Have you ever dealt with an angry and disgruntled parent? This can be a very time consuming, stressful, and discouraging situation. It can be even worse if the parent decides to share the negative experience about the school on television, social media, or within the community. Some schools encounter parents like this on a daily basis. While it may be easy to blame the parent for these uncomfortable encounters, the real problem could be a weak or ineffective connection between the family and the school.
When parents constantly feel underappreciated, undervalued, and unimportant, this is often a powerful wake-up call that should alert educators to an underlying serious problem within the classroom or school. Unfortunately, some educators may not even realize that a problem exists.
As educators, it is so easy to get quite consumed with issues relating to accountability, instruction, and discipline. These challenging issues can cause educators to overlook one of the most important areas of focus for every school: customer service. This is a critical area that can make or break any school or business. Why do some schools clearly excel in this area while others struggle? What can educators learn about effective customer service from the restaurant industry which strives to make the customer experience a top priority?
Chick-fil-A is fantastic example of exemplary customer service in the restaurant industry. Customers always rave about their kind and hardworking employees, efficient service, and overall cleanliness. Chick-fil-A ensures that their customers always have a great experience during each visit. Imagine if our schools could create an amazing customer service experience for every family each day? When we modify our paradigm and view parents as our most valuable customers, we can completely transform and deepen relationships between families and schools. When parents feel appreciated, they become better partners and advocates for the school.
In the publication, Louder than Words, educators are provided with the five tenets of customer service that are critical to establishing a pervasive customer service culture within the school. Practical strategies are provided to help schools create an atmosphere that honors, appreciates, and welcomes all families. For example, a school could create a Parent / Student panel presentation at the end of the year to provide diverse parents and students with the opportunity to share their thoughts about the school without mentioning any names. This is a valuable strategy to demonstrate humility because staff members can gain a deeper level of understanding and respect for families by learning about some of the challenges that are encountered by students and parents during the year.
The publication, Louder than Words, is packed full of amazing ideas to support an exceptional customer service atmosphere in your school. Just as Chick-fil-A has created raving customers, our schools can create raving families!