Customer service is more important than ever. As schools grapple with the challenges of a global pandemic and an increase in school of choice, positive school experiences are a key differentiator — especially as parents become increasingly involved in student learning.
Customer Service Week — which takes place this year from Oct. 4-8 — is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. And at K12 Insight, we believe every week is Customer Service Week.
Each school district we work with has demonstrated exemplary service, creativity, and innovation. I wanted to share a few stories today so you can see how a focus on customer service in school districts impacts students and families, and helps districts build trust in their communities.
At the end of this post, I also share three ways you can recognize customer service superheroes in your school district.
Building rapport with a school community
Wharton Independent School District | Texas
Superintendent Michael O’Guin brought Let’s Talk to Wharton ISD in 2020 and lives his district’s mission of demonstrating “spirit of warmth, friendliness, and personal pride.” Dr. O’Guin holds his team to a high standard and makes high Cx scores — also known as customer experience scores — a top priority. Any scores falling below an eight out of 10 are immediately followed up on personally by the district’s public relations coordinator, Bridget English, to see if there is more to be done to help serve each customer.
For Wharton ISD, a focus on customer service helps the district build rapport with its community and stay in front of critical issues. Dr. O’Guin’s customer service superpower is using Let’s Talk to identify trending issues so the district can prioritize and respond quickly.
Ensuring accessibility and integrating customer service across the district
Cabell County Schools | West Virginia
Jason Jackson, Director of Technology and Information Systems at Cabell County Schools, is a new K12 Insight partner. Jason truly understands there are many opportunities to integrate customer service principles across the website — beyond the standard Let’s Talk landing page and pop-out tab. He’s a customer service innovator, seeking ways to be more accessible to the Cabell community and collecting customer service metrics to help drive improvements. Jason also has embedded his Technology FAQs directly to the district’s Technology page — streamlining the process of updating FAQs in the future.
For Cabell County Schools, a focus on customer service reduces the number of inbound tickets and increases efficiencies through better collaboration and workflow. Jason’s customer service superpower is using Let’s Talk to ensure questions from the community are delivered to the district contact closest to the issue to ensure each customer receives fast, efficient service.
Strengthening relationships and engaging a community
Fort Wayne Community Schools | Indiana
Public Information Officer Krista Stockman is a long-time K12 Insight partner. Fort Wayne Community Schools — which has 50 schools, 4,000 staff members, and nearly 30,000 students — has paired Let’s Talk with Managed Research to ensure the district’s stakeholders feel heard and stay engaged. Under Krista’s leadership, Fort Wayne’s Let’s Talk has managed over 30,000 dialogues with a Cx score above the national average. The district strives to respond to dialogues in less than three days and regularly exceeds that goal.
For Fort Wayne Community Schools, a focus on customer service helps build relationships and trust with key stakeholders. Krista’s customer service superpower is helping all members of their school community feel welcome and invited.
Recognize your customer service superheroes
You likely have amazing stories to share about how your school district is serving your students, parents, families, teachers, staff, and community. As part of Customer Service Week, I encourage you to recognize the staff, teachers, and volunteers who ensure your district is providing a positive experience for all stakeholders. Here are three ideas:
1. Give your team Customer Service Superhero awards.
It’s been a stressful back-to-school season and tough year for many. A little bit of recognition can go a long way.
Download our free Customer Service Superhero certificate template, which you can easily customize using PowerPoint. You can provide these awards to every person who is making a difference in the lives of your students and school community.
2. Recognize your staff and teachers.
The simple act of recognizing hard work and dedication has a significant impact on morale.
Give a shout out to your customer service superheroes — whether it’s in a meeting, on social media, within your monthly newsletter, or on your website.
Consider providing a small gift or rotate a special workplace perk (like a coveted parking spot) to your top superheroes. You also can send thoughtful handwritten notes throughout the year — especially after particularly busy times like back-to-school.
3. Share your story with K12 Insight
We want to help amplify your school district’s stories of customer service success. Tell us how a department, team, or individual in your district is going above and beyond to serve your school community. We’ll feature some of the stories in future blog posts and on social media.
We would also love to see photos of your team with their Customer Service Superhero awards. Tag us on Twitter using @K12Insight and use #CustomerServiceSuperhero.