5 ways to Avoid ‘Avoidable’ Bad Reviews for your School

Surprisingly, most prospective parents look out for negative things about your school to see if they are things they relatively consider ‘normal’. And if they find none, it could be a ‘red flag’.

 

According to invesp , The fact is, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. By implication,  88% of your prospective customers will not buy from you if they read a negative review of your products or services,.  This is NOT always the case!

Psychologically, since customers assume that nothing is perfect, a total lack of negative reviews means that companies are either burying the negative (not a good sign) or trying to claim perfection, which can actually be even worse. Brands with perfect reviews look inauthentic.

For schools, the truth is that every reasonable parent knows there are no perfect schools out there and yours is not an exemption.  A sprinkle of bad reviews within a few good ones can work in favour of your school. Just accept the reality that you cannot please everybody and your school cannot be suitable for everyone.

Surprisingly, most prospective parents look out for negative things about your school to see if they are things they relatively consider ‘normal’. And if they find none, it could be a ‘red flag’.

A trend discovered by SchoolsCompass is that parents hesitate to consider schools with no reviews or with too many negative reviews for their wards (for obvious reasons). In general, a school with no review (especially on schoolscompass) is worse than a school with a sprinkle of bad reviews in the midst of good ones.

Prevention is still better than cure

The fact that bad reviews still have good sides does not mean you should go out your way looking for avoidable bad reviews for your school. It is still best to strive to have none because some are so damaging and could cost you your entire business.

Here are 5 ways to avoid ‘avoidable’ bad reviews for your school:

  1. Avoid “Toxic” Parent

The early signs are obvious- from their very first visit, they complain about almost everything in your school. The more you try to convince them, the more faults they find- it’s probably time to let go.

Photo Credit: Quora

If they are not happy with your school on the first visit, the likelihood of them liking it in the long run after making payment is very slim.  At the end of the day, they feel trapped and result in throwing tantrums which could make them give your school a negative review at the slightest opportunity. You don’t want that. Do you?

  1. Operate Open Policy

As a school owner, it is a good practice to let your staff and parents know how you prefer to be contacted in the event of any complaints or grievances. Put suggestion boxes in strategic places of your school premises to make provisions for anonymous senders and make sure you check them often.

Photo credit: Standard Bearers Schools, Lekki

Bottled emotions are like the time-bomb in the hands of the terrorists looking for space to detonate. You can prevent it with effective open door policy.

Your channel of communication must be well defined and known to everyone

  1. Avoid Online Collaborative Meeting

For busy parents who don’t have time to attend your PTA meeting, virtual collaborative meeting on a platform like ‘group WhatsApp’ appears to be a very smart option. 95% of the time, down the line, it usually gets out of control. At that point, decorum is thrown out of the window mostly by toxic parents.

Photo credit: Cnet

Unverified damaging information from aggrieved parents in such platform can go beyond the platform itself and extend to social media or other third party review websites. That is definitely not the reason for such collaboration in the first place.

  1. Be Sensitive and Keep Ears to the Ground

If you observe any change of behaviour towards you by members of your staff or parents of your pupils/students, it may be a result of bottled emotion or perceived grievances towards you, the school owner or any member of your staff saddled with the responsibility of representing you in one capacity of the other.

Find out what it is, if is it about your school or your management style, do your best to address it (most likely to be an isolated case) before it gets out of hand and degenerates to the level of venting such anger on the internet.

  1. Communicate

The importance of communication in dispute resolution and prevention cannot be over flogged. Carrying every member of your school community along with your vision and new policies in order not to give room for speculations is an effective way of running schools.

 

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