Tuesday, 28 June 2011

INDEPENDENT INDUSTRY ARTICLE

Building strong word of mouth

Childcare Sales Australia is proud to publish yet another article from Succeed Consultancy.

June 2011
By Tanya Clayson

I am sure that we can all agree that we want the same for our childcare centres.

And what is that?

Great and dedicated staff
Happy families and children
For the centre to be financially profitability and stable
To be the best centre in the area – and the centre that everyone wants to attend and talks about.
In order for this to happen you need to ensure that there is commitment and strategies in place to build the strong word of mouth for your centre through your staff, families and most

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important local community.

There are many cost effective, simple and strong strategies that can assist you with this. We want families, friends, children, staff, community and anyone and everyone to be talking about how great your centre is and lining up at the door to be attending.

This does however come with some hard work, dedication and most importantly the commitment to make this happen.

I know you are all saying that this is good and true but want to know more on how.

Well let’s see how!!

Background first which I feel is important to know.

Did you know that 90% of your enrolments and enquires are through word of mouth??? Yes that is right 90%!!!!
 
This is a very large percentage when you really think about it. But take a step back and

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break down “word of mouth” and what kind of “word of mouth” you want people to be talking about?
 
You most definitely do not want word of mouth to be petty gossip about the centre, about parents not paying fees so you had to ask them to leave, not parents complaining about the centre, not that your centre is not presentable and there are weeds growing out of the building, not because you have DOCS knocking at the door every other day, not from a staff member that has not been happy… but how GREAT your service, care and customer service is to the children and families. How dedicated and caring your staff are because this is what you want to focus on. Building your word of mouth with people talking about this!
 
Again 90% of your enquires are through word of mouth, and I can guarantee that if you track your enquires and ask “how did you hear about us” this is the most common answer. And yes again I emphasise and repeat this as this is MASSIVE!!
 
Therefore doesn’t it make sense to work inside your centre because the parents that are at your centre are happy at your centre, so get them excited and talking about the centre to anyone and everyone that they talk to.

How?

Well lets look at an example first.

  • Lets look pamphlets to be printed $450.00
  • Distribution another $400.00
  • You’ve gotten out to 5 000 households, 90% of these may not be potential clients. 500 may be, more junk mail in the bin it goes
  • Parent Barbeque held by the Centre sausages, steaks, bread and salads, jumping castle $400.00. You’ve put it on, the parents get to know you, your staff and other families better in a relaxed environment. Wow they’ve had a great time, they’ve told 10 friends each what a great time they had. Their friends have children, you have 30 families attend. 300 more people know about your Centre in more detail form parents that know, use and love your Centre.
  • What’s more effective? I think you have already answered that one!!

You need to look at the current common practices that are happening at the centre as these are your most effective strategies to building on your word of mouth. It is also about frequent, extra and efficient customer service strategies because we all know that a customer wants to feel like they are on the only customer and they are getting value for money! But most importantly you need to let people know how good you and the centre is!

That’s right talk your Centre up, one of the hardest things for people is to tell others that you are good and why you are good.

Start promoting you and your Centre to build your strong word of mouth.

I know you are all still asking well that is good and true but how do I do this?

So lets get into some practical strategies that will assist build your strong word of mouth?

  • Do a welcome letter before children start addressed to the child. We need to acknowledge that we treasure every child that attends the centre and acknowledge that they are commencing
  •  

  • Ring families after 20 minutes with a new child or upset child. Why do we all have the common response to a family member on their child’s first day at the centre “Oh ring me as many times as you want to see how they are going” I can bet you that the family feels so bad to ring you three times a day because they do not want to be labelled “that annoying parent” so why not use your initiative and ring the family just to reassure them that their child is fine.
  •  

  • Follow up on all your enquiries. There is nothing worse when are looking for An increasing quota of quality online mobile casinos games is regularly added for the benefit of players. childcare and you ring 10 different centres and are confused on which one
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    is good- If you ring and offer further assistance to the family they are going to know that you genuinely care.

  •  

  • Follow up on all parents queries and concerns within the timeframe you have said you would. Put yourself in the families shoes- You ring wanting to talk to someone or there is an issue you want someone to follow up on you and they promise you they will get back to you by the afternoon and do not- how does that make you feel?
  •  

  • Do a first day letter with a photo. Take it one step further and email the parent during the day with the photo to show them and again reassure them.
  •  

  • Know all your parents by their first name. It is nice when you are addressed by your name- Just that little extra care and attention.
  •  

  • Get your staff to know all families by their first name.
  •  

  • Acknowledge parents involvement and assistance in the newsletter and foyer areas. Many families have to work today and even though they may come and assist the centre for 1 hour

    acknowledge this and be thankful. It also does not have to always be about them coming to the centre but if they donate anything to the centre. ring to say thank you, anything at all!!.

  •  

  • Get off you butt and welcome every family and child every day.
  •  

  • Record and remember special days, anniversaries, birthdays etc. Give parents card. Buy or make child birthday cakes (don’t forget to tell the parents you do it either).
  •  

  • Ring them, let parents know that they have a good day just because you can. I can guarantee that every time you ring a parent this is because either the child is sick, the child has hurt themselves, or they owe you money. When you ring the first response from the Family “what is wrong with …” Why do we have to ring every time there is something wrong- Ring just to say that their child is having a great day. The .30c will go a million miles
    Post children’s art works home rather than just fold or scrunching this up and putting into their bag- show parents that you respect children’s learning. Take this one step further and have the children decorate the envelopes when they post this.
  •  

  • Randomly email photos of their child playing throughout the day. Imagine sending that to a parent that works on an office with lots of people????

It does not happen over night and the key is to be consistent with this.

These are all ideas that will have everyone talking positively about your centre and you assisting to build

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the strong word of mouth at the centre and I ask the question is that what you want for your centre??

Historical Independent Consultant Articles

Article Title Article Provider Date

The debate on School Readiness and the family mind set Succeed Consultancy Feb 11
What do the new regulations mean to providers in NSW ? Succeed Consultancy Jan 11
What”s the real cost of the new 1:4 ratio ? Succeed Consultancy Nov 10
Licencing a Childcare Service Succeed Consultancy Oct 10
The Early Years Framework – How ??? Succeed Consultancy Sep 10
Transition Plans Guardian Childcare Sep 10
Creating a culture Expect a Star July 10
Starting a new service / purchasing a new centre Succeed Consultancy May 10
Have you got your rose coloured glasses on? Succeed Consultancy Apr 10
Securing finance in a nightmare financial market Guild Financial Services Apr 10
Is your centre going to be forced to close? Succeed Consultancy Mar 10
Where has the fun gone? Succeed Consultancy Feb 2010
Workplace based study: Could this be the answer? TLC Training Solutions Feb 10

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