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Customer service tips for school administrators

Parent and student expectations for local schools have changed
Parents know the difference between platitudes and genuine commitment from school leaders.
Parents know the difference between platitudes and genuine commitment from school leaders.

Customer service is not traditionally thought of as part of a district administrator’s job—but learning effective communication skills can sometimes mean the difference between retaining or losing students to charter schools, according to a new report from K12 Insight.

“We have to understand that we do have customers—we’re not a monopoly just because we are the public school system,” says Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools in Indiana, one of the largest behind Indianapolis Public Schools. “We have to treat our customers the way customers want to be treated anywhere in the world.”

Parent and student expectations for local schools have changed, says Micah Solomon, author of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service (Amacom, 2012).

In an era when large corporations ensure fast delivery and easy returns, communities demand similar levels of customer service from all areas, Solomon says. And parents know the difference between platitudes and genuine commitment from school leaders, and require their school leaders to be customer friendly, he adds.