By the time families show up at your childcare center for a tour, they already know a lot about you. They’ve browsed your website and social media, and they scheduled a tour to make sure you’re the right fit

Now that they’re at your center, what can you do to maximize their satisfaction and their chance of enrollment? Our experienced team is here to show you how.

Getting the Tour Right

The tour is the tipping point for prospective families. They already have an opinion of your childcare center based on their research, and the tour will help them answer those ultimate questions.

Can you meet their child’s needs? Is your center a good cultural fit for them? Can they see their child making friends, being happy, and flourishing there? Do the teachers look competent, well-trained, and able to help their child grow?

This is your opportunity to set and manage their expectations. Walk parents through the entire childcare center, not just the classroom their children will enroll in. Show them that their child will be happy there for a long time, from pre-K through kindergarten.

Sell the journey, not just the first stop.

How Not to Sound

A few years ago, a Cutco salesman came to my door. His appearance was convenient, as I had just finished researching Cutco knives and knew exactly which one I wanted.

The salesman launched into his set script to pitch the entire knife line, but I stopped him. “I just want to hear about this one knife. Can we skip to the end?”

The salesman froze. He couldn’t do it. He picked up the script where he had left off. Suffice it to say, he didn’t make a sale that day.

Cutco’s method alienates and turns customers away — the opposite of what you want. Scripts aren’t inherently bad, but they are when your staff can’t (or won’t) deviate from them when the situation calls for it.

Tours require balance. The goal is to cover the essentials and cater to touring parents’ needs. Don’t make them sit through a lecture on all your childcare center’s features, but don’t let them walk away with lingering questions, either.

More than anything, giving a wonderful tour is an exercise in active listening. Families should feel heard, and the tour guide should mention relevant information in a time-sensitive way.

Infographic: How to Give the Perfect Daycare Tour to New Families

Our Tips and Tricks

Use the tips below to make your tours so impressive that families can’t wait to enroll their children.

Fine-Tune Listening Skills

Fine-tune your staff’s listening skills by practicing active listening via role-play. This way, they learn to anticipate the most common questions families ask.

We reviewed a lot of these questions in our last post. Teacher turnover, teacher-student ratio, tuition, mealtime, and potty training are common topics.

Active listening means considering the individual concerns of the families in attendance. It also means tailoring your responses (and possibly the stops on your tour) to suit.

Be Time-Sensitive

Nail down your tour times, and make sure all your staff (teachers included) know when these tours will happen. Both teachers and tour staff need to know what to expect well in advance. 

Make sure your staff are keenly aware of the time restraints of visiting families, too. Some may tour on their lunch break or at another time-sensitive hour, so take care to keep things on track to build a great impression.

Finally, your scheduling staff should be friendly but speedy. Whether you’re using an online tour scheduler or have someone on the phone, build rapport with interested families quickly. You only have so much time to interact with these families, so make the most of it.

Develop a Tour Stop Checklist

Your staff should have a concrete tour stop checklist, even if they deviate from it occasionally. A tour guide with a plan will feel confident, and they’ll come off that way to families, too.

Mind Your First Impressions

Be cognizant of first impressions — and we don’t just mean families’ impressions of the tour guide.

First impressions begin as soon as families pull into your parking lot. Your center’s look, feel, and smell are all important, as is how your staff greets families when they walk through the door.

Ask About Their Child

Get families to connect with your staff by asking about their children. Ask about their child’s personality, their interests, and their past experiences with childcare. Demonstrate your level of interest in how they feel and what they’re looking for.

This doesn’t just make families feel heard; it gives your staff time to think about what they want to say, too. Plus, it helps your staff evaluate the families on tour to make sure they’ll be a good fit for your childcare center.

Listen for the Hot Button

Have your staff listen for and address families’ pain points throughout the tour.

Did they have an unpleasant experience with security at a previous childcare center? If so, speak about your security features. Do they have children with food allergies? If so, show them the menu, introduce them to the chef, and list your allergen policies.

If your tour guides have trouble finding parents’ pain points, instruct them to talk about the children. Discuss where activities happen, the programs you offer, your extracurriculars, and other ways your center helps children grow.

Your Next Steps

As your staff completes their tour, make sure families know exactly how to enroll in your childcare center. Provide clear next steps to make the enrollment process as pain-free as possible.

Would you like even more tips about maximizing your enrollment rates? Send us an email or schedule a Power Hour. Our team of marketing experts is on standby, ready to share our industry-tested strategies.

 

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