4 Examples Of Good Customer Service In Schools And What You Can Learn From Each One Of Them

Customer service is often associated with consumer-facing companies, like Amazon or your favorite e-commerce store. When mentioned in relation to schools, it’s often overlooked. However, good customer service in schools can help build stronger ties with existing students and parents, as well as earn a reputation as a preferred educational institution that lasts for years to come.

With the pandemic accelerating online learning and the trend of personalized, self-paced courses taking center stage, providing a seamless learning experience to ‘digital-first’ students is gaining importance.

In this blog, you’ll learn about the significance of excellent customer service for schools, some examples of good customer service in schools, and what you can learn from each of them to improve your overall customer experience.

What is customer service in schools?

Customer service in schools is all about how well you can optimize the interaction between your customers (parents, students, and teachers) and your establishment. 

Delivering good customer service in schools then includes,

  1. Having student information easily accessible (with the right permissions) for teachers and other departments in your institution.
  2. Offering technological support that’ll make it easy for your students and teachers to consume the learning resources.
  3. Ensuring that parents can access the required details to track the growth of their children.
  4. Resolving other student, staff, and parent queries on admissions, payrolls, accommodation, and other curricular activities promptly. 

Customer service in your school can make or break success rates and future growth. If someone has a bad experience at your school, you can bet they will be relaying that to their friends and family. And personal recommendations carry a ton of weight.  

Customer service in schools

Why is customer service important in schools?

The primary and secondary (commonly known as K-12) education market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.6% between 2021 and 2026 globally1. Multiple players in the market are coming up with smart technology and online learning platforms, which makes the education sector a highly competitive landscape. Providing quality customer support will help you stand out from the competition and attract more learners.

Extending good support to students, teachers, and parents will help in –

  1. Creating a happy learning environment: At a time when students and staff are facing anxiety and stress with the changes in mode and medium of learning, receiving quick support and appropriate resolutions to their queries will help build a student-centered learning ecosystem and a caring school culture.
  2. Reducing teacher attrition rates: A 2022 research2 shows that 77% of U.S K-12 teachers feel stressed, and 33% of them are very likely to leave the profession, a number which has gone up by 13% after the pandemic. COVID-19 has taken a toll on teachers due to the lack of additional support to navigate the sudden technology demands.  Providing teachers with the necessary tools and tech support will help maintain an engaged faculty and improves staff retention.
  3. Establishing a lasting institutional reputation: When families have a good experience with your school consistently, they’re bound to turn into loyal advocates. They’ll soon be recommending your institution confidently to their friends and relatives, creating a positive reputation for your brand. 

Now that we’ve covered the importance of good customer service for schools let’s look at a few schools that made the student journey effortless one way or the other. 

Examples of good customer service in schools

#1 The School District of Philadelphia’s Knowledge Base

According to our recent study3, 39% of customers prefer to use self-service options and resolve issues on their own rather than speak to a human agent. And what better way to meet that need head-on than with a knowledge base?

Knowledge bases are critical to good customer service. Both for students to find information and for your staff members to learn the process. By consolidating information into a centralized knowledge base, you can ensure consistency with your customer support. And when it comes to school customer service, the School District of Philadelphia4 has an immaculate knowledge base system.

With distinguished sections and detailed faq pages, visitors to their website can select the portal that is relevant for them or simply conduct a full search.

Example of good customer service in schools
Structured knowledge bases enhance customer service in schools

Students can find information on uniform policy, getting to and from school, classes, records, and more. Parents can get answers to their questions and learn how to pay fees with step-by-step instructions. 

Educators have their own section to learn more about the latest school developments. And employees can log in to their accounts and manage their benefits and email. Their super in-depth knowledge base caters to any and every type of customer for their district.

Pro tip:

If you want better customer service for your students and staff, consider implementing a knowledge base. You get the benefit of consistent, consolidated information. No more searching for the right answer for minutes or contacting the same person over and over to remember what they said. Knowledge bases give you a central source of information to refer to that you can constantly refine to provide better service than ever before.

Knowledge bases for schools

#2 California State University, Northridge’s Mobile App

Customer service in schools can be almost anything that enhances the experience for your customer. Whether it’s a mobile application or online payment gateways, improving the user experience is key.

One of the best examples of good customer service in schools is California State University Northridge’s mobile application5. Within the app alone students can access dozens of features that would normally require dozens of desktop browser windows.

For instance, if they needed to pay tuition or textbook bills, all they would have to do is click the “Pay Now” tab and enter their payment details.

Example of great customer service in schools
Intuitive mobile apps for seamless student experiences

They cater to both students and parents with the mobile app, highlighting key features like:

  • Tuition and bill payment system
  • Class enrollment right from mobile phones
  • Social media integration to stay up to date on news and announcements
  • Employee directory for quick customer service outreach
  • “Ask Matty” — a chatbot dedicated to answering common questions and solving problems
  • News, calendar, video information, emergency services, and countless other features

Possibly the most interesting factor of their mobile app for customer service is their chatbot, Ask Matty6.

