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School leaders discussing their customer service strategy.

3-Step Guide to Transforming Your District's Customer Service

As Chief Customer Officer at K12 Insight, I’ve watched hundreds of districts walk the journey to delivering superior customer service — and I’ve learned from them all. Here are the three steps to set any district on the right path.
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How a customer service transformation can impact your schools

Transforming your school district’s customer service isn’t a quick fix, but the long-term benefits are undeniable. As a leader in the K-12 education space, I’ve witnessed countless districts struggle with family retention, only to discover the root cause lies in customer service. A recent study in Texas revealed that the top reasons families leave a district are not academic – they’re related to communication and overall experience.

Building a customer service culture: A 3-step approach

Large-scale changes like a customer service transformation can feel overwhelming. However, this process can be broken down into actionable steps. Here are three key strategies to ensure every family in your district has a positive experience:

Step 1: Prioritize two-way communications

Open and accessible communication is a cornerstone of exceptional customer service. While a perfect communications strategy doesn’t exist, there are ways to bridge the gap and foster two-way dialogue. Our ongoing research highlights that access is a critical missing piece for many families. Parents often lack clear channels for inquiries or urgent information.

The good news? 43% of parents are comfortable using advanced tools like AI-powered chatbots or texting lines. Implementing these technologies can significantly improve access to information and streamline communication within your district.

Step 2: See your district through a parent’s lens

Put yourself in the shoes of a parent in your district. Imagine waiting for a late bus with a child and needing to find the right person for help. How easy is that process? Stepping outside the administrator mindset and adopting a family-centric perspective is crucial.

Consider visiting a school as a prospective parent, experiencing the enrollment process firsthand. Observe staff interactions with families and identify areas where communication can be improved to make information more readily available.

Step 3: Analyze your current customer service landscape

Steps one and two pave the way for analyzing your current customer service state. Activities like the “undercover boss” experience (step two) help pinpoint your district’s position on the journey to providing superior customer service.

Data-driven insights are key here. Track customer service metrics to identify areas for improvement. Ask yourself and your leadership team these questions:

  • Response times: How quickly does your district typically respond to inquiries (within 24 hours)?
  • Efficiency: Do parents encounter duplicate responses when sending emails to different departments?
  • Understanding needs: Can you pinpoint the most common reasons families contact each department or campus?

If you struggle to answer these questions, or if your answers indicate room for growth, consider a free consultation with K12 Insight experts. K12 Insight has a proven track record of helping school districts transform their customer service strategies and improve districtwide communication.

Ready to get started?

Let’s work together to elevate your district’s customer service and create a more positive experience for every family in your school community. It’s time for a true customer service transformation!

Schedule your free consultation today.

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Krista Coleman
By Krista Coleman
Krista Coleman is K12 Insight’s chief customer officer. She’s dedicated to helping K-12 school districts across the United States provide superior customer experiences to families, teachers, staff, and other stakeholders.
Originally published August 2, 2023 Last updated April 9, 2024