Parents who turn down school places are what we term ‘non-joiners’ and they form a fascinating group from whom to gain insight and perceptions on your school.
It is probable that they have applied to more than one school. They have been a customer on more than one Customer Journey and will have information and views that are valuable to you on your competitors’ admission processes. What were their marketing materials like in comparison to yours? How did they run their Open Day? How did it differ to yours? How did the Admissions Department deal with their application? Information like this is gold dust in helping you to ensure that you are meeting the expectations and requirements of your target audience.
They will also have a considered opinion on why they didn’t choose your school. They will have a view on what they liked about your school, what they felt could be improved and, most importantly, at what point in their Customer Journey did they decide that your school wasn’t for them.
Non-joiner research is a very useful tool in helping Heads, SLT’s and Marketing Mangers with brand positioning, strategy and planning. It can also be enlightening if there has been an unexplained drop in acceptances or when a school wants to investigate changes in their competitive set and explain their effects. This research module also helps to build and strengthen relationships with feeder schools.
Now is the time to be thinking of planning Non-Joiner Research. Once the selection process is over and offers have been accepted and rejected, start the process as it is important to speak to these parents before they get involved with their chosen school. April/May are the perfect months whilst memories of their customer journey with you are still fresh and they are happy to tell their stories.
Please get in touch if you would like to talk to us about how Non-Joiner Research could help your school. We can tell you some fascinating tales of the nuggets we have picked up from parents that have changed how schools have conducted their customer journey with positive effect.