In the age of instant gratification, response times matter more than ever. From the moment an inquiry makes contact with your center, the seconds make the difference in whether or not they’re a win. Response times have a significant impact on the rate of conversion for inquiries. In our recent Enrollment Benchmarks report we found that our top performing centers had booked 85% of their tours within 24 hours. By contrast our lowest performing centers booked 70% or less of their tours in the same period of time.
What exactly is “Lead Response Time?”
Lead Response Time is the measure of how long it takes a business to reply to a potential customer. In the case of the child care industry, it’s how long it takes a center to reply to a parent’s enrollment inquiry and get them scheduled for a tour.
Why time to scheduling tours is important to your conversion success
It not only serves to differentiate your business from other child care providers, but keeps your business top of mind while parents are still engaged in the process of inquiring about enrollment. Think about how parents look for a provider, or how you yourself might try to find services online. By the time a parent reaches out for potential enrollment, they’ve likely researched multiple providers and decided yours was worth reaching out to alongside a few others. It quickly becomes about who responds first.
Though the relationship between response time and inquiries isn’t unique to the child care industry, it remains immensely relevant to a provider’s ability to connect with their inquiries. In an article by Forbes they stated:
“[A] rep is 100x less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission. The odds of making contact drop by 3000x if the first call is made 5 hours after lead submission.”
These statistics relate strictly to making contact with inquiries. The ability just to even open a dialogue is influenced from the start by response times. It also impacts the quality of the conversation and can determine whether or not it leads to an inquiry conversion.
Urgency is the name of the game
Let’s be honest though, thirty minutes and even five hours as response time goals are both really difficult standards to meet. If inquiries come in during business hours, you’re likely tied up with day-to-day operations and you might not even see the email or hear the voicemail in the first hour. There’s also a good chance you’ll receive inquiries outside of business hours. In these instances, without an opportunity to self serve and schedule their own tour, they’re more likely to move on to a child care provider who does.
Incremental changes in response times can have a far-reaching impact on both the success rate of your inquiries as well as the quality of your inquiries. As a childcare provider, parents expect a responsive provider, and their first interactions with your center are often centered around this initial contact.
Failing to meet even baseline expectations like response times can deter inquiries from following through with enrollment in your center. It also gives inquiries the opportunity to research competitors and even move forward with them, should they respond more quickly.
But with a few simple tools you’re able to largely mediate this gap in communication:
- Self Scheduled tours allow inquiries to directly set their own tour appointment, allowing for a frictionless inquiry that lends itself to a higher conversion
- Set an automated email notification to inquiries so that even when you’re not personally able to reply to them directly, the inquiry is still getting a response and by extension still engaged in a dialogue with your center
- Utilizing a CRM mobile app can ensure you always have access to your database
In a world where seconds count, we help you respond first.