In a world where food delivery services can drop a burrito on your doorstep in 30 minutes or less, why does anyone go to restaurants? A universal hatred of doing dishes can’t be the only reason people venture out of their homes for a meal. No, people go to restaurants to find a dining experience they can’t get from internet ordering. It’s about more than the food.
And informational calls with prospective students are about more than collecting program information. Students are increasingly researching programs before they ever speak to an enrollment advisor. So when they do get on the phone, they’re looking for something more.
Informational Calls Give Prospective Students Something Special
When a student gets on a call to discuss a program, they don’t want to talk to someone who will just regurgitate the information they already saw online. Most likely, by the time they talk to an enrollment advisor, they have nuanced questions about how the program will fit into their lives and help them reach their professional goals.
So enrollment advisors need to be ready and willing to go deep with students while also respecting their time and circumstances. The right approach can make informational phone calls valuable for both students and programs.
Focus Informational Calls On The Individual
Imagine a waiter coming to the table holding menus. Rather than handing the menu to diners and letting them choose what they want, he just lists the most commonly ordered meals. When a diner tries to ask a question about ingredients, the waiter just reads the next item on the menu. Most people would get fed up with that waiter pretty quickly.
Great waiters come to the table and ask how everyone is doing. They might ask about allergies or preferences. They give people a chance to think and are ready to answer questions.
Enrollment advisors need to be good waiters. They should engage potential students in conversation and ask questions like:
- What drew you to this program?
- What are your career goals?
- What is your academic and professional background?
Asking these questions and really listening to the answers can help enrollment advisors serve up valuable conversations with students. Rather than rattling off a list of benefits, the advisor can tailor the conversation to the unique needs of the individual. That makes the conversation more valuable for everyone.
Be Ready To Answer Commonly Asked Questions
Being ready to answer the most common questions students have can help keep the conversation moving. The last thing students want is to be put on hold so an enrollment advisor can dig up information.
Prepare a script or list of talking points that enrollment advisors can reference to keep the conversation flowing. Include answers to common questions like:
- How much does the program cost?
- What are my options for financial aid?
- How can this credential help me advance my career?
- What is the time commitment?
- What are the prerequisites?
- Will the college accept transfer credits?
For questions that can’t be answered in a quick phone call, enrollment advisors should be ready and able to connect prospective students with resources. A quick follow-up email after a call can connect students to the financial aid office, student support services, or other specialists.
Give the Potential Student the Next Steps
A good waiter doesn’t just drop off the food and disappear, he checks back in to see how everyone is doing. When the time is right, he guides diners to the next step of the process, whether that’s ordering dessert or paying the check.
For many students, the next step will be applying, but some students may not be quite ready to make that commitment. Even if the student isn’t ready to apply, maybe, especially in that case, enrollment advisors should guide students through the next steps.
This could be a check-in call to follow up after a student has a chance to explore their finances and schedule. It could be an email that reminds them about upcoming application deadlines. Before the call ends, students should know what will happen next.
All of this boils down to one key idea: phone calls should offer an experience students can’t get anywhere else. At EducationDynamics, our highly trained team of enrollment and success coaches help improve overall application and persistence rates by guiding students from inquiry through graduation. A phone call is just the beginning. Contact us to get started.