With the current economy, maintaining a stable and profitable enrollment base, as well as an updated and active waiting list, are key ingredients to the prosperity of your child care, daycare or preschool. Maintaining records to track the success of various advertising campaigns, new contacts generated, referral sources, and how many contacts move on to become customers, are all important ingredients to successful growth.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at using Procare Software® to track these items so owners and directors can reliably see results.
Track Marketing Sources
Procare includes a very powerful database that can accomplish a wide variety of tasks, extending way beyond the scope of daily child care management. One of these is a Customer Relationship Management database, or CRM.
Set Up Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Procare HomeConfiguration > System > Database Management > Tracking Items & User Defined Fields How to Set Up Tracking
Hint: If you have multiple centers and wish to set up different marketing sources by site, use Local Tracking. If you have one center (or multiple centers) and wish to create a consistent list, use Global Tracking.
Within Account tracking, create a Group Name called Marketing or Advertising, Referral Source, etc. The Group Type should be Single Item, as incoming, prospective customers should have one primary referral source assigned to them.
Your list should be expanded as new campaigns are promoted. For instance, if you do a big open house every year, make sure to create an “Open House” item (with the year) so you can evaluate the success from year to year.
Use Child Enrollment Status
Next, configure your Child Enrollment Status options. You’ll use this to follow each child from initial contact through pre-registration and enrollment, etc. Go to Configuration > System > Database Management > Status & Relationships.
Benefit from Your CRM
A CRM database is only as good as its input and only as reliable as the information updated by staff. Consistent usage, for EVERY potential and active child, is necessary to receive meaningful information.
Remember the Basics
When a parent first contacts the center, be sure to get the basics:
- Parent’s Name
- Email Address
- Cell and Home Phone
- Number of Children and Ages (or Dates of Birth)
- Type of Care or Program Needed
- and ideally, Home Address and Children’s Names
If the parent doesn’t provide the home address or children’s names, that’s okay. You still have enough to set up the account and communicate with the parent. In this day and age, email is almost more crucial than having a home address, so be sure to GET their EMAIL. Hint: If you receive a home phone number, an Online Reverse Lookup will give you the physical address.
Keep in mind, Procare’s Online Wait List (OWL) system provides you with an online resource for parents to contact you and submit information for waiting lists and pre-registration, so very minimal data entry would need to be performed by staff.
Example of an Account with Minimal Information
In this example I have the parent(s) names, email address and a few phone numbers. In tracking, I can see how they heard about the center and the family’s account status. For the child, I have a name, date of birth, desired classroom, and current enrollment status.
Build the enrollment screen as the child progresses toward enrollment, such as:
- First Contact / First Tour
- Waiting List
Whatever your milestones, be sure to define them all the way through why the child might leave your center. Withdrawal information is important for building an alumni database, keeping in touch with former fund raising contacts and tracking longevity of enrollment, as well as the reason for leaving.