If you sell a “widget,” measuring improvement is pretty straightforward. You may count the number of units sold or look at profit margin.
If you sell a service, it can feel a bit hazy. There are no cartons or boxes to measure. How do you measure what’s “done” or “good” in these K-12 education companies?
Here, you sell the outcomes you create with your knowledge and experience. This work is highly people-oriented. Even with frameworks and common implementation plans, each engagement is unique. Clients may have different expectations.
Asking “How did we do?” at the end of a project doesn’t give you and your team a chance. First, you miss the opportunity to understand what’s important to your clients. And, secondly, you miss the opportunity to make the client experience better.
So, how can you create more successful education services? You need feedback! If this feels overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. To make it more simple, here is a 5-step process:
Begin with the end in mind. Before the project, initiative, or engagement begins, get clear on what success looks like. Draw out this information from your clients. Get their language so that you can share it with the working team. Use this language in presentations, meetings, and communication.
Backwards plan key feedback points. Based on the work ahead, identify key points where feedback will be important. What are some of these key points? Look for the end of steps or phases, or after an important deliverable.
Ask for measurable feedback. To help you benchmark across clients, ask for a measurable rating. Use a simple scale with numbers (say, a 4- or 5-point scale) or labels (such as Exceeded, Met, Partially Met, Did Not Meet).
Ask for open-ended feedback. To help you better understand your clients’ needs, ask questions that invite their input. Try a simple question such as, “What is one thing we could do differently to make your experience better?”
Act on the feedback. Build trust with your clients by putting your feedback into action. Share the feedback with the project team to make the rest of the project more successful. Look for feedback trends that show you where to change your processes. And, let your clients know how you’re changing in order to better meet their needs.
A feedback system is an important part of creating and delivering great services in the K-12 education space. Which of these steps can you put into action this week?