Last week we talked about the importance of making a good first impression when a prospective parent calls your program or handling the call of a current parent appropriately. This week we’ll go into a bit more detail on making sure that parents are satisfied with your program. It’s a lot less difficult and expensive to keep the clients you already have than it is to get new clients.
We all work on fostering parent satisfaction every day. First and foremost, we provide high-quality care for their children. In addition, we greet them and their children at the door by name, with a smile; give them a quick run-down of the day when they pick up their children; post menus and lesson plans so that they understand what is happening in the program. Frequent and open communication is one of the most powerful tools we have in keeping parents satisfied.
Even though we have regular communication with the parents, we also need to have formal procedures in place to measure their satisfaction with our program. We have an annual Parent Satisfaction Survey that we use to solicit input from, ideally, every parent in our program. We start with the basics such as which classroom each of their children attends and how long they have been in that classroom. Then we get to the nitty-gritty like:
- Overall satisfaction
- Health and safety
- Child satisfaction
- Staff qualifications and performance
- Staffing levels
- Program hours
- Classroom activities and supplies
- Opportunities for parent involvement
Some parents are very open in their regular communication with us, but others are not so open. Surveying parents regularly gives us an opportunity to reach out in a very non-threatening way to those parents who are a bit quieter with their thoughts and opinions. If you don’t already have a Parent Satisfaction Survey, check ours out here.