Not long ago a friend and I set off to complete the South Downs Way. The photo above shows my bike upended so I could fix a few punctures – flint is merciless when it comes to tyres and inner tubes! A little while later I departed company with my bike. At the time we were doing around 30 mph downhill. During this adventure, the seat post bent causing it to jam into the frame, my camera was smashed to bits and my shoulder has definitely seen better days. Still, we had a great time. Why?
- My local bike shop spent a silly amount of time fixing my bike, and even improved my brakes for free;
- Jessops agreed to replace the camera for free, and
- The B+B we stayed in allowed us to stay at short notice and locked our bikes in their garage, recommended a good pub for food and allowed us to order 6 sausages for breakfast.
These are all examples of great customer service.
As a teacher I think that the young people and parents are customers. They deserve a better level of service. For example, we could meet and greet our pupils at the door; take a bit of an interest in their passions and achievements outside of school.
Also, why do we still insist on closing the learning process down once the school day is over? New technologies could enable us to:
- Provide weekend and evening workshops through video conferencing
- Make staff available during the evening via IM to respond to revision and coursework pressures
- Allow pupils to have conversations with staff over Twitter type exchanges when they feel stressed about work or need advice or help.
What needs to change in schools for this to happen?
Are there already examples of this going on?
Shouldn’t we treat our young people as valued customers and individuals rather than a group of people that we interact with a few times a week?
I’m not saying that staff don’t work hard, or should be ‘on-call’ 24/7, just that there must be a better way of working that allows young people to achieve better.
When working as a bar man during my student days, customer service was paramount. Mystery customers tested our skills. My manager at the time said this was because customers that feel valued will return. If our customer service was better, maybe young people would engage fully with lifelong learning adventures as they would feel valued?
What do you think?