with Professor Pocock

1st in a series about customer service . . . Topic: Developing a customer mindset

Do schools have customers?    

It may seem a strange question to ask but I’ll do so anyway:  Do you have customers at your school?  And before you answer that question yourself, I’d encourage you to walk the halls and ask a few of the teachers, custodial staff, coaches and administrators.  You might be surprised by their answers.

A large computer company shows how it digs into customer service. What would a sketch of your school district’s customer plan look like?

That’s why I’m beginning a series of posts over the upcoming weeks on handling customer complaints.  Maybe I’d be better served to promote the idea that schools need to create raving fans.  But “raving fans” would simply be code for “loyal customers.”

If you do the little exercise I recommended in the first paragraph, and if 100 percent of the responses you receive aren’t an enthusiastic “Yes!” then you know what you need to work on.  In today’s highly competitive world, customer service has become a harbinger of every successful company.  Without it, you might as well lock your doors.  Your customers have several choices on where to receive their education in today’s world.  They could be home schooled or attend a parochial school or a private academy or any one of a plethora of charter institutions.

Why should these families choose your school?

Readers of this blog will remember previous posts where several tools have been introduced to help position and promote your school.  Have you tried using any of those tools?  Which ones are working?  What challenges are you experiencing in using them?  Remember your job is analogous to running a marathon, not winning a sprint.

So the next tool to introduce is developing a customer service mindset within your building.  And the beauty of this tool is that everyone knows how he or she wants to be treated as a customer.  That’s the kind of attention they have to deliver to each of the students who sit in your classroom, each of the percussionists in your band room, each athlete on the sidelines, every parent who calls or emails any one of the school’s employees.

Consider the importance of developing a customer mindset among your colleagues.  And let’s visit next time on some specific ways to support your efforts.

Photos by dellphotos & ydubel