Wouldn’t it be great if, at the end of summer camps and programs, we could just wash our hands of the whole thing and pack the kids off to school? We all know, however, that this is a critical window for reviewing, analyzing and setting strategy for next year.
Do you have a complete plan and tools in place to review your program performance, nurture new opportunities, and engage your customers until next summer?
With a few simple tools in Camp & Class Manager, in conjunction with a few of our helpful guides, you can understand how you performed and how to improve for next year.
Step 1: Evaluating Program Performance by Revenue
The first step is looking at the data you currently have available. In Camp & Class Manager, you can use our new Master Financial report to evaluate program performance and categorize revenue. Start by looking at your various programs over the summer and see how you did overall.
Do you know which of your programs are working and which need support? The Master Financial report tracks results on multiple metrics. You can then cross reference results with last year’s performance as well as other variable such as location, staff and dates.
Figure out where you have questions that cannot easily be answered with quantitative data. For instance, maybe you could use a survey to help answer why a program performed the way it did and what could be done to improve it.
Step 2: Customer Surveys
After looking at your data, did you discover any interesting trends that could use more color by polling customers in a yearly survey?
Surveys matter because customers expect you to ask for their opinion, which means surveys not only provide key insights that will allow you to attract and keep new customers, they are a great retention tool for your current customers.
When creating a survey, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- First, make sure you clearly define the purpose of your survey and how you will use the information. Also, if the survey is anonymous, be sure to mention that. You may find that you get stronger responses when people feel they won’t receive recoil for their answers.
- Overall, make sure you keep your survey is focused and concise. The longer your survey, the more likely people are not going to finish it. This is why evaluating your performance beforehand is so important. After looking at your data, what are the top three things you want to know?
- Remember that when creating questions, a little bias is a big problem. It is important to make sure your language remains neutral so that you can get responses that reflect how your customers really feel.
- Keep your answers simple. Do not try to reduce the number of questions you ask by combining them. Answers to questions like these will be hard to analyze. For example, do not ask “How friendly and informative was the program manager?” Instead, ask two questions: “How friendly was the program manager?” and “Did you find the program manager informative?”
- Do not assume that all your customers are 100% familiar with your programs and offerings. If asking a question about one of your programs, provide a brief sentence explaining more about the program, like what and when it is.
- Finally, consider incentivizing your survey. You could offer a coupon code at the end of your survey or send it via email. If you cannot afford to offer everyone a discount, consider offering a large prize that will be given away randomly to one of the survey participants. The chance to win is still an incentive for many people.
Step 3: Take Action and Plan Your Marketing Calendar
Armed with both revenue and customer experience data, you’re ready to plan your marketing calendar for the coming years. You now understand when people are usually registering or dropping out of registration, along with other key insights you have learned from your survey and additional research. Use this information to create a better experience for your families next year.
While your off-season engagement should not be overbearing, create logical check-in points that will keep your program top of mind with returning visitors. Other than your usual thank you emails, reach out to those who were involved to connect with them further. For example, start by sending survey results and/or future plans to respondents based on their feedback. Close the loop on your key users and let them know that they helped contribute to making next year an even bigger success.
Create a quick marketing guide so that you and your team can stay on top of key marketing communications. These should include action plans for social, email, live events, community outreach, partnerships and anything else you might be using in your arsenal. Here are two examples of marketing calendars that you might find useful as a starting point:
Example List View:
Example Calendar View:
Take the time to finish strong with these three steps. You’ll be so glad you did when the next season rolls around.