Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Virtual schools -- will your families really recommend you?

I know they say they will when you ask them in your survey. But, will they really recommend you?

Peruse any virtual school web site and most have a graph or announcement that touts 95% or 97% or 96.5% of their families would recommend them to another family.

Then why don't they? Take a look at attrition rates and retention rates and one has to wonder who the 95% are that said they would recommend their school when 40-50% of them are leaving each year.

In my time spent today with the Disney Research Team I was impressed by not only how they ask the questions but also how willing they are to find out the truth. They are not searching for platitudes to place on a web site, rather they are searching for ways to improve their service, enhance the guest experience, and uncover combustion points in their delivery.

What if virtual schools took a similar path in their research?

What if virtual schools stopped asking families questions for web site graphics and started researching why families are leaving.

Why do families say they will recommend you but don't?

Why do families start your school but never engage?

Why do they leave less than one month after committing to you?

Why do they not return the following year after telling you how great you are?

The answers they provide may surprise you. And, you will have to work hard to understand the real answers being given -- these go beyond the ones they give you.

Finally, if all you do is send out surveys once or twice a year, well, you will only receive web site poster material. However, if you are serious about knowing your customer then you will have multiple listening posts, gathering data in a myriad of ways, and seeking input throughout the year.


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