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STARS speaker puts focus on top-notch 'customer care'

University emphasizes outstanding service to students, colleagues, community

Business communications expert Al Borowski speaks to Point Park faculty and staff during a STARS luncheon on providing excellent customer care. | Photo by Christopher Rolinson

Speaker Al Borowski leads faculty and staff through communications exercises as part of Point Park's STARS service initiative.

Providing top-notch “customer care” starts with listening closely to individuals with whom you are interacting, from students to University colleagues to anyone dealing with Point Park.

That was the message delivered by a business communications expert who spoke to University faculty and staff recently as part of Point Park’s STARS program, a service initiative that supports the University's guiding principle of Quality Student Experience. STARS stands for “Striving to Achieve Remarkable Service.”


Al Borowski, a Pittsburgh-based certified speaking professional and communications skills speaker, trainer and author, gave his presentation at a March 3 luncheon in the Lawrence Hall Ballroom. Borowski, M.Ed., has worked with numerous corporations, universities and nonprofit organizations to improve business communication skills. His clients include Gettysburg College, Indiana University, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Bayer Corporation.

At the Point Park luncheon, he led a series of communications exercises to teach the fundamentals of dealing with other people.

“You’ve got to become a good listener, and you have to be patient to be a good listener,” he said.

Borowski offered a three-point “BMW” strategy for offering exceptional customer care:

  • B – Become a strategic listener
  • M – Make people feel special
  • W – Work at building relationships

Building those skills, Borowski explained, requires individuals to overcome the inherent “speed traps” in all personal communications – “you think faster than you see, you see faster than you read, you read faster than you speak, and you speak faster than you write.”

Borowski encouraged his audience to follow a STARS approach to providing the best customer care, especially in dealing with individuals who are upset or frustrated:

  • S – Stay focused on that person
  • T – Tune in to their communicating style
  • A – Pay attention
  • R – Repeat what they said or respond in some way
  • S – Summarize the issue

“Follow the three Rs -- respond, repeat and request more information,” he said. “This is the way you can remember how to be a good listener.”