One of FM’s Three C’s is to be customer focused. This means building strong relationships with students, faculty and staff so that we can anticipate their needs and meet them. East Bank Senior B&G Georgia McClanahan has made customers’ needs her focus for more than a decade at the U. She aims to instill confidence that when they see her, they know their requests will be investigated and handled in a timely manner.
“When you’re in buildings often, you get to know the people that work there and I find that most people here are friendly,” said McClanahan. “Even if they aren’t at first, they become that way as a result of building bridges and focusing on helping solve their problems. ”
McClanahan arrived at the U in 2000 after being laid off from Sun Country Airlines where she was supervisor on the night shift. When she began her job search, her sister-in-law, who works in payroll, recommended she apply for a B& G position. She spent her first six years in the Carlson School of Management, before working as a floater and eventually becoming an East Bank Senior B&G last year.
McClanahan hasn’t always been a custodian. After high school she was trained in horse care and stable management, which she pursued for about seven years. She returned home to Burnsville after that and worked several jobs, including as a teacher’s aid in Minneapolis public schools.
During this time she met her husband Lee, whom she married in 1986. Since he was a truck driver and she had flexibility with her schedule, she was able to go out on the road with him and has traveled through all of the lower 48 states. Lee runs his own trucking company near Hastings. They even took their oldest daughter on a few road trips.
The couple has three daughters – Kali (26), Tira (19) and Tesa (15). Kali is married with two children and lives in Apple Valley, Tira is in college at Inver Grove Community College and Tesa is in Junior High School. The family enjoys snowmobiling, riding four-wheelers and swimming in their free time.
One of McClanahan’s personal pursuits is the study of spirituality. She practices yoga regularly and has studied American Indian, Irish, Islamic, Shaman, Buddhist and Hindu spirituality. She is fascinated by the many similarities that exist between the different teachings.
“I wanted to know how we are alike,” said McClanahan. “We already know the differences, they’re everywhere. One of the main things I’ve learned is to accept people for who they are and not try to change them. I hope to allow a growing process so that the best of us both can come forward and any conflict can fall away.”
If you applied this to customer service, you might say that one should strive to relate to customers and seek to solve their problems. Sounds like McClanahan’s spiritual studies may have had a positive impact on her approach to customer service.