Every time the phone rings at your school, it represents the potential for more revenue. But how many of those phone leads go unanswered? Do you even know?
In this article, we’ll explore the pitfalls of unanswered phone calls and how you can avoid them using the massive benefits of Google Ads.
Evaluate Your Current Process for Handling Phone Leads
We recently hopped on a call with a prospect who was concerned about the results they were seeing from Google Ads. They didn’t feel like they were seeing a good return on their investment.
Then we showed them the number of incoming calls that had gone unanswered. They were shocked. They thought their front desk staff were on top of their game. Unanswered phone leads are like lighting money on fire, both in ad spend and in potential enrollments.
The good news is, once you know better, you can do better! So, how do you prevent the waste? How do you capitalize on the wealth of information Google Ads provides you?
The best way is to have a great process in place beforehand and make sure your staff is on board.
Empower Staff With a Great Process
Having a consistent process for your front desk staff — any staff member who might answer the phone — is vital to not losing out on phone leads. It becomes even more important once you begin using Google Ads. Without one, you’ll be watching your investment go up in smoke.
Once you implement a process, you’ll see increases in effectiveness and enrollment, and you’ll have additional feedback with which to make better staffing decisions.
A great process starts with a phone script. There are three questions every phone script should include:
- How did you hear about us?
- How soon do you need to begin care?
- Would you like to come in for a tour? (Or whatever your “next step” is)
The answers to these three questions will give you the insights you need to not only reach your business goals, but to also improve your staffing and training.
Google Ads allows you to connect your phone system directly to your ad. When someone clicks the ad to call your school, they trigger the system to record metrics for you, like what time of day the call came in and whether your staff answered the call. By knowing what times of day phone leads come in, you can better staff your front desk.
Google Ads also records answered calls so you and your staff can listen again later. Listening to recorded calls allows you to hear every detail of what went wrong and what went right from beginning to end, without bias. You’ll learn who your best rapport-builder is so you can get them on the phone at the right time of day and (hopefully) have them train the staff who aren’t as proficient.
Rapport-building is perhaps the most valuable skill for a front desk staff member. Ultimately, what you’re selling is peace of mind. The person who answers your phone needs to persuade the parent on the other end that their child will be getting more than a quality educational experience and organic food. They’ll be safe and cared for all day long.
How to Improve Your Process
In our experience, here are the best ways to convert phone leads into customers.
It can be very productive for directors to have “mystery callers” conduct mock conversations with the front desk. These mystery callers can be friends or family who pretend to be interested parents looking for care for their children.
Recording and evaluating the mystery calls can be extremely helpful in making improvements to your phone script, staff training, and other procedures like scheduling.
Record All Calls
While training your staff, have new hires listen to 10 good phone conversations. Hearing what a good phone call sounds like is profoundly helpful in teaching staff how to answer phone leads effectively. Record every call and use the great ones in your training process.
Sell the Benefits
Something most directors are conscious of but unfortunately don’t always incorporate into their processes is selling the benefits of the school before discussing the cost.
Since many schools offer all-inclusive programs, simply stating a price of $275 a week might scare parents away if they don’t get an explanation of what’s included beforehand. For example, that weekly rate might include diapers, formula, three meals, two snacks, and all after-school activities. Knowing that first might make the difference between a parent booking a tour or hanging up.
A phone script that includes building rapport and selling the benefits before mentioning a price is so important. Otherwise, a potential new enrollment may be lost.
Ask About the Child First
Begin the conversation by asking the parent about their child. That simple question will open the door to trust and show the parent you care.
When you ask, “Tell me a little about Oliver,” just listen. Don’t take notes if the conversation is in person. Show genuine interest, respond to what they say, ask more questions, and be kind and compassionate. You can always add notes to your file afterwards, but during the conversation, be present and friendly.
Ask for the Tour
Finally, when you’re wrapping up the conversation, ask your prospect to take the next step, which is usually a tour. This is the most important step of turning a phone lead into a customer. If you don’t ask for the next step, what was the point of the phone call?
Don’t rely on your caller to request a tour. It’s your job to ask for it.
Don’t Waste Your Phone Leads
By having a great process in place for answering phone calls, building rapport, selling the benefits of your school, and closing your phone leads, you can capitalize on your Google ads in a huge way. It requires a strategy and some diligence, but we’ve seen it succeed time and time again.
Don’t waste all the time, effort, and money you’ve spent generating those phone leads. Don’t watch hundreds or thousands of dollars go up in smoke every month.
If you need help with integrating Google Ads into your phone system to generate better phone leads, track them, and improve your school’s systems, get in touch! We’d love to help.
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