Standing Out in a Crowded School Market

Let’s face it the school market is very competitive. Parents have many choices when it comes to selecting a school for their child.

While it is essential to communicate and showcase your school’s strengths and unique benefits, it is also critical for your school to stand out.

Exceptional customer service can help your school stand out in a crowded marketplace.

When you serve your current and prospective parents in an exceptional way or do something that is memorable, this creates an experience that will be talked about and passed on to others. This is your best form of marketing—when you get your parents talking about your school based on what they actually experienced.

Take a moment and consider the overall experience and service that you give to your current and prospective parents. The following are some important questions:

  • Is your service exceptional?
  • Do you have service expectations for your faculty and staff?
  • Do you have a customer service creed?
  • Are you creating memorable moments for your parents and students?
  • What is the first impression of your school that a parent receives?

Donna Cutting, in her book The Celebrity Experience, suggests that we need to treat our customers as celebrities. Cutting shows how to turn your customers into life-long relationships by delivering consistent, high quality, red-carpet customer service.

Applying this concept to your school, your parents and students are your celebrities—they are the reason why your school exists. You must do everything you can to serve your parents and students in an exceptional ways—so that your school’s total experience is outstanding.

As you consider this timely topic, I want to encourage you to read Cutting’s book. It’s one of the best that I have ever read on this subject. During my next couple of blog posts, I will highlight some of the ideas she discusses and how this can be applied to your school—including the WOW experience and rolling out the red carpet.

So, go ahead and treat your parents, students and visitors like celebrities. Your school might stand out in the crowded school market!

2 Responses to Standing Out in a Crowded School Market

  1. I agree with making parents and students actually feel as though they are celebrities. This wind of change, presents greater opportunities for a college or seminary to truly serve the parents and students uniquely and impact retention efforts. No longer is this a time that colleges have the luxury of picking and choosing who attends their prestigious institution. It is all about providing exemplary service to the parents and students. I have worked at a high regarded retail store. One of the best experiences I have had. In order to be successful in retail you must treat ever customer as if they are celebrity or the only person in the store. The same principle applies as it relates to recruitment and retention. I have used the principles learned in my profession now as a recruiter. Honestly, customer service is the determining factor whether or not I will make a purchase from any store. It matters and it works.

    • ricknewberry says:

      Constance–Thanks for your additional insight and experience. Businesses and retailers have been the ones to lead the charge in customer service as they long ago discovered that this is the key for selling their product not just once but to gaining a customer for life. The same is true in the educational world as the impression and service our institution, faculty and staff makes may persuade a prospect to enroll or motivate a current student to stay. It would be great to learn more about how you are applying your retail service experience in your position at the college and seminary.

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