COVID-19 has completely changed the norm of converting an enrollment inquiry into a personal visit of your school. This on-site visit so influential to the parent’s decision has become, by necessity, a tour of your center delivered virtually.
So how can you make a virtual tour lead to an enrollment decision? What are the best ways to schedule a virtual tour, deliver it, and secure the enrollment once you have presented your school via your mobile device?
Here are some tips for making your virtual tours as effective as possible…
- Have a “Schedule a Virtual Tour” link on the Home Page and other key pages of your website, on social media, and in your email signature. If you have digital self-scheduling capabilities, all the better.
- Respond immediately to virtual tour requests with an email providing a Zoom invitation or specific time for a FaceTime call.
- For telephone inquiries, ask for the commitment to schedule a virtual tour, book a time, and send the invitation.
- For all inquiries that result in a scheduled virtual tour, follow up with an email on a branded template in which you confirm the tour time, and the name and position of the person who will be conducting the tour. This may be combined with your Zoom invitation.
- Start your virtual tour on time.
- Begin in your office, or a private area where you are not on a mobile, where you can personalize the conversation, determine what’s most important to show this prospect and let your prospect know how the tour will flow.
- As you conduct the virtual tour with your mobile, HOLD IT STILL. Think in the prospect’s perspective. After watching a moving target for 20 minutes, they will no longer be focused on what they are seeing or what you are saying. Take breaks during your tour to put your device down showing a view of a classroom or the playground, and simply talk a few minutes without all the movement.
- Be sure to present benefits of your school that meet your prospect’s expressed needs, and ask trial closing questions to gain agreement.
- Do not enter a busy, noisy classroom. Though this may be fine during a personal tour, it is hard to control the view and the volume in a virtual tour. Just step outside and turn your screen toward the window to the room or the parent communication board just outside.
Katia Fernandez, Owner and Admissions Manager at KLA Schools of North Miami Beach, Florida, has a great virtual tour technique. She uses FaceTime, rather than Zoom, and angles her mobile so a part of her face is always in the prospect’s view. Katia says this allows her to make her virtual tours more personal, and her prospects feel more comfortable asking questions.
- End the virtual tour in your office or a private area where you can put the device down, or switch to a laptop or desktop to minimize movement.
- Conduct the end of the visit as you would an in-person tour. Once you have discussed tuition and answered questions, ask a final trial closing question. Then ask for the enrollment or obtain permission for you to follow up.
- Since you are not giving your prospect a hard-copy enrollment packet, briefly explain the digital documents needed to register. Some, such as the physician’s form, they will need to print out and have signed. Offer options to return these, such as scan and email, drop off, or send to you by regular mail.
Remember, a Google tour posted on your website shows the inside of your empty building, but is not a replacement for a virtual tour. As clumsy as it can seem, a virtual tour is where prospects can interact with you, ask questions, and get a real-time glimpse of your school. It is also where you can put good conversion skills to work, and yes, secure enrollments! Until you can once again schedule all your prospects for an in-person visit to your school, use these tips to make your virtual tours as effective as possible.