Does your enrolment strategy include text messaging? If not, it’s time to consider it!
Over the course of the last several years there has been a marked shift in how Australia’s younger parents are engaging with early childhood education and care (ECEC) services after they have made initial contact seeking enrolment.
The ‘tried and tested’ historic communication channels like email and phone calls are not yielding the response rates required to optimise lead conversions, and for some services this is starting to create challenges as enrolments suffer.
“There is no doubt that the communication preferences of today’s families are shifting away from traditional channels,” Brett Neller, CEO of Lineleader by ChildcareCRM explained.
“Email, phone calls and even walk-ins are on the decline, and in their place is a strong and pronounced shift towards text messaging.”
Recognising this trend, and embedding processes and systems that can match parent’s preferences, is essential to staying ‘ahead of the curve’ in what is an increasingly competitive market place.
Understanding today’s families needs – Why texting is the new normal
The vast majority of parents of children under the age of twelve years were born between 1980 and 1995 and fall into the broader demographic descriptor of “millennials.”
Having grown up as ‘digital natives’ this generation of parents prefer to text rather than talk. Texting is seen as more convenient because responding is on their time table and a significant portion may see that they have voice messages but never even respond to them.
“We often call out just how adaptable our educators need to be to respond to the evolving needs of the children in their care but as services leaders the fact is that a similar degree of adaptability is required to continue to stay relevant to families,” Brett said.
“There are statistics that suggest some millennials are sending up to 50 messages a day to friends, families and other contacts a day and that text open rates are as high as 98 per cent. If that is the case, wouldn’t it make sense to do what they are doing anyway?”
As a global leader in CRM services Lineleader by ChildcareCRM has observed the shift away from traditional communication modes towards texting across all of its networks and has responded by building a text messaging feature that includes automation, personalisation and group communication.
How to build an enrolment strategy that boosts engagement and enrolment using text
The key to success when developing a text strategy is to motivate more families to connect with a service and in doing so increase enrolment rates prior to enrolment and engagement post enrolment.
After an extended period of customer consultation and feedback Lineleader by ChildcareCRM have developed a text platform that support services to deliver on the following must haves:
1. Message creation – Create professional text or templates in a few clicks. Easily personalise texts with variable tags that include key information like the parent’s name, location of interest and more.
2. Message storage – Store text templates and response threads quickly and easily so that time can be saved when composing a new one or old messages searched and checked easily if a parent queries something.
3. Message responses – Text is the ultimate real time two way communications mode so having the ability to respond in the moment is essential.
4. Reporting and analysis – Continual improvement is at the heart of early childhood education and care so the ability to review past messages and find ways to be better are a must have.
“We are very fortunate to have been at the forefront of building CRM platforms for ECEC providers that cater for their text needs,” Brett added.
“All of the learnings we have picked up along the way are included in our system and make managing this essential tool so much easier for organisations, particularly those that are looking to engage with families at scale across larger networks.”
To learn more about how and why Millennials are transforming engagement preferences in the early learning sector download this useful infographic created by LineLeader by ChildcareCRM.
To organise a demo of LineLeader by ChildcareCRM’s text capabilities to support the creation of a text based strategy for your service click here.
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