Universal Guidelines for Exemplary Service


For Temple University to become a world class institution of higher education, the service provided by its employees will be a key contributor.  We can make the difference between a positive experience and a negative one for a student, parent, colleague, patient or community member. In order to emphasize the importance of exemplary service among university employees, the essential function below is being added to every administrative employee’s PDP.  The expectation is that supervisors will hold direct reports accountable for performing the essential function satisfactorily and will hold direct reports accountable for adhering to the university service standards below. Please remember that these are guidelines and appropriate variations that are school, college or department specific are acceptable as long as the variation carries the essence of the universal guideline.     

Essential Function:  Employees are expected to adhere to the universal exemplary service guidelines:

1.   All in-person internal and external users of Temple University services must be greeted with a smile, a friendly greeting (hello or good morning/afternoon), your name, and the question, how may I help you? Example: “Good morning, I am Eric Brunner, how may I help you?” said while looking directly at the user and with a smile.

2.   Phone greetings may follow a similar pattern as the greeting above, but in addition to identifying yourself by name, state your department name so the person on the phone knows who he or she has reached and the department in which you work. Example: “Good morning, Eric Brunner from Human Resources speaking, how may I help you?”

3.   All internal and external user email and voicemail contacts received during the scope of the employee’s normal work week or day must be acknowledged within twenty-four hours of receipt.  This does not mean that the request in the email or voicemail must be completed or resolved within twenty-four hours of receipt, but that an acknowledgement of receipt must be communicated by emailing or phone calling the party letting him/her know when he or she can expect an anticipated completion of the request.

4.   If an out of office voicemail or email is on, an alternative contact person’s name, email and phone number must be provided on the out-of-office message. All services should continue seamlessly in your absence.

5.   Upon completing an interaction in person or over the phone, the employee must ask two questions, “Was I able to resolve your issue or answer your question” and “Is there anything additional I can do for you?”    

6.   When fulfilling a request for another person, close the communication loop by letting the requesting party know that the request has been fulfilled or at least followed up on.  Follow-up could come in the form of a) a cc on an email, b) an email with details, c) a phone call or d) an in-person conversation.

7.   If you are not the right person or cannot address an issue, you are required to pass the issue on to someone who can help. This could be accomplished by transferring a phone call to the correct person, searching a website to get information, and/or walking someone to the appropriate person/department.  When transferring a phone call, please provide the caller with your name and phone number in case the call gets dropped.  Do not be a customer service dead end!

8.   Email signatures must be added to all university emails with at minimum the information below:

        Full name


        Office location

        Phone Number

        Email address

        Web address if applicable

9.   Throughout the year, prospective students, their parents, prospective faculty, new students, and visitors, etc. come to Temple’s campuses. It is expected of Temple employees that if and when they notice a campus visitor, they do what they can to assist and ensure the visit is productive and enjoyable. Assistance could include:

a.    Giving directions to campus locations

b.   Escorting visitors to the appropriate office

c.    Providing the name of a contact in a university office and phoning the university contact ahead of time to alert him or her of the visitor’s arrival.

d.   Searching for and providing directions to places that may be unknown to the individual.