Ten years ago, I posted a Marketing Matter article called “Cell Phones Keep You in Contact.” Back then (in the Dark Ages of technology), not everyone had a cellular phone (as they used to be called). It was the year I went from a Samsung flip phone to a Blackberry, never thinking I’d get used to those tiny buttons they called a keyboard. My how times have changed.
Summer is a time when many parents with small children plan on logistics for job changes. If they can delay a job relocation until the summer when school is out, it makes for an easier transition. Fiscal years end at the end of June, so most companies will want their employees to start fresh on July 1. Relocated parents look for schools around this time as well. Is your school’s office running a full speed around this time, so that prospective new parents will be able to meet with principals for a tour of the school?
If your answer is anything less than a resounding “yes,” you might want to consider purchasing a “no plan” cell phone that the principal can carry. And yes, with all the marvels of technology, that still probably means two phones. Even if you’re able to get a second number for your primary cellphone or handheld mobile communications device, your phone is usually considered to be, well, your phone. This is a “strictly business” phone…no dataplan, no email, no apps. Just a phone.
This phone’s number can be used on promotional collateral produced for use during the summer, and this is the ONLY thing that this new phone number is used for. That way, when the phone rings, the principal knows this is a prospective parent…and that’s a phone call no one wants to miss. Not even to voicemail. Why? Voicemail gives the impression that the caller is not important enough to be responded to by a person.
While voice mail is expected after hours and on weekends, if a parent calls during business hours on a Wednesday afternoon in July and your school is closed for the whole month, that’s not going to create a strong impression for a parent of a potential students. There are still administrators who believe teachers deserve a break after a long year. While I can empathize with that (since I was a teacher once), did you know that the typical full-time employee gets two weeks off during the year? They don’t want to hear that your school is closed for the whole month of July. If you can’t answer their questions until August, I’ll bet I can draw a graph of your year-to-year enrollment figures.
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2008-2018 (Original Publication Date: 20080630)