Those of you who have been in my training’s know that I say complacency is enrollment suicide. If you have been doing the same things for years to convert inquiries into enrollments and retain most of your customers, there’s a good chance you have become too comfortable, maybe even complacent. If that is remotely true for you, let me ask you this. Has your marketplace changed in the last few years? Are there more competitors? Are prospects investigating in different ways? Are parent expectations changing? If you answered, “Yes,” to any one of these, your complacency can cost you enrollments and revenue. And when that happens, it will cost the children you serve, because those you lose will not get the kind of quality program you deliver. It’s a lost opportunity.

Here are three ways to make sure you don’t get too comfortable.

  1. NEVER STOP MARKETING. Though everything you do is always communicating a marketing message, you need to plan and execute specific goal-directed marketing activities on a regular basis. Include a combination of internal, community, publicity, and online initiatives. People forget fast, and must have constant reminders to recognize your brand, remember your key image message, and inquire or refer you.
  2. Stop TELLING and start SELLING. During inquiry calls and center visits, ask more than you tell. Ask about needs and desires, use benefit statements to articulate your unique features that meet those needs, ask if they agree, and ask for the enrollment. Ask where they learned about you, why they chose you, and whom they might know that would also be interested in your services.
  3. Find out what your customers REALLY think. Though a satisfaction survey is a good idea, it is only going to tell you the level of satisfaction. To keep from getting too comfortable, make sure your survey also includes questions about expectations not yet met. At least bi-annually, conduct a focus group of your parents to get their perceptions of the relationship you have with them, the quality of your services, and how and where they talk about you. If there answers surprise you, you are too comfortable.

The old adage about assuming and what it can do, is true. A few focused, consistent actions can help you and your team avoid getting too comfortable and suffering the loss of enrollment and reputation it can cause.
For help with any of these skills, refer to Basic Techniques for Securing Enrollment.This updated CD training program includes tips and dialogues that can make all the difference in a parent’s choice.

Julie Wassom
The Child Care Marketing Coach
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author