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.
Customer service? For a school? You bet!
Customer service in schools is all about how well you can optimize the interaction between your customers (parents and students) and your establishment. 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.
Here are some examples of good customer service in schools and what you can learn from each of them to improve your own.
#1 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.
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 staff? How are we acting on those struggles and what can we implement to fix them in the future?
Customer service isn’t just answering phones now. It extends far beyond to provide value at each step along the way. It’s problem-solving when issues arise and preventative to eliminate them before they happen.
One of the best examples of good customer service in schools is California State University Northridge’s mobile application1. Within the app alone you can access dozens of features that would normally require dozens of desktop browser windows.
Need to pay your tuition or textbook bills? Click “Pay Now” and enter your payment details. They cater to both students and parents with the mobile app, highlighting key features like:
– Tuition and bill payment system
– Class enrollment right from your phone
– 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 Matty2:
Using the mobile app or online via your desktop, you can type any question, like “Where can I print on campus?” and get instant answers.
How does it work?
By tapping into their knowledge base, the chabot 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 that the customer is always serviced, but eliminates the need to bog down support staff for questions that the chatbot can answer.
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. Mobile optimization and app-based development are great ways to improve customer experience. They allow you to add diverse features that are easy to use and provide immense value to your customers.
#2 The School District of Philadelphia’s Knowledge Base
According to a recent study, 70% of people3 prefer to find information on a company website on their own before reaching out via phone or email. And what better way to meet that need head-on than with a knowledge base?
Knowledge bases are critical to good customer service. Both to your customers for finding information and for your staff to learn the process. By consolidating company information into a knowledge base, you get a two-fold of benefit:
– Consistent answers for your customers
– An easy database to locate the correct, accurate information for employees to provide to customers
Having a central base of information is a great way to ensure consistency with your customer service. And when it comes to school customer service, the School District of Philadelphia4 has an immaculate knowledge base system.
With multiple separate, distinguished sections, visitors to their website can select the portal that is relevant for them, or simply conduct a full search:
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 bills. With instructions and a parent portal, parents have step-by-step help on accessing their information.
Educators have their own section to learn more about latest school developments. And employees can login 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.
It’s a fantastic way to manage customer expectations and provide them with easy access to high-quality resources. This also works to free up time for staff. This means they won’t be fielding phone calls all day for information that can be found quickly online. I
f you want better customer service for your customers, 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.
#3 Miami-Dade County Public School’s Online Payment Platform
In the modern day with online commerce, your customers are expecting online payment systems. The days of mailing checks are coming to an end.
Not only does an online payment system streamline your school’s revenue and cash flow, but it makes it easier for both parties to complete the transaction of payment and receiving payment. A shining example of a solid online payment platform is from Miami-Dade County Public School5 in Florida. It goes beyond just a standard payment system.
Users can create their own accounts within the payment portal. This helps them login to their account faster, even allowing them to save payment information for easy processing. With features like automatic billing, customers can put their pain points in the past. No more missed deadlines or late fees.
Once in the system, you can do much more than just paying tuition fees. Anything from school pictures to new books can be bought and paid for directly online. Want to provide better customer service in your school?
Simplify common pain points that can frustrate your customers, like making payments. Old school methods of mailing checks or bringing in cash aren’t convenient. Utilize an online payment system that gives you diverse customization to charge and collect payments with ease.
#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 latest school developments.
Boston University in Massachusetts6 produces a newsletter both online and offline to do just that.
Updated daily online, it features relevant cultural stories from campus and beyond. 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 latest sports news. On the BU Today newsletter, they give the option for customers to subscribe to stay informed on new headlines and pieces:
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.
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.
CSUN’s mobile app simplifies student and parent tasks that normally are tedious. The School District of Philadelphia’s knowledge base is a powerhouse of information to solve customer problems before they arise. Miami-Dade County Public School’s online payment system is expansive and intuitive, helping both the customer and their business succeed. Boston University excels with a newsletter that features student writers and latest campus news to always keep customers informed and excited about their school.
Want a better school reputation? Enhance your customer service offering and follow in the footsteps of these leaders.
1 – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/csun/id677332861?mt=8
2 – https://www.csun.edu/askmatty
3 – https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/importance-self-service-customer-support-social-era
4 – https://www.philasd.org/
5 – http://www.dadeschools.net/
6 – https://www.bu.edu/today/