Exceptional customer experience retains enrollment. Every new enrollment has the potential for lifetime value to your school. When you summarize the revenue each enrolled family provides to you for every year they stay, you reach the lifetime value of the customer. Add to that the value of the families referred to you by each satisfied, enthusiastic loyal customer. Every family you keep for years means less cost and effort for you to generate new leads to replace families who leave. Factor in your cost to generate a qualified inquiry. The positive impact of customer retention on your bottom line becomes apparent.
Research firms indicate that today’s young parents, mostly Millennials, are very well-educated, have higher expectations, and are less loyal to brands than past generations. You cannot assume that because they loved your school enough to choose it and enroll, that they will stay.
Families, especially those who are new or transitioning to new teachers and classes, are vulnerable to withdrawal within the first three months, again about six months later, and one year after they have enrolled. Be sure you increase touchpoints with those families at those times.
It is well worth your effort to actively address customer retention with your leadership team and staff. Teachers are your strongest retention partner. Parent surveys reveal the powerful impact teachers and teacher communication has on the parent’s decision to stay at a school or to withdraw.
Build a strong customer retention program that includes at least these key elements:
- Demonstration of ethical delivery of promises
- Varied and frequent communication that your initiate, both real-time and periodically
- Regular check-ins, in-person and online, to ask what they think and if you are meeting expectations.
It is all about engaging families in meaningful relationships – with you, the center, and each other. I call it “customer relationship marketing” Now is more important than ever to take a hard look at how you and your staff build community and ensure the best possible customer experience. Doing so will increase your retention rate and the number of good reviews that influence your new and existing customers. And your bottom line will make you smile.