Our company has conducted literally thousands of mystery shops in the Education industry, everything from an elementary school to a four year university. And one thing we have noticed consistently is that when it comes to customer service in Education, perception is reality.
When you don’t respond to e-mails in Education, they perceive you’re non-responsive. When customers or parents or students are forced to wait long periods of time without having the wait acknowledged, they perceive that they are not important to you. When the customer has to complete the same information on multiple forms, they feel you’re inefficient. When they leave you a voice mail, and you don’t respond two or three days later, they feel like you don’t care.
Maybe you are organized, maybe you do care, maybe you are responsive, maybe you are organized. But from the customer’s perspective, you’re not. And if the customer – whether that be a student or parent or family member or even an internal customer or co-worker – perceives something, then to them it is a reality. And when those people are making decisions about whether to recommend you or not, they are making the decision based on their perception.
When they’re making a decision about whether to talk bad about your organization or you personally in front of others or whether to talk positively, they are making that decision based on their perceptions. When they are recommending you to others or recommending that others go elsewhere and avoid your educational institution, they are basing their recommendation on their perceptions of your organization. And if they are deciding to attend your school or go elsewhere, if they are deciding to pay tuition or just delay some payments for a while, they are basing these decisions on how they feel about, how they perceive your organization.
For educational institutions, if you want to improve what others perceive about you, you need to be measuring it and taking it seriously. Because in the decisions people make, it doesn’t matter what you do or what you intended to do as much as it matters what they perceive about you and your organization.
Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/