After 21 years at Credentials Solutions, Terry Reed is trading in constant travel and in-person campus visits for virtual member meetings while social distancing and working from home. It’s important for Terry to connect, steer members toward the right resources at the new Parchment, and ensure folks are doing okay while working remotely.
Back in the day, Credentials Solutions, started with one idea, according to Terry – education verification. Everything else they did (transcript processing, diploma replacement, and parking permits) was at the recommendation of a client institution.
At that time, there were 7 employees, and Terry’s responsibilities were plenty. So was his contribution. He was in charge of implementing schools, managing the customer service team, overseeing the client support teams, running print operations, and monitoring system availability and performance – at the same time. So, he talked with members all the time. “I got to hear about their family lives, and they got to hear about mine,” says Terry. “It was interesting to work at a startup, and build meaningful relationships. Even now when I talk to them, they ask about my kids, and I ask about theirs. ” Today, with the Credentials/Parchment merger, these partnerships continue, as Terry continues to place importance on what matters most – people.
Off the Road. Hunkering Down at Home.
“Last year, between campus visits and conferences, I visited 77 campuses and engaged with 93 members,” Terry explains. “Today, it’s different, and I’m really enjoying the experience. My wife says I’m more laid back, and it’s true, because I’m not worried about system connectivity or managing people. It’s all good!”
Terry and a colleague were on the road in Florida talking to members about the merger when President Trump announced shutting down travel to China because of COVID-19. “In case it got worse, we made the decision to cut the trip short and get home,” he says. “Since then, I’ve turned one of my kid’s former bedrooms into an office, and I’m really digging working from home.”
A Trusted Contact
“I’ve lost count of the number of schools I implemented over the years,” Terry says. “Even though they now have Parchment Client Success Managers, they still reach out to me when they have something pressing going on.” He takes pleasure in lending an ear and providing comfort and support when things get hectic for them. His next step is connecting the member with their Client Success Manager/Account Executive, and assuring them their CSM/AE is going to take excellent care of them – just as well as he could have. He reminds them he’s always available to chat and that they can reach out anytime.
According to Terry, some institutions were interested in implementing Parchment’s print and mail services but were slow to advance. Once the pandemic hit and schools needed helped, they remembered our conversations regarding how Parchment can help. “I’m laying the groundwork by introducing all Parchment has to offer and then getting them over to the right people who can help them,” he reports. “It’s been really fulfilling and rewarding. And it just shows how much they appreciate us and think of us as a real partner and it feels good to contribute at that level.”
Coping with COVID
At home, Terry and his wife are empty nesters. Today, they get to spend more time together after all his years of traveling for business. They walk their two dogs and have planted a garden. And they look forward to seeing their three grandchildren – both online and in person. Of course the real deal is always better because those visits include hugs and kisses!
Terry’s also an avid hockey player and loves to get his stress out on the ice. “Since COVID, social distancing has put hockey on hold,” explains Terry. “I’m really missing the game, the ice, my team – but it’s not worth the risk.” These days Terry and his wife have found themselves with a lot to be grateful for – health and family.
Message to Members
“Our members already know we are there for them because of our technology, service, support, communication, and history,” explains Terry. “Even those who are just letting go of printing paper transcripts and diplomas, when they go live, they thank us. And once they’ve been up for a few days, they’re ecstatic and say the service is incredible. If they had known they would have done it sooner. This tells us we’re making a contribution and we’re so happy to do it.”
Terry understands that it pays to build relationships and gain trust right from the beginning. “Having that makes it so much easier during these times,” Terry concludes. “Our members know that we will do everything to help them, regardless of the situation. That’s exactly what I hear. For Parchment, to be able to come in and ease their burden, that’s fantastic!”