It’s no secret that personalized experiences drive customer loyalty. In fact, 80% of consumers have a higher probability of buying from a business that provides personalized experiences (spectrum). And 44% of consumers become repeat buyers after they have a personalized experience with a brand. In other words, families will be more likely to enroll and stay at your school when their experience is personalized. One way to personalize your admissions process and future interactions with your families down the line is by customizing your parent portal in SchoolAdmin. Here are a few reasons this type of personalization is so impactful, and ideas for customizing your portal.
Why Should I Customize The Parent Portal?
Personalizing every step of the admissions process can make or break a family’s overall experience and decision to enroll at your school. Families are accustomed to streamlined and personalized experiences when it comes to technology. Busy parents seek convenience. They want easily accessible information and messaging tailored to their child’s unique interests and needs.
Updating and customizing your parent portal can help you provide the desired, and even expected, experience families are looking for. Families at every stage of the admissions and enrollment process will likely be spending a significant amount of time uploading documents, viewing their checklist, and signing up for events via the portal. In a sense, it’s an extension of your school and your office, so you want to make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. The customizations you make can help families feel welcome and provide them with the information or details they need.
On top of providing convenience, accessibility, and personalization, you also want to keep wooing your families even once they’ve been accepted and enrolled. Making every interaction intentional and personalized will help you continue to impress your families every time they log in to make a payment, update an address, or provide a new document to ensure the decision to re-enroll is an easy one. After all, it’s never too early to start thinking about your retention strategy.
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Ideas for Customizing Your Parent Portal
There are a ton of ways to add personal details to the parent portal in SchoolAdmin. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Highlight key deadlines or important dates
If your application deadline, admission decision, or enrollment contract deadline is coming up, let parents know loud and clear. Add upcoming dates and deadlines to your parent portal so they keep those details top of mind.
2. Include links to documents they care about
You can provide direct links to documents like a school viewbook, student handbook, or school calendar in the parent portal to reduce the time parents spend searching for what they need. You can even link to a blog post or recent newsletter to help every family stay connected.
3. Incorporate Videos and Pictures
Use your parent portal to get families excited about your school by displaying engaging images or videos from school events, clubs, and more. Or make them feel welcomed into the community by displaying an introduction video from your Head of School—you can even display a different video for different segments. For example, maybe you have one video for middle schoolers and another for high schoolers. Or one version for boarding students and another for day students Get creative—the world is your oyster!
4. Provide information relevant to them
Include general information about your school. You can include contact information for the key admissions, enrollment, and business office contacts that your families may need to reach throughout the process. Eliminating clicks and search time will make them more likely to reach out and reduce bumps or friction.
5. Highlight interests they care most about
If you collect student’s academic or athletic interests on your application or elsewhere, you can use that data to highlight the excellent programs your school offers. For example, if a student indicated an interest in science, you might display a picture from your STEM Club. Or if a student indicated an interest in soccer, you might link to a schedule of upcoming games and invite them to attend one.
6. Customize content by grade or status
You can even customize content by a student’s grade or status so they see what’s most relevant to them. That can be anything from displaying a different welcome video for new vs returning students or providing different articles or links for day vs boarding students.
There are many unique ways to make the parent portal personalized for each student and family. So let your creativity run wild. Even just a few updates can enhance the parent experience and ensure the process you offer is simplified, streamlined, and more fun all at the same time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Web and Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, story-telling, coffee, and creating content that connects.