Improve Your Daycare Business by Focusing on Customer Relationships

A continuation of "Improve Your Daycare Business by Focusing on the Three Pillars"

Customer Relationships

If you provide value but your customers don’t see it, does that value exist?

Have you ever seen two small children talking to each other on the playground about how great their preschool or daycare is? Not likely, but anyone who has ever spent time on a popular playground knows that this topic dominates the bench where the parents hang out. Daycare operators should always remember that no matter how great the experience you provide for children is (and hopefully it’s excellent), if your parents don’t see that excellence, it might as well not exist. Don’t assume that the joy your children exhibit in the classroom will waft into their parents’ awareness as if by osmosis. Be intentional about ensuring that the value you provide is communicated. This is the essence of customer relationships.

Being intentional about what your paying customers—your parents—experience means looking to the very start of your relationship with them to begin building those positive feelings and the perception of value that will lead them to enroll, renew and then recommend you to friends. This is called customer relationship management, and it is a highly prized skill in the sales industry. As in many other industries, it can take multiple engagements or touch points with a customer for a daycare operator to “make the sale,” or enroll a family’s children. It is important to approach every interaction you have with a potential or current customer as an opportunity to convert them into someone who will use, recommend and remain loyal to your business.

Nurture Your Leads

When a parent calls a daycare to inquire about availability, they are what the sales industry would call a “hot lead.” That means they want to make a decision to spend their money somewhere fairly quickly. If you aren’t one of the first three businesses to return their call, you will likely lose the sale before you even have a chance to make your pitch. Do you have a rule for how quickly calls must be returned? At Callahan Learning Center, we make it a policy to return all calls within business hours—not days. Do you track whether you are meeting those targets?

The sales industry has built impressive customer relationship management (CRM) software programs to help businesses optimize their customer relationships. Unfortunately, many of these programs can’t handle the complex dynamics of daycare, with multiple children and their ages tied to each customer. A solution to consider is Child Care CRM, the only software I’m aware of that specifically optimizes managin