Retaining families is much more profitable than replacing them. In fact, research shows that improving retention by just 5% can increase profits by as much as 25%.
Those families may all be paying the same tuition, but with retention, you get more than just tuition. You get a higher lifetime value and lower acquisition cost (marketing, sales, and onboarding).
Plus, those families become your brand ambassadors. Reviews make or break your business, and your best reviews come from retained families.
While we can’t overstate the importance of this well-known theory, many people still don’t place enough focus on retention strategies. So, how can you?
4 Retention Strategies for Your School
Below are our four core principles for improving retention at your school.
1. Run a Great School
We’ve said it countless times before, and we’ll keep saying it: Running a great school will always be the most important marketing strategy, especially for retention.
The things you do behind the scenes are just as important as what parents see. A huge part of that is making sure your staff is happy. Meet their needs and make them feel valued. If you do this, they’ll help you run a great school.
Take care of your employees first and foremost, and they’ll take care of your families.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
You cannot overcommunicate with parents about their children. Regular communication is key to giving them the peace of mind they want. Any time there are changes to a program, be up front about it and use email, text, phone calls, or newsletters to keep parents informed.
Parent-teacher conferences are another excellent communication tool. They allow parents to offer feedback, voice concerns, and plug into their child’s day-to-day activities.
3. Make Families Feel Valued
Your enrolled families are incredibly valuable to your business. Treat them like valuable individuals. Learn their names and greet them by name at the door as they enter. Be personable.
They aren’t just clients or customers. They’re families that trust you to help them raise their children.
Conduct periodic parent surveys to ensure they feel valued. Find out what they love about your school and what they want changed. What programs would they like to see added?
Also, consider forming parent advisory committees to help plan family events. These might include Dad coffees, Mom walks, picnics in the park, and more. It’s one more meaningful way to connect and engage.
4. Meet Their Real and Perceived Needs
If at any point a family feels like they’re not getting what they need, they’ll look for another childcare center. Watch for blind spots and be proactive.
Ask your families about their needs. Ensure you’re meeting those needs, and if there’s something they think they need that you don’t, educate them proactively.
For example, if a parent brings something up and mentions how they wish your school offered it, answer, “I’m glad you mentioned that. We used to offer that. Let me explain why we don’t anymore.”
This approach allows you to address their need compassionately while offering your expertise. They feel heard and seen, and now they better understand your position.
Of course, when you hear suggestions for possible improvements, take action. Whenever possible, update the family or parent on progress.
Finally, provide resources on each stage of a child’s development from infancy through early childhood. Children change quickly, and most parents appreciate any information, tips, and helpful advice you can offer.
Ready for Retention
Follow these four simple strategies to keep your families enrolled for years to come. You’ve got this.
If you’d like help with any marketing efforts, including branding or digital ads, let us know. We’re happy to chat with you.
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