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Building Trust in Schools: A Shared Responsibility

When we first started talking about the concept of customer service in schools a few years ago, we got a lot of sideways looks.

“We don’t need to worry about customer service because schools aren’t businesses,” was a common refrain.

How things have changed.  

These days, many forward-thinking school leaders have begun to single out customer service and, perhaps more broadly, the customer experience, in their strategic plans.

Providing a welcoming environment, serving up quick and cordial responses to every question or concern, and engaging in open and honest conversations with community members, be it students, parents, or staff, have all been proven to boost school and student performance.

But creating a quality school customer experience isn’t only the responsibility of district leadership. Every staff member in the district–even those who seldom interact with parents or community members–is responsible for creating an open, welcoming, and engaging school culture.

Here are a few ways that key people in your district can help deliver a quality customer experience:


  • Be transparent when sharing reasons behind important district decisions
  • Listen to feedback from students, parents, employees, and community members


  • Answer questions and concerns from stakeholders regarding academic support
  • Ensure all outbound communications are timely, accurate, complete, and courteous


  • Listen to and address safety feedback from students, parents, employees, and others
  • Share out timely and accurate information about safety policies and incidents
  • Ensure all stakeholders have a place to submit inquiries and concerns to get the help they need to secure physical and emotional safety

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  • Respond to and resolve current, future, and prior employees’ inquiries in a timely and accurate fashion
  • Focus on providing exceptional customer service for internal stakeholders


  • Resolve IT inquiries and requests quickly and accurately
  • Make sure requesters know when their request has been resolved and that they have an opportunity to provide feedback on the service they received


  • Make it easy for students, parents, and others to get timely information
  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to parent and community concerns
  • Improve customer service and empower drivers with better information


  • Listen to and address questions and concerns from families and others
  • Provide timely, accurate, and complete communications on student progress and key topics


  • Make a point to be transparent about school funding uses
  • Address stakeholder inquiries and concerns regarding budget in a timely, accurate, and courteous manner


  • Make nutritional information readily available for students, parents, and others
  • Ensure friendly and positive interactions with students, staff, and others

To help equip school staff with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver exceptional customer experiences, many districts have begun to offer customer experience training and professional development programs, such as the ones offered by K12 Insight. Watch the video below to learn more.

For more on building trust and a strong customer experience in your schools, don’t forget to download our exclusive guide.