In 2020, 56% of open childcare centres lost money every single day.
While some of the damage has been reversed since then, many childcare centres are still losing family leads and wasting valuable staff time due to manual enrolment tasks. This leads to decreased revenue for owners, staff, and teams.
It’s vital to find a solution to stop losing leads and better prioritise staff time. Read on to see ways your childcare business may be leaving money on the table and how to fix these issues.
Problems to Avoid at Your Centres
Across 4 states, issues in childcare management led to a $479 million-$3.47 billion annual loss for their economies. To avoid these problems in your own organisation, there are 5 revenue-wasting problems that you should be aware of:
1) Letting Leads Slip Through the Cracks
When enrolment staff are asked to collect lead information from multiple places like email, text, phone calls, voicemails, Facebook, websites, and more – leads fall through the cracks. And if they do manage to find all the leads who have recently enquired for care, they still have to manually enter family lead data into spreadsheets, notebooks, and binders. This contributes to incorrect contact information and missed enrolment opportunities.
Save staff time, reduce data errors, and stop digging through paper files. Ensure no lead is misplaced or forgotten with a childcare lead management system that organises family information in a central hub. Look for a solution that automatically captures leads from your website, emails, phone calls, and Facebook – even when you’re away from your desk.
2) Delayed or No Follow-Up
30-50% of consumers purchase from the companies that respond to their enquiries first, indicating that fast follow-up is vital to enrolment success.
The likelihood of enrolling a new family drops 21 times if you respond to parents in 30 minutes, compared to 5 minutes. But when centre directors are busy caring for enrolled families, it can be difficult to respond to messages from parents during the work day. Don’t give your competitors a head start on enrolment. Follow up fast on new enquiries with automated emails and text messages to stay top of mind with potential families.
But remember, follow-up doesn’t end after a family's initial enquiry. In marketing, there’s a communication guideline called ‘The Rule of 7' that states a prospective family needs to hear, see, or read about your childcare program an average of seven times to become most likely to enrol. So, your staff should follow up with families at every enrolment stage to ensure maximum conversion success.
How to Implement the Rule of 7 at Your Locations:
Did you know only 1 in 4 centres follow up with families and 80% of childcare providers give up after the third attempt to engage with a family?
For optimal conversion success when implementing The Rule of 7, follow these tips:
Repetition is key. Use similar messaging, imagery, and contact information in your marketing so that people become more familiar with you each time they see or hear about you. Consistent communication helps to build your brand and establish a reputation with families.
Respond faster with workflow automation. 63% of companies that use automation software outperform their competitors. Parents have an overwhelming number of childcare options. Workflow automation allows your teams to automatically send and schedule your follow-up communications and other marketing emails or texts, so your centre remains top of mind.
Nurture and guide families through your enrolment pipeline. The ideal range to properly nurture families through enrolment is 5-10 workflow automations.
Example workflow automation sequence
3) Lack of Personalisation and Customisation
Impersonal content generates 83% lower response rates in an average marketing campaign than personalised messages. Today’s parents prefer communicating with businesses that humanise their communications.
Increase response rates with custom drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are behaviour-based automations that allow your staff to communicate with prospective families based on how they interact with the content they’re sharing- ensuring your brand is always sending the right message at the right time.
Build Personalised Marketing Campaigns that Convert:
Drip campaigns can be used throughout the entire prospective parent’s journey to enrolment and are also powerful tools for re-engaging families.
For example, in a typical drip campaign, you might send out an email to all prospective parents who haven’t yet completed enrolment forms. Those who opened and clicked through could then be given a task in your CRM for a staff member to follow up with them by phone. Those who did not open the email could automatically be sent a text reminder. Drip campaigns tailor your enrolment experience to each parent.
Example email drip campaign sequence
Use Variable Tags to Add a Personal Touch to Messages
Deliver emails and text messages that are personalised to fit parents’ needs – using variable tags in an automated lead management system. Childcare centres can highlight unique program benefits and features according to age groups or the specific interests of a group of people.
With the right childcare CRM solution, easily store communication templates and automate personalisation, allowing franchise teams to build meaningful connections with families without lifting a finger.
Variable tags like [Lead First Name] or [Location Name] can be used to automate messages to parent segments that speak to their unique needs.
Email template with variable tags
4) Wasted Staff Time
Between hosting tours, building waitlists, and picking up enrolment packets – there’s not a lot of time for franchise teams to complete their daily enrolment to-do lists.
70% of workers say the biggest opportunity of automation lies in reducing time wasted on repetitive tasks. Find a solution to manage tasks across franchise locations, while allowing corporate teams to help out with tasks from a distance or run reports on how franchises are performing. See current and upcoming tasks (monitor their completion rates), decrease manual work, and automate assigning follow-up tasks or sending reminders with a childcare CRM.
Plus, a timeline of tasks can be maintained for each family in your CRM and accessed at the franchise or corporate level, allowing your entire team to remain in the loop on what’s been completed and what needs extra attention. Franchise staff can easily see which phone calls need to be made, emails/texts need to be sent, or who is coming in for a tour so that they know how to plan their daily, weekly, or monthly schedules.
5) Not Tracking Performance
Without tracking performance, it’s tough for you or your franchisees to know which advertising channels are working, how staff is performing, and where families are falling out of the enrolment pipeline. When your entire enrolment process is manual, there’s no easy way to identify what’s contributing to won or lost revenue
Enrolment reporting allows you to gain real-time insights across individual, regional, or corporate levels to make data-driven decisions. For example, the Source of Families report in ChildcareCRM identifies all the channels where leads are coming from and how many families came from each one – allowing you and your franchise owners to make important decisions about their marketing and advertising efforts.
Source of Families report in ChildcareCRM
Plus, with a childcare CRM, easily monitor the conversion success rate at each stage in the parent’s journey. With this information, you can make changes to existing processes and campaigns to increase enrolment and revenue.
Stop Leaving Money on the Table and Wasting Revenue with LineLeader by ChildcareCRM
Marketing is the growth engine for every childcare centre. But missed leads, slow response times, a complex parent experience, and lack of reporting make marketing difficult. Busy and overworked staff often don’t have time to complete every manual-but-necessary marketing activity, so opportunities are lost.
Get more from your marketing while saving staff 10 hours every week with LineLeader. Automate everything from lead capture to reporting—all from one place.
Schedule a demo to take the next step and effortlessly increase revenue across your childcare centres.