Example to improve school customer service
Use chatbots to improve school customer service

Using the mobile app or online via your desktop, students can type any question, like “Where can I print on campus?” and get instant answers.

How does it work?

By tapping into their knowledge management system, the chatbot pulls information and relays it to the inquiring customer. Pulling the kbase information, the customer can rate the experience and even opt for human customer service if the chatbot fails to provide the correct information. This ensures faster response times and eliminates the need to bog down support staff for questions that the chatbot can answer.

Pro tip:

Customer support isn’t just answering phones now. It extends far beyond providing value at each step along the way. It’s problem-solving when issues arise and preventative to eliminate them before they happen.

CSUN’s mobile app is a prime example of customer service in schools. It goes far beyond the traditional idea of customer service and just being a phone call service to answer questions. Instead, they eliminate most questions by implementing tools on their app and easy ways to find answers to questions. A student can schedule their classes directly from the app. A parent can pay tuition bills or students can monitor their loans. 

Ask yourself—

  • Are there current inconveniences that your customers face? If so, how can I address them? 
  • What common pain points are brought to the attention of the staff? How are we acting on those struggles and what can we implement to fix them in the future?

Identify the problems and see how smart technologies can help you solve those issues. Mobile optimization, app-based development, and chatbots are great ways to improve the student experience. They allow you to add diverse features that are easy to use and provide immense value to your customers.

Related resource: 4 types of chatbots and their role in enhancing customer experience

#3 Kern High School District (KHSD), California

Comprising 18 public schools and 11 special educational institutions, the Kern High School District (KHSD) of California, USA has over 45,000 active learners. The support team at KHSD receives numerous queries across different departments including payroll, student systems, and general administration which is handled by different groups of support staff.

Despite the volume of requests, the support team exhibits stellar customer service by resolving issues on time and achieving 100% customer satisfaction. 

So what’s their secret sauce for exceptional customer service in a school? 

The district support division is, first of all, committed to providing good customer service to all students and teachers, acting with a customer service philosophy of offering speedy responses and efficient resolutions.

To ensure that they operate by this principle, firstly, the support team made it easy for students and staff to approach the administration, raise their queries, and track the progress of their resolution. Though the support team existed as different groups, the team was able to achieve this level of accountability by seeing and assigning requests to the respective agent group within a single view on Freshdesk. 

The support team also made sure that they promptly communicated the progress of issue resolution. With Freshdesk, they have automated the critical, initial communication of acknowledging that a staff’s query is being addressed and sharing the details of the agent working on the query. This improved their customer experience drastically as teachers and students are confident that their issue is being resolved and know whom to contact for updates.

Pro tip:

A commitment to delivering good customer service as an institution goes a long way in extending a student-friendly experience at schools. With this commitment, the Kern High School District support team was quick to identify the common customer frustrations and implement the right tools to deliver an effortless experience to students and staff members. 

When you make it easy for your customers to contact your establishment quickly and keep them in the loop with necessary updates, students and staff feel heard and trust your team to take the required action.

#4 Boston University’s Newsletter

Keeping customers informed of your student life and the community around them is essential to better school customer service. Newsletters can help instill school spirit and pride, as well as keep customers in the loop on the latest school developments.

Boston University in Massachusetts7 produces a newsletter both online and offline to do just that. 

Newsletters as an example of good student experience
Newsletters drive student engagement at schools

Updated daily online, it features relevant cultural stories from campus and beyond that boost student engagement. Rather than just campus news, they have students write pieces that relate to current world events, making it more than just a newsletter, but a news source for customers.

With different story sections on their site, you can explore topics from art to campus life and the latest sports news. On the BU Today newsletter, they give the option for customers to subscribe to stay informed on new headlines and pieces.

Pro tip:

Why are newsletters effective for schools?

Newsletters at your school will help share new developments with parents and students alike. Use them to share new stories from your students or school projects. Allow students to write articles based on worldly news. Newsletters are the perfect opportunity for your school to show school spirit and showcase the talent of the student body, thus building a community that fosters active parent and student engagement.

Related resource: A comprehensive guide to building and maintaining customer engagement at scale

Is customer service part of your curriculum?

Schools can only thrive when they provide superior customer service. Parents and students, the customers of your school, will only remain customers if they get the service they expect and want. These four schools are perfect examples of great customer service in action.

Want a solid and lasting school reputation? Enhance your customer service offering and follow in the footsteps of these leaders. Use a good help desk that’s built for educational institutions to bring your student and staff engagement goals to life. Freshdesk has helped numerous schools and colleges such as Roseville Joint Union High School District and Lesley University with streamlining their communication and improving resolution times.

Sign up for Freshdesk

Updated on May 20, 2022.

1 – https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/k-12-education-market
2 – https://insights.hanoverresearch.com/hubfs/2022-Trends-in-K-12-Education.pdf
3 – https://www.freshworks.com/resources/reports/deconstructing-delight/
4 – https://www.philasd.org/
5 – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/csun/id677332861?mt=8
6 – https://www.csun.edu/askmatty
7 – https://www.bu.edu/today/

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