The main goal behind running a Facebook marketing campaign is to increase the number of tours for your Montessori school. However, once you begin to receive a steady stream of appointment requests, the next hurdle is how to manage them all. In this post, we’ll share how to successfully schedule tours of your Montessori school. Let’s get started.
Take A Closer Look at Automation
The best way to ensure timely scheduling is to rely on automation. Here’s how appointment automation works:
It starts with email. After clicking on your Facebook ad, the prospective parent will be taken to a landing page. A landing page is a page on your website that’s stripped of any menu navigation options. It’s purpose is to accomplish a desired action. In this case, your desired action is either to invite them to your email list or to encourage them to schedule a tour of the school (oftentimes, both).
If the parent chooses to sign up for your email list only, they may not schedule the tour right away. But as long as you have their permission to market to them over email (which you have unless they unsubscribe from your list), you can continue to send gentle reminders along with persuasive reasons to schedule a tour.
Once the prospective parent decides to schedule a tour, they simply click on the link presented in your email. This link will likely say something similar to “Schedule your tour with our school now.” After clicking on the link, the parent will be sent to another landing page. This landing page will be similar to the first one however, instead of asking for their email address, this time you’ll ask them to schedule a time for their tour.
After selecting the perfect time, the newly scheduled prospective parent will receive an email confirmation automatically.
As you can see, all of this happens without you or your staff needing to lift one finger. And that’s just one of the benefits of appointment automation. Here are a few other reasons why you should automate this process:
Eliminate missed appointments
Humans are humans, and sometimes, humans make mistakes. For example, one of the very human people on your staff can fail to schedule an appointment. Or could fail to confirm that appointment.
Alternatively, the prospective parent may simply forget about the appointment. And if your busy staff doesn’t have time to remind the prospective parent that they’ve scheduled a tour, you’ve lost that opportunity.
Free up your staff to do other tasks
While managing appointments is a crucial part of growing your Montessori school, it can quickly become an all-encompassing task. Without an automation system in place, your staff can spend hours each week fielding phone calls and replying to appointment requests that were made via email or left on sticky notes. Instead of adding yet another thing to your staff to-do list, let automation do the work for them.
Inform everyone at once
The prospective family and your administrative staff aren’t not the only interested parties. Your teachers also play a crucial role in school tours. When you automate your tour appointments, everyone who’s involved will get instant notification that a tour has been booked.
This is huge because it means that your teachers will also be prepared for the tour. Instead of relying on endless internal staff emails and/or impromptu in person relays, everyone who needs to know will be notified automatically. This notification includes parents, teachers and administrators.
Now that we’ve taken a close look at how automation works, let’s discuss what’s needed to make it work flawlessly.
Pick the Perfect Tour Time
When is the best time to schedule a tour for your school?
While it’s important to give prospective families a plethora of time and date options, don’t forget that you have the ultimate say. It’s up to you when you’ll allow prospective families to tour your school.
This realization can be both freeing and terrifying, especially if you’re not sure when works best. Here are a few tips to help you determine when to block off your tour times:
Do it during the school year when class is session. While touring your empty classrooms with a helpful guide can be enlightening, it’s much easier to understand the Montessori Method when one sees it in action.
Consider offering tours in the late morning. During this time block (from 9am to 11am), students and teachers are usually settled into the day and ready to accommodate visitors. Many schools prefer morning because it’s before the lunch craze and the afternoon slump, which also affects prospective families.
Determine what time of the year would make sense to offer tours. Often, the beginning and the end of the school year can be a flurry of activity, and difficult for prospective families to see the true Montessori Method in action.
Encourage prospective families to make a multiple tours of your school to observe different classes and age groups. This invitation often helps prospective families understand how the Montessori Method grows with the child.
Confirm the Tour Appointment Immediately
After a prospective parent has scheduled a tour, don’t waste time. Confirm the appointment immediately. Otherwise, the parent will be left wondering if the appointment request went through or not.
Don’t leave them guessing.
This is another reason why appointment automation is amazing. Instead of relying on a human to manually confirm, you can set up the system to automatically do so.
Also Offer Pen & Paper
At the beginning of your tour, offer a pen and notepad in case the touring parent has any questions.
In fact, actively encourage them to list as many questions as they can. You want to fully answer all of their questions to knock out any objection to enrollment.
End the Tour With a Strong Call to Action
Once the prospective parent has reached the end of the school tour, it’s time to make a strong call to action. Otherwise, the parent won’t have a clear understanding of what to do next.
Should they mull it over?
Should they ask questions?
Should they schedule another tour?
Should they immediately submit an application?
It’s up to you to determine the best action. Sure, it would be awesome if the parent submitted an application right then and there, but be ready if that’s not the case.
If you think it’s best for them to ask questions instead, draw out questions, and spend time truly going into the answers.
If you’re driving applications, use a blend of urgency and fear of missing out to convince them to apply. For example, you can mention that you’re only accepting X amount of students this upcoming school year, and you’re almost at your limit.
Also, be sure to hand out printed marketing materials that discuss your school (such as your school’s history and esteemed staff). You should also take this opportunity to describe the Montessori method and how well children respond to it.
Managing appointments for your Montessori school is a heck of a lot easier when you automate the process. Use these tips to ensure a smooth scheduling process for both your prospective parents and your administrative staff.