Seriously. When was the last time you really talked to your parents?
I’m talking about the people that chose your program for their child, not the people that raised you…although, you should probably give them a call, too.
We all know current families are our most valuable marketing resource. Ask yourself this: Am I doing enough to nurture an open line of communication with them? I don’t mean daily reports or scheduled conferences. I mean simple check-ins to let them know they are valued and that you are listening.
All too often in the youth enrollment process, we forget this simple idea. We spend all our time and energy marketing our child care center, dance studio, dojo, gym, etc. just to get them to enroll in the program. It’s far too easy to let the relationship slip in to “your bill is due at the beginning of each month” status once they’re in the door.
Proactively engaging with parents not only cultivates goodwill, it may even encourage the ultimate marketing tool…a testimonial! In fact, if it feels right, why not ask them right there? Just have the links to your Google, Yelp, Facebook, whatever review pages at the ready if that’s the plan.
BTW, our next blog post is called “How to Ask for a Review or Testimonial Without Feeling Like a Jerk.” Click HERE to find out when that’s posted.
A quick check-in is also a great way to learn how to improve the program. Parents often won’t mention smaller concerns unless they’re prompted. For instance, if a teacher is doing something that isn’t sitting well with one or more families, we may never hear about it because it’s “not that big a deal.” How can we improve a situation if we don’t know about it?
If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking you have too much going on to give parents the warm fuzzies, stop. You don’t have to over-complicate it. A simple “How does Sally like her teacher so far?” is all that’s needed to start a conversation.
Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:
- Approach them when they’re picking up or dropping off their child. Obviously, be respectful of their time. If they’re in a rush, it can wait.
- Call them.
- Send an email – either personal or as an E-blast to a group.
- Send a handwritten note thanking them for being a part of the family.
It doesn’t matter how it’s done. The point is to let them know they’re valued, you’re listening and that you want them to be happy with their decision to enroll their child in your program. That’s it.
Whether you run a child care center, dance studio, after-school program or a dojo, youth enrollment marketing doesn’t end once they’re enrolled. Simple check-ins are a great way to stay engaged with your parents, cultivate loyalty and encourage testimonials and referrals.
Do you have a special way you engage with your parents? We would love to hear about it in the comments!
Until next time – Be Well. Be Happy. Shape minds.