Upon registering or waitlisting a family through the use of ChildcareCRM's marketing automation features, the natural next step is to begin overseeing your newly enrolled family with the help of a childcare management system.
There are many benefits to using a management system at your center, including parent engagement, billing and payments, staff scheduling, and much more. However, understanding which software is best for you can be a tough decision.
Lorie Peaker, Professional Services Specialist at ChildcareCRM and former Client Implementation Specialist at Procare, has listed 3 essential decision-making factors for you and your business to consider when searching for new software.
As an Implementation Specialist, I always like to ask the question, what made you choose us? The typical responses are as follows:
“I need to be more organized”
“I need to keep track of communications with families”
“I tend to lose information about a family because I just write it down on a scratch piece of paper.”
Well, thankfully, the days of writing down a potential family’s information on a piece of paper are over, due to the advancement of technology within the childcare industry.
When choosing a management software, the first step that a director or owner usually takes is a quick Google search to find/reach out to a few prospective companies and schedule a demo. However, the process can seem a bit overwhelming… Some common questions that arise are:
“Which is the best software for me?”
“What do I need to do when choosing a management software?”
“Is this within my centers budget?”
If any of these questions sound familiar, this article is for you! I have chosen to highlight three key decision-making factors when choosing your center’s management software.
1) Price Point
One of the biggest selling points for a childcare management software is affordability, particularly when compared to what features or functionality you will be receiving in return.
When looking into a software company, it is best to ensure that the company offers a few packages which can meet the financial needs of small market centers all the way to corporate level centers. During the initial demo, your software consultant will speak to you about the needs of your center and help you determine the best software package for you based upon those needs.
2) Features and Needs
A huge selling point for any software is the ability to solve your center's pain points and specific needs. As previously mentioned, the consultant will speak with you to determine what product or key features will meet your needs based upon your discussion. Some key features to look for in a childcare management system are:
Customization of the software for your specific center
Billing management options such as payment processing and tracking payments
Communication methods such as email or texting capabilities
How easy the software is to understand and use on a regular basis
3) Training and Support
When choosing the best software for your center, one of the best questions to ask is, “what support am I going to receive upon purchasing your software?”
It is important that you have three points of contact beyond your software consultant. These three points of contact are implementation, customer success advocacy, and support.
The implementation specialist will often be your first point of contact after your agreement has been signed. Their main responsibilities are to ensure that your database is built, that all your features are working, and that you have a good understanding of how to use the software.
The next step will be the introduction of your Customer Success Advocate, or your CSA. The CSA acts as your account manager and is responsible for helping you with the day-to-day operations of your center’s software.
The final point of contact is going to be the Customer Support Team. As technology grows so does the way centers can reach out to their Customer Support team. It is best to ensure that there are multiple ways to reach a CS team, from a phone call, email, or even a live support chat.
Overall, the process can seem a bit overwhelming, but knowing where to start is the first step in finding the best management software for your center. I hope that these steps help your center begin your journey towards seeing which program is the best fit for you and your goals!
Lorie Peaker serves at a Professional Services Specialist at ChildcareCRM, where she plays a pivotal role in the training and implementation of our various software solutions. Prior to joining ChildcareCRM, Lorie worked at Procare Solutions where she gained a vast understanding of the technology and childcare industries. Lorie attended the University of Oklahoma where she majored in Religious Studies. Upon her graduation, she began her career in Operations at Groupon where Lorie quickly fell in love with customer success operations. Ultimately, she began focusing on the childcare industry because both of her brothers are teachers and she wanted to devote her time to helping centers and schools who are struggling with their day-to-day operations.