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A new way to respond to anonymous stakeholder feedback

anonymous feedback

At K12 Insight, we strive to respond to the needs of school districts, while helping school leaders meet the needs of their communities.

When we launched Let’s Talk!, our school customer service and community listening platform, we quickly learned that school leaders found real value in giving stakeholders a way to anonymously report incidents, share concerns, or submit comments.

It’s hardly a secret: Some people don’t like to provide their contact information, especially when they are reaching out about a sensitive topic, such as bullying or student mental health.

But anonymity also has its drawbacks. For one, it makes it hard for school leaders to communicate—to reach out to that anonymous parent, student, or teacher and share practical solutions, policies, or information.

That’s why we developed Hidden Customers, a new feature within Let’s Talk! that let’s stakeholders protect their identity, while giving school and district leaders a way to keep the conversation going.   

Here’s four ways the Hidden Customers feature can work for you.

1. Easy Answers

Few things are more frustrating than having the right answer to a parent’s or student’s question, but no way to pass it on. With Hidden Customers, school districts can answer questions and provide feedback directly and immediately—even if the stakeholder chooses to remain anonymous. By hitting reply, the district’s message gets redirected to a masked account. That way, anonymous users can receive responses while still concealing their identity.

2. Accurate Information

News travels fast, which means it’s easy for rumors and untruths to spread. When an anonymous student, parent, or community member submits feedback containing bad, inaccurate, or misleading information, that misinformation can prove difficult to correct. With Hidden Customers, school leaders can share facts, cite sources, and provide links to standing policies or other pertinent information or documents—helping to set the record straight.   

3. Support Access

Let’s Talk! gives students a confidential way to share concerns about bullying and health and safety issues. Hidden Customers allows school districts to satisfy existing state or local requirements for providing an anonymous reporting feature, while ensuring that students and others can still receive advice, resources, contact information, and trusted counsel from school leaders.  

4. Trust Building

It’s hard to build relationships when community members are hesitant to reach out. With Hidden Customers, students, parents, and staff members can choose to conceal their identities, while leaving the door open for continued engagement. Having witnessed the district’s commitment to their needs, anonymous community members may be more willing to engage in more open conversations down the road.

Get the Most Out of Hidden Customers

It’s not easy to reply to someone when you don’t know who they are. But that shouldn’t diminish your ability to engage with your community. Here’s a few tips about how to manage anonymous responses using the new Hidden Customers feature.

  1. Pay attention to labels. A Hidden Customer dialogue will be clearly labeled in the system, which mean you can be confident in the type of response you provide.
  2. Keep it general. Share resources and public information—and provide an email address or phone number where the stakeholder can personally reach you to receive additional details.
  3. Create response templates. Templated responses are a great way to provide timely, initial responses while your team becomes comfortable with Hidden Customers.
  4. Share links. Public documents—think district policies or school board meeting minutes—are an easy way to provide information without running afoul of existing privacy or confidentiality laws.

Want to learn more about Hidden Customers? Visit the Let’s Talk! Learning Center. Interested in learning how Let’s Talk! can benefit your district? Sign up for a free demo!

About the Author

Erika Moore
Erika Moore is former Director of School Communications at K12 Insight.

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