Tap existing resources. Learn how to make your staff your marketing partners. The impression they make on prospects and customers has a significant impact on their decision to enroll and stay enrolled with you. Develop and actively market a referral program with existing parents, staff, and out-of-center referral sources. Their third party endorsement of your center’s services is a strong buying influencer.
Go beyond the now-commonplace referral program offering a cash or tuition reward for referring a new family that enrolls. Try something like this. For every referral you receive from customer, staff, or opinion influencer, put the name of the referring person into a monthly drawing for tickets to the local zoo or children’s museum. Do this whether the family referred decides to enroll or not. Your referral sources cannot be responsible for another family’s choices or your enrollment conversion skills, but if they are truly satisfied with your services, they will respond well to such a reason to spread the word. And when they do that, you’ll feel like your head is above water in generating more inquiries.
Do it right the first time. Being complacent in a competitive market is a passport to failure. One thing well-known about most of today’s parents is that they are more skeptical as prospects and less loyal as customers than parents used to be. They will give you fewer chances to convert them as prospects and to keep them as customers. Invest in training that will help give you the skills to turn every qualified inquiry into a center visit and more visits into enrollments. And remember, once they are enrolled, it is important to have a parent relations program that will continually reassure them that enrolling with you was the right decision.