attitude can help prevent customer service burnout

Preventing customer service burnout, in other words, is about attitude. Team member attitude can be influenced by how well management keeps the team in the loop about the bigger picture. At Kars4Kids, this means sharing stories with the customer service team of kids helped by the organization. The customer service representatives come to know that each car donation represents another child mentored, or a scholarship to TheZone, a summer camp focusing on the personal growth of the campers.


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Employee Files

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Specialist, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

Sourced from:

Information that should not be in your employee files:

  • Age (unless a minor)
  • Citizenship
  • Disabilities
  • Marital status
  • Medical history
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Information that should be in your employee files:

  • Employment application, pre-employment tests, notes on reference checks,
  • and hire date
  • Job title, job description, and employee classification (exempt or nonexempt)
  • Salary history
  • Promotions, transfers, or demotions
  • Skills inventory
  • Scheduled and completed training
  • Performance evaluations and performance goals
  • Accident and injury reports
  • Discipline reports
  • Request for reasonable accommodation of a disability


Job Postings

There are two job postings we wanted to share.

The first is a full time Program Assistant position at The OSU South Centers.  This position will provide a broad range of basic to complex office support services relating to document preparation, workshop preparation, reception and work flow; edits newsletters, proposals, and manuscripts.  Interested individuals should log onto: and apply before January 28th.

The second is a part time contractual Business Counselor for the Cincinnati Region Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) – Piketon office at the Ohio State University South Centers. The focus for this position is:

  1. Meeting all state required Key Performance Metrics (KPMs)
  2. Counseling MBAC business clients throughout the various phases of growth
  3. Maintaining client records
  4. Identifying contract opportunities with (federal, state, city & corporate) organizations/agencies for small businesses
  5. Assisting business owners with the State of Ohio certification processes for: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity (EDGE), and Veterans Friendly Business Enterprise certifications
  6. Planning outreach events
  7. Marketing of MBAC programming
  8. Designing training seminars and working with strategic partners
  9. Maintaining Piketon Facebook page

The full description for this position can be found here: 2018 Business Counselor Contractual Position PT-23oz0u0

Keeping Good Records

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

January is typically the month we all try to start fresh.  New resolutions, new goals, and new opportunities.  January is the perfect month to continue or start keeping good records for your business. Why keep records? Here’s some reasons for keeping good records:

  • Detail tracking – Whether it’s customers, sales, or inventory, these details help run your operations smoothly.
  • Planning – Keeping good records helps anticipate seasonality of your business. You can run a sale this March to get customers in the door if you know last March was slow.
  • Tax Prep – There’s no need to scramble around at the last minute to get your tax paperwork in order. Maintain those records that you know you’ll have to report quarterly or annually for federal, state and local requirements.
  • Legal Compliance – Having a good record system of your contacts, leases, agreements with suppliers, licenses, permits and insurance just allows your business to run seamlessly. If a problem arises, you’ll be able to show the documents necessary to keep everything on the up and up.
  • Payroll and Personnel – If you have employees, there are numerous records you are required to keep – even after your employee leaves your business.


If you already keep good records for your business, great!  Keep it up!  If you are not up to par, don’t stress!  Start this year fresh and then build upon that.

10 Ways to Thwart Cyber Threats at Work

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Specialist, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

Sourced from:

  1. Use strong passwords.
  2. Change passwords regularly.
  3. Do not share user names or passwords.
  4. Make regular backups of critical work.
  5. Avoid clicking on links to websites provided in e-mails.
  6. Use discretion when opening e-mail attachments.
  7. Confirm that an e-mail request for sensitive information is authentic before complying with it.
  8. Be wary of unexpected changes in established protocols for financial transactions.
  9. Ask IT before installing or connecting any personal software or hardware to the organization’s network or hardware.
  10. When traveling on business, keep laptops and other mobile devices hidden from view, and do not leave them unattended in unsecured areas.