Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lousy Customer Service in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools...but maybe a turning point.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools just spent $80K on "secret shopper" reviews for their school system. Among their findings:

48 -- percent of e-mails answered. (Businesses usually reply to about 80 percent of general inquiries.)

31.4 -- percent of those e-mails that actually answered the customers' questions, as opposed, for example, to referring them to the Web site. (75 percent is standard.)

12 -- number of minutes a secret shopper waited at an unnamed school, as he cleared his throat and four office workers went on with their tasks.

42.5 -- percent of calls transferred.

25 -- number of rings from one of those transfers, before the caller hung up.

From what I've seen, schools aren't exactly customer friendly -- the 12 minutes with no help is a bit unusual but even two minutes with people walking right past you and not acknowledging your presence is both rude and weird. Glad to see CMS raising the consciousness on this point and maybe other systems will follow suit. Absolutely necessary to court public favor with better responsiveness if public schools are going to get the type of support they need.