One of the most valuable marketing tools available to you as a daycare business owner is a glowing review from a happy parent. Positive reviews from past and current clients offer a great impression of your business to prospective clients in search of childcare options on the Internet and in your local community. In this article, we explore practical ways to get parent reviews for your daycare program and use positive reviews to grow your business.
How Do You Get Parent Reviews?
Some daycare owners may be hesitant to solicit feedback from parents for fear of sounding pushy or salesy, or because it feels awkward and they aren’t sure how to go about it. These fears are common, but don’t let them hold you back from taking the initiative to ask for reviews from your clients. According to a recent BrightLocal marketing survey, “79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.” If so many consumers place such a high priority on online reviews, you definitely want to take advantage of parent reviews to position your daycare business in a positive light.
Here are some practical tips for asking parents to review your childcare program:
- Make it easy for parents to review your daycare online. A few of the most popular review websites you will want to take advantage of are Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Sign up for these review websites and provide a link to the review form on your website and social media pages, as well as in your parent email newsletter and your business email signature. Providing an easy and accessible means for parents to give their honest feedback will make it more likely that they will do so.
- Ask parents in person. Yes, you can absolutely ask parents to review your daycare business, and no, you don’t have to be afraid of sounding salesy. When a customer is genuinely happy with the service your business provides, they are often more than willing to share their positive feedback with others via a review or testimonial. Timing is everything, so take advantage of moments when a parent is particularly engaged and elated with their child’s care. For example, if Aimee takes a few minutes to tell you in person how thrilled she is that you added a school-aged program to your daycare so her six-year-old son can attend daycare along with his three-year-old sister, you can invite her to share her positive experience via a parent review. Explaining to parents how much their honest feedback helps you grow your business gives them an opportunity to help you just as your business helps them.
- Offer an incentive. You don’t want to monetize your parent review system to create a sense of obligation or false positivity among potential parent reviewers of your childcare program. However, you can certainly offer an incentive in good taste, like an occasional prize drawing for parents who choose to leave their honest feedback on a review website you participate in. (Again, make it easy by providing them with a direct link to the review form.)
- Emphasize the parent’s freedom to leave an honest review. This suggestion might seem intimidating, but it actually works in your favor. Naturally, you will want as many positive reviews from past and current clients as possible. But be careful that you don’t insinuate that you expect parents to leave you an outstanding review, as if they don’t have any other option. Customers are quick to pick up on requests for feedback that sound contrived and “fake.” For example, asking parents to leave you a “five-star” review on Google or Facebook may give them the impression that you don’t value their honest feedback. Instead, emphasize the value you place on the relationship you have with the parent and their child, and how helpful it would be to your business if they could share their experience with others.
- Address negative reviews and learn from the feedback. When you operate a stellar daycare business, your parent reviews will reflect your reputation. But every business has to deal with the (hopefully) occasional negative review. What do you do if a parent leaves a negative review online? You need to do three things. First, address the negative review professionally and courteously. You don’t want to leave a negative review unaddressed because it can further hurt your reputation as a business. Instead, do your best to respond with class, apologetically if needed, and take any measure you feel is appropriate to rectify the parent’s complaint if possible. Second, learn from the feedback and use it to improve your program. If the remarks are nonsensical, ill-mannered, or arbitrary, do your best to provide a professional “public” response, then take the matter offline if possible. Otherwise, let it be. Finally, focus on what you can control, which is getting more positive reviews to outweigh any negative ones. You don’t have to let an occasional negative review reflect who you really are as a business owner.
How Do You Use Parent Reviews to Grow Your Business?
Parent reviews are a great asset to growing your childcare business brand in your local community and beyond. Once you begin to accumulate parent reviews, you can use them to your advantage in your childcare business marketing strategy. Here are a few ways you can use parent reviews to grow your daycare business:
- Organic reviews in Google search results. Once you register your business on the review sites mentioned above and get parent reviews, those ratings will begin to appear in the Google search results. This requires almost no effort on your part and potential clients will be able to look up your childcare business and see what others are saying.
- Social media marketing. Use parent reviews in your social media campaigns. Post a parent’s comments as a pull quote on Facebook or Instagram. Share a brief testimonial video on your Facebook page, or invite open feedback by asking parents to drop a comment on your social media pages to share how your daycare program has impacted their child or family.
- Business website. Feature testimonials on your daycare business website to add credibility to your brand. You can stylize parent comments as a pull quote with their first name, and even include their photo if they feel comfortable to give permission. You can also add your star rating and badge awards from review websites, like Yelp or Better Business Bureau, so visitors can view your accolades for themselves.
- Printed business marketing materials. Don’t forget to include your ratings and reviews on printed business marketing materials for your daycare company, like your business cards, brochures, flyers, and other business communications. You worked hard to get those ratings, so be sure to maximize their impact!
Getting parent reviews and using them to grow your childcare business can be an empowering and highly effective marketing strategy. The experts at Honest Buck Accounting can help you optimize the financial side of your business so you can grow your profits and reach your goals. Schedule a call with us today to see how Honest Buck Accounting can transform the financial side of your business.