In a service business like childcare, the experience is what makes or breaks it for your customers. Taking time to focus on your experience can improve your retention rates and even fill your center with new business thanks to happy customers who refer you to their friends.
Ignoring the experience that children and parents have at your center could leave a wealth of opportunity on the table for your business. Take the time to pause and consider where your opportunities are at. Here are some things to consider.
1. Collect and analyze parent and teacher feedback
At least annually, you should be conducting customer satisfaction surveys. Collect feedback from parents, but also from teachers. Allow teachers to share their experiences anonymously where they can feel confident that their thoughts will have no negative effects on their continued employment.
As often as you can without annoying your customers, ask for their feedback. You can do this using surveys through your childcare management software or even just in-person accounts during drop off or pick up.
2. Plan and schedule new activities
If you’re currently looking at last year’s events and activities for summer break and thinking you’ll just update the schedule with this year’s dates, consider infusing that schedule with new activities. Both children and parents enjoy the excitement of something new and the comfort of something familiar.
It’s appropriate to reuse some activities and events from previous years, but be sure to add in new activities to keep children entertained and parents impressed. Don’t just assume that parents won’t have seen last year’s activities because their child graduated to a new classroom. Remember, those parents might have an older child who has already been through that classroom and had those experiences.
3. Review your registration strategy and how you update records
The registration process is a parent’s first experience of what being a customer of your childcare center is like. Make sure that the experience is pleasant and appealing. Try to put all your forms and required documents online so that parents know what is expected of them and can submit the information when it’s convenient.
In some childcare centers, the processes are so outdated that parents must update their information every school year when their child moves to a new classroom. Instead of making parents input this information, allow them to review the information you already have for them and make updates where needed. You want the parent’s experience to be seamless and easy every step of the way.
4. Communicate with parents regularly
Invoices and receipts should not be the only time that parents hear from you. Make sure that the lines of communication are open between your childcare center and parents. The best way to do this is to send photos, journal updates and messages to parents regularly.
Childcare software is an effective way to ensure you stay in close contact with parents while also protecting the privacy of their student. The more you communicate with parents, the more they’ll communicate back, which means you get the important feedback you need to make adjustments to their experience to ensure they don’t leave over something that has been bothering them that you never knew about.
5. Automate administrative tasks to avoid overworking your team
An overworked team will show through to students and parents. Ensure that your teachers and staff are getting to do what they love and aren’t bogged down with office work.
Automating regular tasks, such as billing, rosters and updates to parents can help your teachers focus on teaching while they are in the classroom and free up time for administrators to work on serving their customers more fully.
6. Put proper tools in the hands of your teachers
Attendance and classroom documentation can feel like an unnecessary burden for teachers. After all, teachers are in the profession because they love what they do. Give them the tools they need to record what they must in the classroom without the documentation process being a burden.
Childcare software puts the right tools your teacher’s hands and empowers your administrative staff to focus on delighting your customers and growing your childcare center. Learn more about iCare childcare software and schedule a demo.