You and your families are busier than ever. With endless to-do lists, day-to-day activities, and lives in general, it can be hard to stay in touch. You might be wondering how can you cut through the noise. Or, how you can stay top-of-mind for parents during the summer months. Planning out intentional interactions with your families can help bridge the gap and make your school stand out. Those interactions, or touchpoints, across the enrollment journey lead to a better experience for each family you interact with. They’ll also help you meet your enrollment goals.
Here’s exactly what touchpoints are and how to use them for greater personalization and enrollment success.
What Is a Touchpoint?
A touchpoint is each of the individual interactions you have with your families. Or in other words, the number of times you reach out to your net new families throughout the enrollment process. Touchpoints aren’t limited to one type of outreach, in fact, a touchpoint could be anything from an email to a text, phone call, in-person conversation, or handwritten note.
They are essential for a great customer experience and for building relationships with families at every stage of the process. The more you understand them and map them, the more effective they’ll be.
How Many Touchpoints Is Enough?
Our attention spans are shrinking, and parents are bombarded with messages and obligations all day. The best way to cut through the noise is to be consistent. In our survey of 350+ school leaders, a whopping 79% of schools said they reach out at least five times during the enrollment process. And the reality is that even five touchpoints is on the low end!
While there’s no “magic number,” and it’s up to you to determine if five, seven, 12, or 25 touchpoints works best for you and your families, you need to make sure you’re always in communication. You’ll also want to make sure that each touchpoint is distinct and families hear from you via multiple channels and from different perspectives.
Mapping Out Your Touchpoints
The bottom line is: you’ve got to stay in front of your families. To that end, it’s a great exercise to map out a series of planned touchpoints after a family inquires, after they apply, and beyond. Even better, you can map out several personalized communication plans for different stages of the admissions and enrollment process and specific types of families or students with different interests. When you outline key touchpoints and ensure you’re reaching out at key moments throughout the admissions and enrollment process can help you increase applications, yield, AND retention.
“The only way to have an effective and efficient enrollment cycle, and realistically move into retention, is if students want to stay. Families have to feel connected and feel continuity in the process. They’re walking this journey with us for the first time. And we recognize the importance of having touchpoints between when they’re admitted to when they start with us in the summer.”
– Angela Reno, Director of Admissions, Loyola High School of Los Angeles
To keep track of your touchpoints, it’s helpful to have a system to keep record of your outreach. Having one central and shared location to log dates and notes from your interactions as well as the date of the next step so you don’t fall behind can streamline these efforts. They’ll also help you ensure everyone on your team is on the same page.
Logging details about each interaction also makes it easy to refer back to past conversations so every touchpoint moving forward is consistent and personalized, no matter who on your team reaches out. While it’s ideal to have enrollment management software designed for this like SchoolAdmin, in a pinch you can even use an excel spreadsheet to track and log your touchpoints.
Automating Your Process
Even better, when you use an enrollment management platform to create automated communication plans you can automate several touchpoints at key moments to make sure families are getting the information they need or appropriate response instantaneously. You’ll also lighten your load and reduce manual labor throughout the process. That way, you can focus on optimizing your communication and outreach. Not to mention create a more cohesive experience for families.
Learn more about the ways you can reimagine the EX at your school in our latest ebook: Widening the Aperture: Redefining the Enrollment Experience.