Word of mouth is the number one way that new families are referred to our school. That’s why we often ask you, our parents, to be sure to talk about our school to your friends, neighbors, family–anyone who might be interested. But another way word of mouth works is through reviews of our school online.
You might have noticed our Facebook page has a review option. You can rate us with 1 to 5 starts, and you have the option to leave more detailed feedback. Great Schools also has a similar review feature, as does Private School Review. Those are just a few of the places you can leave a review. Currently, we rate 4 out of 5 stars on Facebook and Great Schools.
Rarely is an online review, be it positive or negative, the sole factor in deciding whether or not to enroll in our school. However, for those parents who may not know someone personally at the school, this is one way for them to get a little insight into the school from a parents’ perspective.
A positive review can help encourage a family to consider enrolling here, which makes a huge difference to our current families. How? Because growing our enrollment means that we will have a stronger school, with more money in the budget to improve the curriculum, hire more teachers, expand extra-curricular offerings, and keep tuition costs down. More families also mean a larger pool of volunteers to draw from.
The opposite is also true. Negative reviews may go in a family’s “Con” column, and discourage them from enthusiastically enrolling. It makes our job in Enrollment Management that much harder to convince families that Mother Seton School is the best place for their child. Lower enrollment means less money to improve upon our school, higher tuition rates to make up the difference, and fewer families to tap as volunteers.
Have you ever seen signs at businesses that read, “If you had a great experience, tell a friend! If you have a bad experience, tell us!”? We feel the same way. We understand that not everyone is happy with the school for various reasons. And we would never ask anyone to be dishonest and leave a 5-star review for us if they truly didn’t feel it in their heart. But if you do have an issue with the school that would make you want to leave a negative review, we hope that you would tell us first so we could have the chance to make things right or address any concerns. This is why we have an anonymous parent satisfaction survey each year. The results of the survey go the Board of Directors–the people who oversee the school and administration here, i.e., the people in a position to make changes. Your online review, however, will most likely only be seen by prospective families, whether it’s positive or negative.
So before you submit your next review, ask yourself this:
- Is it a fair evaluation?
- Am I specific in my praise/criticism?
- Does my review provide useful information for prospective families?
Word of mouth can make all the difference in recruiting new students and growing our student base, and can affect the quality of education and school culture at MSS. What word will you be spreading?