- Customer service can improve student retention and develop communitywide trust in school systems, but few district administrators think their schools provide high-quality service, according to a recent report by K-12 Insight. Part of the problem is that districts lack staff dedicated to customer care, but some are taking steps to correct the problem, according to District Administrator.
- The Baltimore Sun reports, for example, that Harford County Public Schools in Maryland launched the Office of Communications and Family Outreach and the Parent Academy to inform and support parents, and Superintendent Sean Bulson told The Sun that he learned the importance of customer service during his time in the restaurant industry after college.
- “I like to look at a school kind of like a hotel. What’s the level of customer service you’re providing?” David Brown, first-year principal at Hillcrest Heights Elementary School in Temple Hills, Maryland, recently told Education Dive.
Developing a customer service mindset can pay off with deeper trust that facilitates better community-school cooperation and helps retain students. In Fort Wayne Community Schools in Indiana, which is often hailed as an example of a district with excellent customer service, Superintendent Wendy Robinson says her schools needed to understand they do have customers and must respect them.
Private and charter schools are outdoing public schools when it comes to parent satisfaction. Only 43% of public school parents surveyed by Rice University said they are "very satisfied" with their child’s school, compared with 61% of private school parents and 56% of charter school parents. Faculty members regularly interact with families, so they already provide customer service.
One example of community care and outreach comes from Kent School District in Washington state, where the district installed community kiosks that provide school information for parents and students. The kiosks also serve as WiFi hubs that extend 75 feet and allow students to connect to WiFi for free.