A lot of people are talking about customer engagement. In the for-profit world, engaging customers can create a lot of revenue for companies. For schools and non-profit organizations, customer engagement doesn’t always take precedence, but it should.

Unlike companies, schools have more people on the frontline who have direct contact with those who the organization serves. From students and parents to faculty and alumni, each school employee spends time engaging with others. Yet, most schools don’t have an official system in place to capture conversations, and other information, which could benefit the school’s policies and relationships.


Customer engagement isn’t just about monitoring engagement with others. It’s also about benefiting from knowledge shared and gained, both on and offline. Imagine the possibilities if there was an easy way to capture a user’s interest or attention and share it with employees in a way that empowered them to take action. Becoming more in tune with what your ‘users’ are saying can help you better serve them.


Yet, we all know that depending on the event or time of year, customer requests, complaints or comments can increase accordingly and yet unless you’re directly involved in the event being planned you may never hear about what is being said. Because we all work to on behalf of the school to serve its constituents, sharing information helps us all do our jobs better.


In the enterprise, customer engagement management platforms are not hard to find. But the act of capturing, sharing, recovering, discovering and improving customer communications is not only helpful for large companies. The art of managing the customer experience is relevant for everyone who serves a constituent in some way. As a result, in order to improve the way you deliver services, you need a way to compile, measure and analyze your customers’ interactions with you and your staff.


So what if you don’t have the software or capability to implement a sophisticated system to track customer communications and data? It shouldn’t be surprising that it all starts with your organization’s culture.


If your school already values a culture of sharing, it won’t be too hard to get faculty and staff to share information on a need to share basis. However, if your school hasn’t yet embraced a culture that empowers employees to share, contribute and collaborate with others about topics outside their primary responsibilities, it will be harder to convince the powers that be that there is value in sharing ideas and information with others on a more regular basis.


Achieving a culture that supports customer engagement shouldn’t be left for committees to develop. Instead it is up to everyone to get involved. If sharing initiatives come from employees and not from the administration, it will be more likely to thrive. When everyone feels that it is their responsibility to serve customers better in an effort to improve their organization, a school can start to work more efficiently.

Marisa Peacock

Marisa Peacock

Principal/Chief Strategist at The Strategic Peacock

Marisa Peacock is the principal and chief strategist for The Strategic Peacock. As a social media strategist and marketing consultant, Marisa helps organizations create and implement online strategies that appropriately target the right audience with the right information using the right media. Additionally, Marisa is an adjunct faculty member at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where she teaches Social Media Marketing as a part of the Masters in Business of Art and Design program. She resides in Arlington, VA.