I have a bit of a thing about customer service. For me it is the be all and end all of business success. Poor customer service can kill a killer product and great customer service can flatter a flat product.
I experienced some sublime customer experience the other day from an unexpected source. You don’t often associate customer service with a school. My eldest daughter’s Business Studies teacher changed all that for me. Last Saturday he demonstrated his unquestionable right to teach Business Studies. Not because he is an excellent teacher or because he has the relevant academic qualifications, but because he gets customer service.
Jessica had a hard week last week. She struggled with a couple of mock Business Studies AS Level exams, despite her teacher’s best endeavours in recent weeks to support her with extra tuition sessions during his lunch breaks. She managed 50% in paper 1 and felt that her performance in paper 2 (which had not yet been marked) was worse. There were tears of disappointment and frustration. Bless her, she tries so hard, but sadly endeavour does not always translate into achievement. With the real exams just two weeks away, we were all resigned to a tough weekend ahead.
And then I bumped into her teacher during an open day at the school on Saturday morning and we got talking. He was very receptive, positive and above all, caring. He said some lovely things about my daughter, in particular about her desire to learn and participate in class.
He had not yet marked the 2nd paper so was unable to comment on Jessica’s specific fears about her poor performance at the time. He showed me a list of older pupils that had faced similar difficulties with the subject at the same stage, who had subsequently gone on to attain the required grades to attend their preferred universities. By the time we had finished I was touched and reassured in equal measure.
When I returned home less than an hour later I found an email from him in my inbox stating that he had just marked the second paper and he wanted us to know that Jessica had done better than expected. He wanted us to know so that the anticipated dark cloud hanging over our weekend could be somewhat lifted.
His actions, before, during and after our chance meeting show me he is a dedicated and very engaged employee. His personal and professional pride makes him a seriously valuable asset to the school. It is precisely behaviour that like this that will attract unsolicited recommendation and advocacy from pupils and parents alike. Not to mention ensuring that his pupils achieve the best they could possibly hope for in their exams.
Mr Whiteley I salute you. I am very grateful for the care, support and encouragement you give our daughter.