As you transition into a new school year, there’s a lot that will be familiar to you, and a lot that will be new and unproven to your enrolled families. With the COVID Delta variant spreading, new families may be extra anxious about precautions such as leaving their child at the door in the hands of a stranger, because they cannot go into the building. They may also need your support in feeling like they are truly a part of your center’s community. Existing customers who transitioned from Summer Camp or extended vacations probably trust you, yet may have some trepidation about their child being in a new classroom or with a new teacher.
I like to say you have a “90-Day Probation Period” when families carefully observe and assess whether or not they made the right choice. So what actions can you take to assure parents you are the best preschool for their child and family?
Director – Your guidance through the initial transition, streamlining the process, continual reassurance to anxious parents, and daily caring interactions are just a few action steps. Be sure to train your front desk and admin staff to answer tough parent questions professionally and well. Roleplay with them until you are all comfortable doing so.
Teacher – Remember, parents may enroll because of the director, but they stay because of the teachers. Teacher communication with parents is so important – on the child’s initial adjustment and progress, with a real-time app frequently updated with daily activities, and documentation of learning and the achievement of milestones in development all contribute to parents feeling food about the relationship aspects of teacher-to-parent and teacher-to-child.
Parent Ambassador – These enthusiastic supporters of your school can be angels in easing new parents through the first 90 days of their enrollment with you. Carefully selected and trained ambassadors reach out to families during this time to answer questions, uncover unmet expectations, and invite new customers to center events that help build community amongst your school’s families. For more on Parent Ambassador Programs, https://bit.ly/256Wassom .
When parents see you are focused on exceptional customer service, as well as a partnership approach to meeting expectations and building community, you will be on your way to retaining them as satisfied, enthusiastic customers well past those initial 90 days.