- Three-fourths of K-12 public school parents and guardians surveyed said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the communication they received from their child's school district, according to a report from K12 Insight, a company focused on school customer engagement.
- Some 82% of parents said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the district's customer service when they reached out to the school system. But just over 60% of K-12 public school parents and guardians said there was "room for improvement" in the helpfulness, timeliness and courteousness of the customer service experience with their school district. Some of those polled said district responses weren’t always courteous or timely.
- As school districts look to build trust and engagement with families and the larger school community, having a "customer service mindset" can help build effective communication and affinity toward the district, K12 Insight said.
In a K-12 setting, a customer service mindset means ensuring district staff provide a quality customer experience for people seeking assistance. Districts are adept at outbound communications but have struggled to manage inbound messages as communications channels expanded beyond phone calls and mail to include texts and emails that can be sent around the clock, the report said.
“Our nation’s public schools have a lot to lose and it is absolutely critical that districts improve customer service to increase family, student, and staff satisfaction,” said Krista Coleman, chief customer officer at K12 Insight, in a statement. “Every interaction is an opportunity to build trust with stakeholders."
During a SXSW EDU session in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, speakers recommended actively listening to parents and not making assumptions about how families communicate can drive family engagement.
The K12 Insight report found that during the 2021-22 school year, 87% of parents reached out to their school district more than once — with 44% reaching out at least six times. For a 10,000-student school district, that could equal more than 26,000 inbound inquiries in a school year, the report said.
The survey of 450 parents and guardians also found:
- 15% of survey participants said there was “too much” communication between the school and students’ families, while 11% said there was “not enough.”
- Nearly three out of four parents said they couldn’t always identify the right person to help them with their question or concern.
- 69% of parents said they consider a timely response to their query to be within the same day or within 24 hours.
- A slim minority of parents said they distrust (6%) or strongly distrust (3%) their school district, and 20% said they feel neutral. The remainder said they trust (37%) or strongly trust (35%) the district.