A Champion of Service

August 23, 2010

A Champion of Service


VALDOSTA -- Excellence Award winner Sharon Butcher is convinced that customer service begins with a genuine desire to help others that is strengthened with respect and fueled by honesty. Her father taught her that.

“My Dad taught me and lived the example of how to treat people -- with respect, honesty and accountability,” said Butcher, who is the department manager for Campus Mail Services. “With 59 years of trials and many errors, I have come to understand I want to strive to be honest, respectful, accountable and constantly remind myself I have only walked in my shoes.”

The university community honored Butcher with the Excellence in Customer Service -- awarded during commencement each year to a classified staff member for his or her exceptional dedication to others. Customer service, Butcher said, is key to professional success and institutional health. Campus Mail interacts with a variety of faculty, staff, students and visitors -- and is committed to treating each of them with the upmost consideration, she reiterated.

“We receive many calls from people who have been forwarded on only to find we are unable to help; but instead of passing them on, we stay with them or call them back with the answer or the person needed to help them,” Butcher said.
Butcher began working at VSU in 1995, and has since woven herself into the fabric of the university as part of the Council on Staff Affairs (COSA). During the past five years, Butcher has held the position of treasurer, public relations officer, chair elect and chair. Even after her COSA term expired, she continues to be regarded as one of the organization’s most active volunteers.

“I love working for a university, more specifically VSU and the creative and driven staff who have set their performances to a high standard,” she said. “I am so fortunate to have what I very seriously and affectionately refer to "the best department at VSU.”

The mother of two oversees VSU’s intensely computerized mail operations, which dealt with 720,000 pieces of mail and $250,000 in expenditures last year. Time that the department used to spend sorting and labeling packages and envelopes is now spent tracking shipments and inputting information into labeling machines.

“Our daily goal, which is met 99.9 percent of the time, is that everything should go out the day we receive it,” Butcher said. “Due to certain procedures we have implemented over the years, we were able to save VSU $16,788 in postage savings last year.”

Butcher hasn’t always been in the mail industry. Prior to her time at VSU, she served as a crochet pattern tester for two major published designers. Her work has appeared in several major craft books and magazines.

“It was a very demanding but rewarding process,” Butcher said. “I would receive the project of yarn and pattern and within a time frame had to complete it while determining if the pattern was correctly written or had typographical errors. When completed, the project had to be camera ready because it was the model. I loved the challenge.”