An elementary school teacher gets removed from her classroom and placed on administrative leave. When parents find out why they are outraged. They respect this teacher. They know she does good work with their kids. They want her in the classroom, not sitting at home wondering if she’ll ever teach at that school again.
So they form a picket line to protest the situation. Their protest makes the news and puts the school’s administrators on the defensive. In a newspaper article, the school principal tried to explain what they did and why. But from my perspective as a reader his response was lacking.
The whole thing smells of poor communication.
While I support our right to protest, I sigh in disappointment when customers feel they need to resort to it. There should be a better way for customers to deliver their message.
In this case I would ask, what channels of communication exist between parents and the school’s administration? Maybe there are plenty and the parents simply ignored them. Maybe they decided a good old fashioned neighborhood protest was the best way to offer feedback to the school.
But given the single-digit temperatures and the busy holiday season, I doubt it. This is not something most moms and dads do unless they feel it’s the only way to accomplish their goal.
It’s wonderful seeing this kind of energy and passion to support a teacher. As the school principal I’d be proud of that. But I’d be equally embarrassed at the protest. It says the management and customers of this school are not communicating well.
How do you think this affects the relationship between the school and these parents? And how does it affect the image of this school?
Now translate this to your business. What if your customers felt the only way to get your attention was to stage a protest? It would be great to have that kind of loyalty. But imagine the damage to your brand if this happened?
Every organization that serves others needs multiple communication channels. Every customer deserves an easy and convenient way to give feedback to the organizations they do business with.
And that includes elementary schools.