Customer service is important to schools, but many lack the resources

Some education leaders don’t have ways to monitor or improve customer service
By: | October 10, 2019
District Administration provides some examples of good customer service in schools after a new report says that many district leaders want to build trust with their community, yet many administrators lack the confidence in their customer service skills. SDI Productions

An overwhelming number of district leaders want to build trust with their community, yet many administrators lack confidence in their customer service skills, according to a new report. Additionally, some systems don’t even make any staff member responsible for improving customer service.

Here are some examples of good customer service in schools.

In Maryland, Harford County Public Schools created a new communications and family outreach office to strengthen the system’s message and an academy to further support parents, Superintendent Sean Bulson told The Baltimore Sun. 

Bulson, who learned the importance of customer service while working in the restaurant industry, also provides new teachers with lists of class resources and ideas, and parents with questions in English and Spanish to ask teachers during PTA meetings.

In nearby Prince George’s County Public Schools, first-year principal of Hillcrest Heights Elementary School has staff members take assessments to better understand their strengths, reported Education Dive. 

“I like to look at a school kind of like a hotel. What’s the level of customer service you’re providing?” Principal David Brown told Education Dive.

In Texas, Administrators at Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD first focused customer service training on frontline employees, such as secretaries, and then expanded to teachers and other district staff, District Administration reported.

“We’re hyperfocused on our employees and want them to all receive an exceptional experience in every interaction they have with the district,”   Director of Personnel Services Jason Liewehr told DA.

In Delaware, Christina School District reorganized schools and began building an adult center with help from successful partnerships created by  administrators and state officials.

“Building trust takes a shorter amount of time because of these relationships,” Director James Simmons of the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement told Delaware Public Media.

Customer service in schools is possible

Improving customer service can maximize retention and enrollment, Nick LeRoy, former executive director of the Indiana Charter School Board,  said in a recent blog

LeRoy recommended creating a comprehensive FAQ,  emphasizing positive interactions, improving social media etiquette, responding to queries within 24 hours and translate feedback into actionable improvements.

Resource: How to create customer service in schools e-book