All levels of schools from Pre-K to College began classes last week. Both students and parents were either wowed and delighted by the organized systems in place and the treatment they received from the staff or they became frustrated, disappointed, and maybe even angry. The first few days of a new schoolyear is an emotional experience for all involved. And while it is too late now to do a rewind of those few initial days if they didn’t go well, it is not too late to improve going forward.
Here are 6 suggestions that managers and staff can work on doing together to deliver a better student/customer experience:
1. Ensure your employees are competent and knowledgeable about how to do their jobs. Teach them where they fit into the big picture of the institution. For frontline staff positions, cross-train as much as possible, so employees can step in for each other and know the steps that come before and after them (for example: registration, enrollment, scheduling, advisors, financial aid, etc.)
2. Educate employees to look through the lens of the student. Show empathy and actively listen when the student is explaining his needs and concerns.
3. Review processes that student complained were too time-consuming, redundant, convoluted, or complex. Re-design to allow students ease of use and streamline their ability to navigate through your systems.
4. Don’t let problems escalate. Solve any issues and concerns at the lowest, earliest level. Empower your employees to resolve issues. Teach and train them how to do this so they feel confident.
5. Every student touch point is an opportunity to build a relationship. Student retention increases when students feel an emotional connection to the school. Remind employees to make personal connections with the students.
6. Remind all staff that everyone makes an impact on the student experience and it is imperative to work together as a team. Internal service to a co-worker is just as important as external service to a student or parent.