To J. Michael Floyd, the new associate vice president for auxiliary services, the 30,000-plus individuals enrolled at UGA are more than students.
They are his customers.
That distinction is important for a man who views his role as constantly improving service for his customers.
Auxiliary Services, part of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, includes a range of offerings (Bulldog Bucks, Campus Transit, University Printing, the University Bookstore, the UGA Golf Course, Food Services, Parking Services and Vending Services) to students, faculty and staff, and guests of the university.
The department has a big umbrella that fills a variety of on-campus needs.
But Floyd said it all comes back to one thing: customer service.
“What we really sell is service,” Floyd said. “So when a student is on campus and has one of those needs, we can provide that for them in a friendly environment.”
Floyd believes the services provided not only satisfy existing customers, but also can be a good recruitment tool for prospective students.
Before his promotion this summer to his new role, Floyd led the university’s Food Services operation for more than 25 years, rising to the level of executive director.
In fact, Floyd’s entire career up to this point has been spent focused on campus dining in Georgia. Before coming to Athens, Floyd spent time working for food services at Valdosta State University.
Since Floyd joined UGA’s Food Services in 1986, the department has been showered with national awards. Under Floyd’s tenure, Food Services received a total of 77 national awards. Food Services also has won the state’s Governor’s Commendation for Excellence in Customer Service three times since 2007.
Floyd is looking now to bolster that winner’s attitude throughout Auxiliary Services, as he moves beyond campus dining and explores the ins and outs of the other operations in the unit.
“Where I find myself today is learning the details,” he said.
On the first day of classes, he rode buses on campus to learn about the transit activity level. He’s also ridden with Parking Services technicians as they went on calls to fix problems at a parking deck.
Learning these kinds of details is part of understanding the bigger picture of what Auxiliary Services can provide.
Already, Floyd said, the departments that make up Auxiliary Services have “excellent managers” who are experts in their fields.
He said, “My goal is to take that customer service to the next level.”
And why is customer service so important?
Auxiliary Services does not receive federal and state funding. Instead, departments are self-sustainable through customer purchases and fees.
“Auxiliary team members understand that without campus customers, there would be no need for the services that help them park, dine and be successful during their time on campus,” Floyd said.