Caring – Concern – Trust

June 12, 2020

I had my six-month checkup at the dentist yesterday, and found it to be an oddly comforting experience. Scheduled at the time of my last appointment, pre-COVID-19, I wondered whether I would have to reschedule, but I received a text asking if I would like to confirm, and if so, to expect further instructions about new office protocols. In reviewing the new protocols, my dentist explained the changes that went on behind the scenes to the HVAC system and other systems within the office. He explained what social distancing would look like in the office, and how both the staff and I had some responsibilities in keeping my appointment a safe experience for all of us. Directions were emailed to me on how I was to prepare for the appointment, I was asked to text them when I arrived in the parking lot, and when I was invited in, wearing my mask, it was clear where I was to wait for further instructions. I sanitized my hands, the staff member asked a number of questions about my health, they took my temperature, and measured my oxygen saturation with a fingertip pulse oximeter. I was cleared, and the rest of my appointment proceeded just like every other appointment I have had with them with a thorough teeth cleaning and examination. I was out the door in an hour with another appointment scheduled for December.

You might be thinking TMI, but I share this with you because it illustrates the importance of trust and communication in times of uncertainty. Your schools and universities have built trusting relationships with your students, families, and constituents, delivering a high quality educational experience for many years. You have also built trust through your communications by staying on point, communicating more frequently, and being straightforward, kind, and powerful in your response. You will continue to build trust, with some tweaks, in response to COVID-19 and with some cooperation from your entire learning community.

Embedding trust with your constituents will be vital in the recovery phase of COVID-19, and Deloitte’s four dimensions of stakeholder trust – physical, emotional, digital, financial – will be key guideposts in your plans for reopening your campus in the fall.

Here are some questions for you senior leadership team to consider:

  1. Which dimensions matter most to constituents right now? What will likely matter to them in the future?
  2. Are we taking this action with the right intent? Does it fit into our organization’s ethos?
  3. Can we competently deliver on what we are promising to stakeholders?
  4. Are we communicating clearly and transparently even when we don’t have all the answers?
  5. Are we monitoring and measuring our progress in addressing constituent needs across the four dimensions of trust?

As we adapt the customer experience for the reopening of our campuses, McKinsey indicates four ways that interaction with your students, parents, employees, community, etc. may impact their trust and loyalty. As we know, “The way organizations deal with their customers, their employees, and their broader community in times of crisis is likely to leave lasting memories in customer’s minds.”

You may also want to highlight your investments in the next normal as you adapt to evolving customer behaviors and priorities:

  1. Prepare for digital recovery using an agile, iterative approach and design thinking to identify new digital opportunities beyond our comfort zone.
  2. Accept a safe and contactless customer journey as your default emphasizing safety but with value based human interaction.
  3. Anticipate, don’t just ask for customer feedback by using the data that you are already collecting and investing in data technology and systems to deliver exceptional experiences.

You’ve got this!!! In the coming weeks, PAISBOA will continue to gather the membership in a variety of large and small group discussions about what keeps you up at night — from food service to online safety to business insurance, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out the latest tools and COVID-19 resources, and the meeting and webinar schedule so you can continue the conversation with us. We are looking forward to seeing you at the virtual PAISBOA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 24 at 9:00 am.

By the way, if anyone needs a dentist in the Paoli/Malvern area, I am happy to refer you!

Take Advantage of the Power of the Flock...

Share this post:

Comments on "Caring – Concern – Trust"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment