How often do you find something neat online and click on it, only to be led down a rabbit hole of confusing links?

Is your sales funnel like that? What do your prospects experience when they click on your ad or landing page?

If you’ve made it difficult to find essential information about your childcare center, how to book a tour, or how to fill out applications and enrollment forms, you’re likely suffering from high bounce rates and low conversions.

You need an optimized process that makes it as easy as possible for parents to take the next steps with you, or you’ll lose them to another school.

Consider your target audience, made mostly of young and/or first-time parents. They have a lot going on, and deciding to enter or change childcare centers is huge.

They want to know that you’re an advocate for them and that you’ll make a difficult process as easy as possible.

Why Simplicity = Prospects Taking Action

In marketing, simplicity is key. Your audience needs to know that doing business with you is easy as pie. What parent wants to deal with a complicated, frustrating school? I’ve never met one.

A simple, easy-to-navigate sales funnel sets the tone for their subsequent interactions with you.

Just because you and your staff are intimately familiar with the path to enrollment doesn’t mean everyone is. New parents especially tend to need some handholding. If you overcomplicate your process or present parents with what they perceive as a “dead end,” they’ll bounce away from your site and onto someone else’s.

Infographic: How Simple Are Your Next Steps?

5 Simple Ways to Capture Leads

When writing your web and ad copy, use “Hero’s Journey” language and designate your prospect as the Hero. You’re the “guide” who leads them through the process toward the solution (enrollment).

1. Map the Customer’s Journey

Creating a map helps you visualize how your prospects experience your sales funnel. It allows you to understand where the journey requires improvement (simplification) and how you might streamline it.

Think about how your prospects find and visit your website. Here’s an example of a Customer Journey Map:

Paid Ad → Landing Page → Website (they find the detailed information they’re looking for) → Book a Tour → Complete the Tour → Receive Enrollment Packet → Complete Forms and Set Start Date → New Student Orientation Communications → Enrollment Complete

Whatever your Customer Journey Map looks like, ensure there are no unnecessary steps. Make the process as straightforward as possible.

2. Ensure Your Staff Can Answer FAQs

Document questions parents ask often or are likely to ask and train your staff to answer them appropriately.

3. Have Clear CTAs on Your Landing Pages and Website

Make sure your call-to-action is clearly visible wherever it is and links to your contact information or tour scheduler.

4. Use an Online Tour Scheduler (If Possible)

Parents search the web for information all hours of the day and night, and you want to meet them when they’re searching. Otherwise, they’ll schedule a tour at the school down the road.

If you can, integrate an online tour scheduler on your website so parents can schedule tours conveniently. This avoids missed calls, phone tag, and scheduling difficulties.

An alternative is to have “open tour availability” listed on your website. During these days or hours, your facility will be open to walk-in tours.

It’s less convenient for you and your staff but more convenient for prospects. Remember, you can always specify caveats like, “We’re open for tours every Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., but we close briefly for naps from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. so the kiddos can rest undisturbed. Thank you for your understanding.”

The bottom line is that you must offer tours, so find a way to provide them conveniently for your prospects. Virtual tours are wonderful, but they don’t allow you to meet the parents. 

5. Use Cloud-Based Forms

Forms are a double-edged sword for most business owners: They gather vital information, but they also require careful review and storage. In short, they’re a necessary inconvenience, but you don’t want to pass that inconvenience on to your prospects.

Old-school pen-and-paper forms are definitely out of the question. Downloadable/printable PDFs are almost as bad, despite handy applications like DocHub. It’s still a pain to download, fill out, save, upload, and email the saved form.

Your best bet is to use an online, cloud-based form tool that works on any device. Be sure to choose a template that captures the desired start date and the child’s age.

With basic information like this, you can determine your availability and share that information on the tour. Having answers ready for parents before they ask is a surefire way to provide peace of mind — it proves your staff anticipates problems and offers solutions immediately.

Quote Card: How Simple Are Your Next Steps?

Keep It Simple

Every single thing you do should convey to parents that bringing their child to your school is a great decision. A simple path to enrollment does that. Complication and confusion don’t.

Remember to think from their perspective and keep it simple. Do that, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

 

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