How To Keep Your Students Longer (Part 1)
Student Retention is a problem
I was talking with a fellow Callan school owner the other day about the average length a student stays at their school and he told me that it was usually 5-6 months. When I asked him why he thought this was so, he assumed it was a money thing and that schools were like gyms, in that people lose interest after a period of time.
I disagreed with him, as in the past we had the same retention rate. We made some changes and now we hold on to our students for a lot longer than before. Before I get into this, I want to share with you the most common reasons customers leave a company.
According to Customer experience insight
- 60% of all customers stop dealing with a company because of what they perceive as indifference on the company's part
- 70% of customers leave a company because of poor service, which is usually attributed to a salesperson
- Customers who feel the service is exceptional are 10 to 15 times more likely to remain loyal
What Does This Mean For Your Callan School?
For us at our school, we identified the weaker students as the ones who leave most frequently. So we decided to focus on them first. Very rarely do “good students” leave as they are progressing and generally happy with that. It’s the weak ones that you need to keep an eye on. Weaker students who fall behind feel very frustrated as we have promised them that the Callan method will work for them. They are spending money on our service and are not getting the results they need. Yes, there will always be students who will have problems learning English, but the key to keeping them is to show them you care and make sure that they see this in practice.
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Show You Care
We use the CRM4Callan school management system at our school, which has a very simple grading system that the teachers use at the end of each class when they take attendance. As they take attendance, they put one of 3 symbols beside the student’s name. This is something you can very simply do at your school by adding an extra row for this on your attendance sheets
- A minus sign (–) means the student performed badly in the lesson
- A zero sign (0) means they were so-so
- A plus sign (+) means they were good
If a student gets a minus sign 3 classes in a row, they are flagged automatically on the CRM, and the office contacts the student for a private consultation to talk with them about their progress. This shows the student that they are important in our eyes.
This takes a few extra seconds on the teacher's part, but it makes a huge difference to the student. They feel the school cares about them. This caring goes a long way toward retaining students.
(CRM4Callan student attendance & progress feature for teachers)
A Production Line
Callan schools can sometimes feel like a production line in the way we teach our students. This can sometimes lead to students feeling a little unappreciated, which leads to them leaving. People rely on their emotional experiences more than anything else when it comes to choosing or staying with a school. So this is one of the things we need to fix if we want to keep our students for a longer period of time.
Today's School Market
In today’s school market, students have a lot of choices when it comes to picking a school. If you want to stand out among the competition, you have to show that we care about our student’s progress and really mean it. How would you feel if you paid for a service that promised you great results but the company cared little about you once they got your money?I hope you can incorporate this into your school as it will help you a lot in keeping your students happier and keeping them for longer. Don't forget that recommendations are a huge part of attracting new students.
This process will maintain a good level of happiness amongst your students, which translates into a lot more recommendations. When you go out of your way in customer service, people notice, and are consequently much more likely to mention it to colleagues, friends, family and acquaintances. News about your school can spread like wildfire if you incorporate the right strategies to maintain and increase current student numbers, while sincerely caring about your students as well.
Head teacher of Inicijativa school at Split, Croatia