Nurturing Prospective Parents: A GuideFebruary 5, 2018
It’s no secret that we’re big believers in creating and nurturing relationships with prospective parents. Having effective and open relationships with parents means that not only are you improving and increasing enrolments, but you’re also creating an open channel of communication that provides valuable feedback, positive word of mouth and also future enrolments for siblings and other family members.
While we can all agree that this practice is positive and should be undertaken by every school, the challenge can be executing it in a way that is easily managed and valuable to both the school and the parents. Follow this guide and your school will find building and managing relationships easy, as well as powerful for every aspect of your school’s enrolment and onboarding process.
Create content that encourages parents to get in touch.
While some of your new enrolments will come from word of mouth or from prior experiences with your school, many of them can be prompted by marketing content. Creating a responsive, clear and informative website is crucial to ensuring that you receive new, online enquiries. Ensure that your website has a simple online form that gathers the parent information you need.
Using a Customer Relationship Management tool like Funnel allows parent information from online forms to come directly into a central system, entering and storing their information for follow-up and notifying the registrar or relevant team member. Creating blog, social media and search content that makes your school easier to find is also an effective way to spark new relationships with prospective parents. Ensure that any content produced by your school is consistent, indicative of the experience and well-branded.
Respond efficiently and provide the parent with the information they need.
First impressions are important! Try to keep your responses to online enquiries to one business day and ensure that the parent is offered everything they may need - whether it may be a prospectus, a tour or if they’re familiar with the school, enrolment details.
Identify key information and use it to make sure communications are tailored to them.
If the parent needs some time to learn more about the school and to make their decision, you have an opportunity to tailor your communications specifically to them, in order to both build a relationship and sell the positive aspects of your school. Find out their child’s age and the year they’re going into and you can let them know about particular programs they would be offered.
If they’re going into junior school, use this information to invite them to the junior school open day. Another idea is to understand the year they’re enrolling for and to remind them of enrolment deadlines in order to create some urgency. Using a system such as Funnel allow you to use data filters that create segments, to which you can then send direct and tailored communications.
Offer swift and simple online enrolments.
Once the parent is ready to enrol, make the process as simple as possible. An online solution is great for ensuring that the parent continues to have a positive experience with your school. Digistorm’s ENROL product integrates with the Funnel CRM and allows parents to complete their child’s enrolment online, to save their progress and even to upload documents and pay their enrolment fee online. The benefit of this also is that all of the information gathered about a prospective parent and student is stored in a single location and that no manual data entry is required from the school.
Continue communication beyond enrolments.
Enrolment is just the start of your school’s relationship with the parent, so it’s important to remember that they will want to be a part of their child’s education journey. Implementing a communication tool such as a school app can be an effective way of continuing to communicate and grow the parent relationship for years to come.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in creating a pathway for your school to place more of a focus on nurturing parent relationships. To learn more about ENROL, Funnel or even eduAPP, contact Digistorm today.