Strengthen Your Client Retention
Keeping your current clients happy, involved and attending your childcare center is as important as initial enrollment efforts.
Having great customer retention means that you can benefit long-term from the effort you put into marketing your business and focus your efforts on making a real difference for the kids in your care today.
Effective customer retention means knowing what your customer wants and giving it to them – all the time! Here are some simple tips for customer retention:
Build relationships with families! We’ve heard this over and over but the truth is that relationships are the foundation for a childcare facility. Relationships shape the way we see the world and affect how we perceive people, places and things. When we develop strong relationships with families, we strengthen the bond between the home and the school. Here are some tips to strengthen relationships:
Celebrate everything! Birthdays, enrollment anniversaries, new siblings in a family, holidays, achievements and other family events in the lives of your children and staff. When you find a way to treat your families in a special way on noteworthy occasions, it shows that you care about them. When birthdays or enrollment anniversaries roll around, be sure to send a card, wish them well on your entryway bulletin board or whiteboard, share social posts celebrating your families, and/or mention them in your weekly/monthly newsletter.
Invite families to participate! It is important to build a sense of community among the families in your child care program. Find ways to involve them in some of the happenings at your school. They could take part in planning activities, carrying out special projects or events, being on a parent board providing input on important decisions, or they simply could be invited to read stories to the class or attend a parent activity (such as a Mother’s Day tea or a family picnic). It’s easy to walk away from a program you feel no connection to. However, when your families feel like they are part of a school family, it’s much harder to walk away.
Leverage Social Media. Use your social media platforms to connect with parents and families and establish a positive image for your center. Sharing upcoming events or new safety procedures can build trust with potential customers as they know your center is working to provide a high quality and safe learning environment for their kids. Taking advantage of social media is a great, easy and free way to help get the word out about your center and boost enrollment.
You can’t over communicate. Many parents are busy and may not see posted information. Use all forms of communication everyday as much as possible. Make sure all the important news is shared through multiple channels to ensure that all your parents and followers see it. You and your team need to make sure you are consistently updating your parent app, sharing photos whenever you can, using social media to make announcements and share news, compiling a weekly or monthly e-newsletter, posting important announcements near the check-in station at your school….and more.
Listen to Feedback. Listening to feedback and acting on it is a great opportunity to build rapport with parents and show them that their insights are valued. Centers can gather feedback from parents through a survey, or simply by asking them: “What can we do better?” Parents who feel like they have a say in their child’s care are more likely to stay a part of your child care community.