Of all the findings from K12 Insight’s new national State of K-12 Customer Experience Report, one thing in particular stands out to me.
While a vast majority of school leaders from across the country identified several strategic priorities that can only be achieved through a focus on strong customer service–from building trust, to engaging stakeholders, to improving employee engagement–far fewer had the resources or experience to effectively track their progress against these goals.
Most (over 70 percent) school leaders we surveyed relied on culture and climate surveys to measure and monitor progress around customer service. But, while climate surveys are a great way to take a snapshot of community perceptions at any given time, school districts need to establish ways to continuously measure and improve the customer experience.
“Customer experience is dynamic,” writes Dr. Shelby McIntosh, my colleague and the report’s lead researcher, “and it requires means of measuring effectiveness at multiple levels and touch points throughout the year. That’s the only way to get a timely and accurate picture of the entire school customer experience.”
Alarmingly, our research found that less than 20 percent of school leaders are actually tracking specific customer service metrics. But for those that are, the results have been game-changing.
Measuring the customer experience
Let’s Talk!, K12 Insight’s cloud-based customer experience and community engagement solution, was built on the premise that every interaction between a community member and a school should be complete, accurate, and courteous. It should also be timely.
Not only does Let’s Talk! streamline and consolidate customer interactions by gathering information from multiple sources, including your website, email, phone, social media, and in-person conversations, it also allows you to track the quality and timeliness of those interactions.
Let’s Talk! tracks the timeliness and responsiveness of your interactions through a metric we call dialogue age. Think of a dialogue as a conversation between your district and a community member about a specific issue. It could be a question about a bus route, a comment about an upcoming school event, or a tip about a potential safety threat. The dialogue age, then, measures how long that dialogue takes to be resolved–and, in turn, how quickly your district is taking to address that community member’s question or concern.
While a timely response is key to ensuring a strong customer experience, so too is the quality of that interaction. That’s why we included another critical metric in Let’s Talk!: feedback score, which we call customer experience (Cx) score.
Think about a satisfaction survey for a restaurant or ride-sharing app. When each dialogue is closed, community members or internal staff are asked to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale of 1-10. This measurement is a vital way to track the quality of each interaction.
By tracking these two key customer experience metrics, districts that we work with across the country have seen marked improvements in the customer service their schools provide.
The national benchmark dashboard
Over the past year or so, we’ve heard from clients that say–while measuring their district’s performance over time is important to improving their customer experience–they would benefit from being able to compare their district’s performance to other districts.
That’s why we’re excited to release our newest Let’s Talk! feature: The national benchmark dashboard.
See how your district is performing compared to the hundreds of other districts we work with across the country. The dashboard showcases your district’s unique dialogue age on a line graph that also displays the slowest time and the fastest district response times nationally. You can also see your district’s aggregate feedback score against the lowest and highest-scoring district.
While you won’t be able to see which districts have what score, we hope that being able to compare your district’s metrics nationally will provide additional context and inspiration (and perhaps a bit of friendly competition) for improving the customer experience in your schools.
To learn about all the new features, check out our full release notes.
If you’re a current Let’s Talk! customer and want to hear more about how the comparison dashboard can help with your customer experience strategy, be sure to reach out to your Strategic Account Executive.
If you want to learn more about how Let’s Talk! can help boost customer service in your district, sign up for a free demo!