We live in digital reality and many of our daily activities have shifted into the online domain. More and more people value the possibility to do the shopping and receive post-sales services without leaving home, and the trend is going to be on a rise with time. This also concerns schools and decisions related to purchasing of language courses. How can we function efficiently in the virtual world, while at the same time soliciting new students and guaranteeing top service quality to the existing ones?
First, your school should offer solutions matched to specific student needs. And although the very essence of the purchase remains largely unchanged, the process of making the purchase and the factors influencing the decision-making process have evolved. This has been largely influenced by mobile devices, which let us be online regardless of where we are at a given moment. The pandemic has only speeded up this process. The times when immediately after work we rushed from place to place „to do things” are slowly sinking into oblivion. Now, most people value the possibilities afforded by electronic sales channels. Which does not mean the traditional channels do not work. They are absolutely still needed, but their role has changed, and recent events have also demonstrated they are not always available. So how shall we cope in such a situation? First, we are going to check…
What has changed?
First of all the way:
- how people search for a language school,
- how they compare prices,
- how the contract is signed and how payments for courses are made.
What are electronic sales channels most valued for? More than half of the people doing online shopping value it first of all for the fact it can be done at any time, and for convenience. On the other hand, supporters of traditional shopping value the possibility of obtaining direct consultations and assessing the school on the first line of contact, i.e. the secretariat, even before signing up for a course. As can be seen, both those spheres complement each other, so the challenge is not to transit in 100% into the online world (unless a given school opts for remote learning – then such a solution is most advisable), but to combine those two areas skillfully.
How can you do it?
First, in such a way that both channels complement each other and permeate each other invisibly for students. To ensure top service quality to them, you should remember about:
1. Information and image cohesion
The key to success is cohesion at all levels and in all places of customer service. This means that regardless of the contact channel (e.g. personally in the secretariat, via the website, by phone) and of the person the student has contact with, such student needs to feel the service quality and standards are equally high everywhere. And this is where such tools as CRM come to the rescue – we wrote in more detail about this HERE.
It is extremely important to standardize the offer. You should not allow for a situation where a customer receives contradictory pieces of information, so you must make sure the information at the website is updated on an ongoing basis and accordant with what customers are provided with via other channels.
2. Employee training
Omnichannel, which is the name given to a multichannel strategy based on satisfying customers’ needs in a manner most convenient for them, is largely dependent on the commitment and knowledge of the employees supporting potential students. They are the first line of contact with the school and they determine customers’ first impressions. Make sure they are constantly updated on the technological solutions applied in the school and are able to implement them efficiently.
What solutions should you use?
It is difficult to predict what regulations governing behaviors in the time of COVID-19 will enter into force in a week or two. But instead of reading the tea leaves and predicting the future, you need to be prepared so that students do not have a feeling that the transfer of some customer service processes into the online world has an adverse impact on the service quality. On the contrary! We already know that customers value each sales channel for different features so let us take advantage of this knowledge:) How? If you want to enhance the sales volume in school via the online channels, secure to your student what they value most in traditional sales!
The first thing consumers value in so-called „face to face” shopping is the possibility to obtain professional advice. So why not introduce such an option at the language school’s website? This can be a chat (the advantage here is the speed of information acquisition), or consultations via online meetings (it is easier to initiate a relationship and win customer’s sympathy), which is the closest alternative to a meeting „in person”.
A perfect solution in response to the need to check and test classes before the final decision on the purchase of a course is made. Owing to this possibility, a hesitant customer is able to make a final decision whether your courses are exactly what they are looking for and what they are expecting of classes. This also helps in making a decision whether a given form e.g. of individual lessons or online classes, is most suitable for them. We already know tons of stories about students resisting online classes, but once they tested this solution they did not want to return to the standard learning method! When the student decides to make the purchase, sign with him/her the…
Presently there is no easier or more convenient solution to finalize the transaction. Via the Internet one can do virtually anything: from shopping, through studies, to work. When for various reasons a meeting in person is impossible and we are under the pressure of time and formalities – online contracts come to the rescue. There is nothing worse we could do than launch the courses without determining the financial, formal, and time-related conditions.
What is an online contract? Legal and accounting provisions are hardly comprehensible for most of us. In a nutshell, the contract is defined as the declaration of intent, also in electronic format. We frequently forget we are accompanied by contracts virtually at every step of our lives, regardless of whether we use the Internet or make shopping choices in so-called „real life”. For example, via an eBay auction, we express the intent to make a purchase and by mouse clicking, we conclude a commercial contract. It is important for the other party to express an unambiguous intent to conclude such a contract.
Online contracts enable optimizing, shortening, and facilitating the process of contract conclusion. By signing electronic documents we:
- reduce costs – there is no need to print and send them,
- reduce the contracting time to a minimum – a customer has the documents available instantly; there is not need to make an appointment to sign them,
- facilitate the process of signing potential annexes,
- offer convenience both to ourselves and to students – the contract is available virtually at any time and in any place; you do not have to search for it and there is no risk it will be lost.
After signing the contract, the time comes for the finalization of the transaction, namely…
They enjoy an ever-increasing trust and consumers are willing to use them. No wonder, because they offer outstanding convenience and time savings. A student can pay in advance, knowing the transfer will be visible at the Platform virtually instantly and so they will not lose the place in the chosen group. Moreover, they do not have to enter manually the transfer data, thus preventing any errors during payment. And best of all: the entire transaction is fast, convenient, and safe:) But students are not the sole beneficiaries of this solution.
What school gains?
The due payments are immediately transferred to the account, and the system automatically generates a transaction, which definitely facilitates work. Owing to the easy support of online payments, students are able to make due payments faster and so the number of debtors is reduced.
To improve the payment’s comfort, LangLion Platform was provided with a dedicated module – online payments. Owing to this module, students can make electronic payments for courses, which definitely improves their convenience and saves time.
How does it work?
The time from the moment a student pays an installment to the moment the transaction is entered in the system is extremely short and takes a few minutes. When a student pays an installment via online payments, they select their bank and make the transfer. Then the payment is processed by the operator and alongside the confirmation sent by online payment, the system automatically generates a transaction.
As we can see, the transfer of a part of the sales and customer service processes does not have to make you lose sleepover. On the contrary! It facilitates and speeds up all processes, both on the student’s side and on the language school’s side. Certainly, like all new things, it may encounter a slight resistance, but in the long run, it is going to make your school most friendly for students in many aspects.
If you want to test the most interesting solutions matched to your needs, make an appointment with us for a free demonstration HERE. Our account will contact you to see what you have most work to do with and select the most suitable solution for your school 😉