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School district leaders planning their customer service strategy.

Implementing Customer Service Software: 6 Considerations for Schools

Transforming districtwide customer service requires more than just software. Here are six things to plan for when launching a customer service strategy to ensure you see real ROI.
4 minutes

In today’s competitive educational landscape, customer service is no longer a luxury for schools – it’s a necessity. With one-third of parents unsure where to seek information and a significant portion feeling dissatisfied with communication, schools need a better way to connect and engage with families.

Implementing customer service software like Let’s Talk can be a powerful tool to improve communication, streamline workflows, and ultimately, boost your school district’s ROI. However, a successful implementation goes beyond simply installing the software. Here are some key considerations:

1. Building a Districtwide Customer Service Culture

Customer service in schools impacts every family’s experience, from enrollment to graduation. For a successful software implementation, ensure all departments are involved. Consider including leaders from district offices, boards, principals, and heads of communications, IT, transportation, nutrition, and campus-specific departments.

The first question you need to ask your cabinet is “Are we committed to a districtwide shift in operations to ensure we’re delivering superior customer service at every touchpoint?” 

2. Aligning Expectations for Customer Service Software

Successful implementation requires a clear plan with agreed-upon goals, metrics, and timelines. Ensure everyone understands this initiative’s importance by incorporating it into your strategic plan and communicating how the software will contribute to a districtwide shift towards superior customer service.

Choose a vendor that is invested in your transformation. At K12 Insight, we see our client districts as partners in the journey to superior customer service and believe in transparency and honesty about what we can deliver throughout the implementation process.

To ensure your goals and expectations are met, there must be strong communication between your internal project team and your vendor.

3. Meeting Your Community Where They Are

Charley the Chatbot

Modern families expect convenient communication channels. Explore options like website chatbots and department-specific texting lines. Some schools have seen success with AI-powered chatbots to answer general questions, freeing staff for more complex inquiries.In a recent report, 43% of families indicated they are open to receiving automated responses from AI for general questions.
Real world examples: Pasco County Schools (Florida) opened an text line so students can send a simple text message when they forget their login credentials. Fort Wayne Community Schools (Indiana) has answered nearly 7,000 inbound inquiries with their chatbot (named Charley). 

4. Prioritizing Internal Training for Customer Service Software

Implementing customer service software requires buy-in from both families and staff. Invest in training for principals, department heads, and frontline staff to ensure they’re comfortable using the new software. Additionally, equip them with the soft skills needed to manage difficult conversations and conflicts.

Our district partnership representatives often make in-person visits for department-specific training. K12 Insight offers live monthly training sessions, on-demand webinars, and online training resources.

5. Measuring Success with Customer Service Software

Define success metrics in the planning stage. Common goals include faster inquiry response times, improved customer experience (Cx) scores, increased use of automation, and streamlined communication channels.

Your vendor should provide regular progress reports against established metrics. Look for a solution that offers ongoing support, including training materials, best practices, and benchmark data.

6. The Long-Term Investment in Customer Service

Transforming customer service in schools is a journey, not a destination. It requires a commitment from leadership, ongoing evaluation, and a willingness to adapt based on feedback.

With the right planning, support, and a commitment to continuous improvement, schools can leverage customer service software to create a more positive and efficient experience for everyone in the school community.

Ready to get started?

If you’re interested in learning more about implementing customer service software in your school district, register for a free, no-obligation customer service workshop with one of our experts. These workshops are available to anyone on your team and can be conducted in-person or virtually.

By K12 Insight
Originally published August 1, 2023 Last updated March 18, 2024