Live Case – Project

Develop a Customer Service & Retention Strategy

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

Habitat for Humanity is looking to build out customer service strategy at their Rockford ReStore location. Rockford ReStore currently experiences a 50% new customer rate, and is aiming to increase their customer satisfaction and retention using industry best practices that can be tailored to their retail environment and reclaimed goods segment. They are asking you to develop a customer service philosophy and corresponding training program, process, structure, and incentive plan to promote effective customer service. They also hope that your plan will help to measurably improve customer satisfaction and retention.

Project Topics

Account Management

Customer Service

Company Information

CompanyRockford Area Habitat for Humanity
HQLoves Park, Illinois
StageSmall Business
Hiring PotentialN/A

Company Overview

Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to building homes, neighborhoods, and lives through improved housing opportunity. We build simple, decent, affordable homes to be sold to families currently living in substandard housing. Rockford Habitat is for families who are ready to make a life-changing commitment to become homeowners. Families are selected on the basis of need for adequate housing, ability to make mortgage payments, and willingness to become partners in the program.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolNorthern Illinois University (NIU)
Engagement FormatLive Case - Think "Hackathon" or Case Competition with a whole class of students! This learning format allows educators to deliver experiential learning to students at scale. Students are often split into groups to work on a live case (or a series of cases) from a real host company that directly relates to key learning objectives.
CourseBusiness in Action, Spring 2021 (Gorham)
Students Enrolled68
Meeting Day & TimeJacie: Online, Mondays & Wednesday 3:30 - 4:45 PM CT | Jason: Hybrid, Tuesday & Thursday 2:00 - 3:15 PM CT
Student Time Commitment4-7 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment2 Hours
Duration9.57 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type
Projects Revealed

Projects Revealed

Students select their preferred project
February 2nd, 2021 Event na
Project Launch

Project Launch

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity, will web conference into class to launch the projects. Expect to dedicate 1-hour per section. Flexible to move this to the following week if necessary.
February 9th, 2021 Event na
Project Check-In

Project Check-In

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity, to web conference into class to launch the projects. Expect to dedicate 1-hour per section. Flexible to move this to around. Ideally between second and third deliverable
March 23rd, 2021 Event na
Final Presentations

Final Presentations

Keri, Project Champion from Habitat for Humanity to web conference (or visit) class to hear final presentations and provide feedback.
April 13th, 2021 Event na

Key Project Milestones

  • February 22, 2021 - Deep-dive into Habitat for Humanity & ReStore

    • What is Habitat for Humanity?
    • How is it run? How does the affiliate network operate?
    • What is the ReStore? How does it relate to Habitat for Humanity?
    • Review (umbrella agency)
    • Review (local org / project partner)
    • Review Internal Communication Network / Intranet “My Habitat”
      • See Attachments for Login Credentials!
    • Bonus: Go visit the Rockford ReStore
      • Attend: ReStore Orientation, Retore 101 Course

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare an in-class presentation on your understanding of Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore Model

  • March 12, 2021 - Deep Dive into ReStore Operations & Conduct Industry Standards Research on Retail Customer Service

    • What types of products/services does Restore offer?
    • What is ReStore’s value proposition?
    • Who is ReStore’s target market and how does Restore address their needs?
    • What are the points of customer-staff interaction in day-to-day operations at the ReStore, taking into account the various stakeholders they serve?
    • How would you describe the customer service philosophies and models have been adopted by other comparable retail stores?
    • Which strategies have been successful, and why?
    • How could these philosophies, models, and practices inform/help to build ReStore’s philosophy and model?

    Develop and Document an Inspiring Customer Service Philosophy for ReStore’s Team

    • What do the people at ReStore want their customers to feel first when they think about the service they provide?
    • What is a realistic and achievable vision for customer service at the ReStore?
    • What are the guiding values and principles that essentially support this vision?
    • What are some ways these values and principles could be observed in day-to-day operations at Restore?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop an industry standards analysis report and a customer service philosophy statement, including vision, values, and principles based on your knowledge of the ReStore and industry best practices

  • April 22, 2021 - Develop a Strategy for Implementing your Customer Service and Retention Philosophy

    • What are likely scenarios that Restore support staff will encounter?
    • How do you think these could be reflected in training exercises that reflect real situations?
    • What skills are being targeted for development? What are the best strategies for nurturing these skills according to principles of adult learning?
    • What role does the ReStore’s leadership play?
    • Which metrics are available that align with the philosophy and can be used to measure performance and success?
    • What incentives can be incorporated to reinforce adherence to and embodiment of the principles and values?
    • How can you measure improvements (and success)?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop report on how the ReStore’s leadership can implement a customer service and retention program

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available

Industry Mentors

Company Admin

Keri Asevedo

[email protected]

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.