Fast Company strikes again: What if Customers WERE the Service
I really enjoyed this post, and was wondering what this would look like in the classroom. (Go ahead, read the FC post…if you are interested in positive customer experiences (and students are our customers) then you’ll likely enjoy the ideas presented here.)
What if we, the teachers, provided more space for students to interact with each other on their own terms? No scripts. No starter questions. Just people interacting on things important or valuable to them.
Today I had an interesting experience around this theme: I was working with a pair of account executives of a major credit card company. They are not at the same level as far as their English goes, and they are both involved in very different areas of the company.
We were listening to a podcast around developing lifelong relationships between clients and companies (fascinating stuff by the way) and we ran into some difficulties in understanding a few words and phrases.
What fascinated me about this moment was that I didn’t have to do anything. The more experienced student immediatly jumped in and provided excellent "service" to the other, effectively reframing the new words and phrases in a way that was easier to understand…and sometimes better than how I would have done it.
This wasn’t planned…but I think I will look for ways to do so in the future. Students serving students just seems to work. Yes, I have a role to play…I am the teacher and am in no way advocating that we should step down from that place. But we DO learn by doing, and most people learn even better when they have to explain something new to someone else…the same should be true in the ESL classroom don’t you think?