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Why the secretary is critical to school customer service!

Posted by Sara Vanderbilt on Apr 12, 2017 8:12:00 AM

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Her name was Bev and she was wonderful. She had smiles and kind words for me and any other student that came to the office. She wiped our tears when we didn’t feel good and gave us hugs on our birthdays. Bev was the school secretary at the middle school I attended.

School secretaries are the face of customer service to both your students and parents. They can impact the first impressions of potential parents and the community. This is why the secretary role is so critical to the overall customer service at schools.

He or she can set the atmosphere for the whole building as well as serve as the hub of all communication between the school and parents. Many times, the school secretary is the first voice someone hears on the phone or the first face they see in the school office. Their initial interaction will leave an impression on whoever calls or stops by for a visit. Who else in the building has this much customer interaction as one of their primary roles?

They take on a mountain of responsibility and wear many different hats. In many schools, they take care of administrative tasks for the office and entire building, schedules appointments for school leaders and teachers, and handle school communication. The school secretary is aware of what’s going on at the school on a day-to-day basis. This makes him or her an excellent source of information for parents and community members.

The school secretary is the detail guru! They know details about registration, bus schedules, school lunches, after-school programs and immunization requirements. Many times, parents call the school secretary when their child(ren) will be absent, although this is not the case in all schools. It is in this role that a secretary enhances and plays a critical role in the overall customer service impression of a school.

School secretaries are also vaults of confidential data. They know student data, teacher data, school data and keep it all confidential. 

Many times, the school secretary is the model of servant leadership in a school building. They are the first to volunteer to lead events or to implement a vision that the leader or school board has.

Due to the high level of customer service a secretary contributes, thoughtful intention must be taken when filling this position. Yes, many people can answer the phone or provide information about your school, but, does the person doing so provide the level of customer service that is needed in schools? If so, how can the secretary influence the overall customer service in the entire building?

I look back with fond memories of Bev and how she made some of my school years a bit better! Give your secretary a shout out (or hug) for being the anchor of your school!

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