“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” By
Henry Ward Beecher
This week I thought a lot about customer service and it’s importance in a leadership role, especially in Education. When I think about customer service, I think about making sure the customer is happy. In education your customer is either the parent, teacher or in my position administration as well. Here are a few tips and tricks to help ensure that you are providing great customer service as a leader.
1. Communicate: This includes answering your phone, calling people back and returning emails within a timely manner. My rule is that I return calls or emails within 24 hours.
2. Be helpful: Encourage your ‘customers’ and be supportive. When they tell you an idea, validate it, give constructive feedback and empower. Recently I had an educator tell me a fantastic idea! I told him how wonderful it was (validated), gave a suggestion to blog about it (feedback) and told him how much other educators would benefit from it (empowerment). Did he take the suggestion….the jury is still out on that one…yes @edtechstandish, I am calling you out. 🙂
3. Listen to Complains: No one likes hearing complaints, but listening can also better improve your service. Your ‘customer’ could have a good point or a suggestion that could make your service better. I know within this last week, I listened to a complaint, that was very valid. I took the opportunity to ask how we could make it better and was able to turn it into a positive. Sometimes ‘customers’ need to just vent and then they realize how they can solve the problem or together you can solve it.
4. Take the Extra Step/Go the Extra Mile: I make sure that if I don’t know the answer or if it is not my department that deals with the question/issue/problem; then I make sure to tell the person, what department it is and give them the contact name and information. If I don’t know who can help, I figure it out. Yes, this takes more steps on my part but in the long run I have happier ‘customers’.