Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Listening posts

97% of our parents would recommend our virtual school to their friends.

It's what most virtual schools like to say on their web site. Yet, only 55-65% of those same parents return each year.

What's the deal?

Skewed surveys in order to receive the responses we desire so we can put them on our web site? Perhaps.

More importantly, as virtual schools we need to set up multiple listening posts in a variety of ways in order to receive real-time, and accurate results, in essence, that answer the question -- How are we doing?

Listening posts are pro-active ways to hear what your customers are telling you about your performance. They also establish a culture of listening to your customers and open the door to ongoing, even anecdotal information that is actionable intelligence. Comments relayed from a parent to a teacher, Facebook posts, student comments during synchronous sessions, and other organic conduits, when taken together and when received in an environment built on listening, can be vital to improving the overall experience.

Combine that with the more formal, preconceived listening posts throughout the year and you have great potential to build a remarkable learning experience for students and parents.

For real impact, it must be more than beginning, mid, and end-of-year surveys.

The next step is determining real questions that can help you, as the school, arrive at real solutions.

Take time to analyze in what ways are you listening to your customers.

Listening is the first step to hearing.

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