Customer Experience Lessons from Back to School

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How do the first week of school and the school experience in general relate to the topic of customer experience?

My kids started school a couple weeks ago, and there I go thinking again! Yes, it got me thinking about some of the customer experience lessons we can glean from this “back to school season.”

Getting back into the school routine is a crazy time for parents, students, and teachers. But there are some key things that I noted in the days that led up to the first day, and the first week, of school that are important lessons that can be shared more globally.

I thought I’d put the attributes into two different categories because some of the items relate more to the customer experience, while others relate perhaps more to the culture within.


The following items are critical to getting the school year off to a good start, for all stakeholders: teachers, administrators, parents, and students. You can easily see how you should be applying them to the customer experience.

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate! (proactive, reactive, multichannel)
  2. Establish routines
  3. Set expectations
  4. Be consistent
  5. Be responsive/quickly address questions and concerns
  6. Set goals
  7. Make  forms easy to complete
  8. Don’t ask for information you already have
  9. Update data if they need to be updated
  10. Make sure your facilities are clean
  11. Enforce hygiene/washing hands/staying healthy
  12. Be ready; conduct disaster prep/training
  13. Plan ahead
  14. Encourage/offer feedback
  15. Collaborate with stakeholders
  16. Be mindful of manners/attitude
  17. Act with empathy, caring, and compassion
  18. Have the right tools, supplies
  19. Know your audience
  20. Cater to different people’s needs

Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t. -Pete Seeger


You probably don’t normally think about organizational culture when you think about your child’s school, but it exists there, as well.

  1. Solid leadership
  2. The right people
  3. Learning environment
  4. Continuous improvement
  5. Rewards and recognition
  6. Celebrate wins and successes
  7. Teamwork
  8. Fun
  9. Respect
  10. Zero tolerance, no bullies
Did I miss anything? In what other ways does the back to school experience mirror the customer experience? What else can it teach us?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

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