Imagine this scenario…
You have nailed it, you put in your best – showed them some of your state-of-the-art facilities and it appeared they were very impressed. Two weeks later, you did not hear from them and you called to follow up. The wife ignored it but the husband summoned enough courage and reluctantly picked it your 3rd time of calling.“Hello sir, you said, I am calling to follow up with you. Ahhh sorry, we are no longer considering your school was the response.”
You may end up trying to figure out what went wrong. Could it be something with the pricing or location? I am sure you wish to get this feedback in order to improve strategy next time other parents come knocking at your admission office door. As a third party who is not “emotionally” attached to your school, parents feel more obliged to give us this feedback.
Because our platform helps parents find the right school, we get tons of feedback on a daily basis. Let’s share some of the feedback that the parents may not necessarily share directly with your school.
This is a very passive feedback as most of your prospective parents would not even wear it on their faces even if it is ringing on their heads. If you have the means of peeping into their minds, you will hear something like ‘your library is too small’, ‘classrooms are not spacious enough’, ‘I would prefer a bigger playground’.
Recently, a parent called our office twice to give us feedback on the school we referred her to. She said the school’s library is quite small and doesn’t see the school as a good fit for her. It was later discovered that the school actually have a bigger library; out of oversight, the school did not tell her about it when she visited.
Helpful tip: It may be necessary to ask prospective parents what is important to them to establish their pain points before taking them round the school during inspection to ensure nothing is left out.
Too much emphasis on Academic Excellence:
More and more parents are fast facing the reality that academic performance alone is not the reason they should entrust their treasures into your custody. A parent once told me that ‘if it is just academic, then schools are not much different from each other’. To great extent, I believe this is true. In this parent’s case, he was interested in any school that teaches self-defence.
A good number of parents may not bother to ask you during their visits to your school. If they don’t see evidence of what they are looking for, they simply assume it does not exist. To some, it could be a coding and robotic club or any other extracurricular activities.
3. The School is Fading – Cracked lawn and peeling paints
Some parents are perfectionists – they expect everything in your school to be in perfect conditions, anything fall short of this is a turn off to them. If you have the privilege of playing host to this type of parents, then welcome to their world. It is most likely they keep all these flaws into themselves thinking that telling you could embarrass you and may even make someone to lose his/her job. They just move on to the next school – no point crying over spilt milk.
Helpful tip: The good news is that you can actually satisfy them if you are also the type and pays attention to tiny details in your school.
The School is still Early – When the Age of Your School is a Concern:
Every school started at a point. Unfortunately, many parents don’t understand this. To them, the thought of making their children ‘a guinea pig’ (sic) to experiment and grow your school is scary.
Personally, as a parent, I do not think this is a major concern as long as the school can deliver her promise, but I can only speak for myself. Every parent is entitled to his/her feedback about your school.
Helpful tip: If your school is less than 5 years, letting parents know the combined experience of individual teachers is your school from their various places of employment, your (school owner) passion and experience as a parent and your background as an educator could go a long way in helping them see more than the present in your school.
Another way is to take prospective parents around the state-of-the-art facilities their children can enjoy. This works most especially when they know such facilities cannot be found in most schools they consider ‘old enough’.
Value has not been properly communicated:
It is a good idea to communicate what your school stands for the very first time you meet prospective parents in order not to give room for speculations. Your value system should demonstrate your stand on religious belief as a school, curriculum, policies (anti-bully etc).
Helpful tip: Every parent has his/her own expectations before visiting your school, alignment of values from the onset is very important to both parties to avert future clashes.