Earlier this week, I ran to my local grocery store to pick up a couple quick items. Among them, I needed raw and unfrozen chicken breasts. I grabbed a pack that looked good when, sadly, I discovered a bit of chicken blood had run out of the bottom making the pack sticky. I reached for the bags they have for meat and there were none on the roll. In fact, every roll except for one was out. I got the chicken in the bag and reached for hand sanitizer, because they are everywhere right? NO – I absolutely could not find a single hand sanitizing station in the whole store. Remember when they were like every 3 feet!?! Ugh…where has the art of customer service gone? We see this so often as part of the ‘great resignation’ and the labor shortages all over the US. I took a deep breath, and just used my sanitizer in the Jeep when I got out of the store. But, is this the normal reaction for the average citizen? We have become a group who easily frustrate, point the finger of blame (which could easily be the second pandemic (BLAME), and almost expect to be let down at a store, restaurant, or other establishment.
For this reason, I write today’s very short and pointed blog. We must, as school leaders, focus in on the level of customer service we provide. I hear frequently, and read every now and again on social media, about a principal who gets yelled at by an angry parent. I am certainly not saying we are in the wrong, rather that so many of our stakeholders are becoming used to being let down in the customer service area. What if we, in our schools, pushed above and beyond? What if we surprised our parents, visitors, and business partners with customer service that exceeds that of every other experience? This is, to me, about building culture in our school community. When parents and partners know the way they are greeted, supported, and responded to (regardless their mindsets) will be positive and welcoming, might they come with a different mindset to our schools?
Don’t get me wrong, you will have that parent still darkening your door. (for tips on handling that, hit this link). I also know that many of you, regular readers of this blog, already are doing this work. For that, I applaud you and appreciate you. I suppose I am simply saying that if we don’t like the culture in our school, bus, lunch line, etc then we should take a deep look at how we are leading it.
Have a #RoadToAwesome week
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