If you’re convinced by Parent Experience thinking, but you’re not sure how to chart a roadmap towards a better prospective parent experience, look no further. Learning how to use an Enrolment Journey is the secret ingredient.

What comes to your mind when you think about your enrolment process?

If you’re a business or finance manager, your mind probably goes to interviews, compliance, due diligence and information gathering.

If you’re a registrar or involved in marketing/communications, you might think about tours, open days and application forms.

All of these things are important, but they don’t see the bigger picture.

The risk for schools is that if different stages of the enrolment process are owned by different team members, siloed and bound by their own measures of success, it’s very easy for a parent to be left in the dark and unsure of their next step.

At best, it feels clunky. At worst, a parent chooses to proceed with another school who guides them through the process more fluidly.

In reality, your school’s enrolment process is a journey. The journey starts from the moment a prospective parent learns about your school and moves through 6 steps until the families first day of school.

1. Discovery

The Discovery Stage is all about awareness. Families are introduced to the school through targeted marketing efforts or word of mouth. The goal is to capture their attention and ignite curiosity, prompting them to explore further.

2. Research

    If their interest is piqued in Discovery, parents move to Research, conducting more in-depth research to evaluate the school’s offerings and positioning in the educational landscape. Here, they seek compelling evidence and testimonials to validate the school’s promises.

    3. Tour/Enquire

      In the Tour/Enquire Stage, families take active steps to investigate enrolment, and come on-site for the first time in the journey. Guided tours and personalised enquiries provide valuable touch-points for nurturing relationships and addressing any lingering doubts or objections.

      4. Apply

        Families formally initiate the enrolment process by submitting the enrolment application.

        5. Enrol

          As families progress into the Enrolment Stage, they attend one or more interviews. The school, in accordance with its enrolment policies and availability will make an offer.

          6. Onboard

            Onboarding focuses on delivering a seamless and engaging onboarding experience, ensuring families feel confident and supported as they transition into the school community in the time between enrolment acceptance and first day of school.

            The ‘journey’ language is important because it helps school administrators see beyond operational necessity into a world of building meaningful relationships.

            Over time, smart schools build performance indicators into their enrolment journey, ensuring the parent experience is fantastic for the entire length of the journey.

            Different people can still own their section of the journey, but now there is a central narrative that ties these together, immediately improving the administration efficiency and experience for prospective parents.

            The benefits begin to flow:

            • With Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Digistorm Funnel, you can align your administration system to the same journey, meaning that with a relatively low amount of work, your entire admissions, admin, finance and leadership team can have clear visibility across the entire journey.
            • Decision-making across the breadth of admissions becomes clearer
            • Marketing and communication teams are empowered to execute great campaigns with effective messaging and manage the school website and newsletter with confidence
            • Parents needs throughout the journey are easier to identify, making it easier to communicate effectively
            • The enrolment process is de-coupled from key people, reducing key person risk and ensuring longevity

            An enrolment journey orients your admissions team around a single story that explains how a family discovers, researches, tours, applies, accepts and onboards into your school.

            If you don’t have centralised enrolment journey, you are probably finding that enquiries aren’t tracked, communication gets missed with parents and your administration load feels really heavy.

            Ultimately, the school who builds a stronger, more authentic relationship throughout the enrolment journey is very likely to be the one who gains a family over the school down the road that also has a caring environment and great facilities.

            P.s. We’ve built a 6-Step Enrolment Journey Map – just for your school. We want as many schools jumping on board with this thinking, so we’ve made it super easy to get started.

            • Built in Miro, ready for you to customise and share with your team
            • Actionable insights to assess and improve at every stage
            • Understand your parents needs at every stage
            • Reporting metrics to measure success
            • Platform and channel recommendations
            • Strategic objectives to understand success