Checklists are your key to managing your upcoming busy admission season
Who goes into the holiday season without checklists? Families in your school are using their holiday checklists, and so should you!
The key to staying on top of your admission activity is having great time management skills and utilizing time-saving tools. Some of the best tools you have as a FACTS user are your checklists. And we’ve given you more than one to help keep you from having any person or any detail slip through the cracks.
Have you prepared your checklists to be ready for the upcoming admissions busy season? Let’s double-check to make sure you’re prepared when you return from winter break.
First, You Need a System
Every new prospect that contacts your school via phone, email or in person should be recorded in your Inquiry Form so you have a starting place with which to continue connection. You need a system for tracking and connecting with every family, every step through their journey to choosing your school. Although each family has unique aspects, ALL families will take similar steps down the Admission Path. Your job is to help them discover new information and new experiences that bring them closer and closer toward a decision to Apply. How do you do this with every family and not miss a beat? CHECKLISTS.
During your initial connection with a family, you want to gather information that will help you stay connected. You do this with your Inquiry Form. What kind of information do you need from each family? What kind of information do they need from you to help them decide to Apply? This is what you need to think through to build out your Inquiry Checklist. Below are examples of items schools have included on their Inquiry Checklists:
- Dates of open house, preview, or shadow day attendance
- Dates of tours or other admission events attended
- Follow up Phone Calls
- Email two days after tour
- Assign Parent Ambassador to call
- Begin an Email Sequence (3 emails of interest to the family)
- Invite to School Activity (Admission event, game, concert, performance)
As you build your Inquiry Checklist, your goal is to map out the optimal experience for each prospect and the activity required on your behalf to achieve the next goal – which is to have them Apply. Instead of relying on sticky notes and legal pads, build your checklists with the optimal journey in mind so you can check them right down the path to Apply. If this is your first time building a checklist, don’t worry about making it elaborate. Just decide what things you offer right now, how you should optimally invite and follow up on those offers, and then build your checklist to include each of those elements. Start your list on paper first, then you can built it in FACTS.
The next stage of the prospective family’s journey is the Application. Here you will be gathering information and scheduling meeting times. Again, you need to track what the family has submitted and what you need to do as a next step. Once you know all the steps of your Application Process, you can create a comprehensive Application Checklist. Your checklist not only helps track all the documents you need from the family, but also helps you schedule and communicate efficiently throughout the process. Below are examples of items schools have included on their Application Checklists:
- Date Application is received (FACTS does this for you automatically)
- Documents received (report cards, standardized test scores, transcript release form, referral documents.) FACTS can also automatically enter much of this data for you in real time!
- Email Invitation to Test
- Admission test date
- Interview Date
- Email Acknowledgement of Documents Received (FACTS can do most of this for you automatically if you set it up this way!)
- Testing results
- Tuition assistance, Discounts
- Admission Committee Review
- Interview Notes
Not only will your checklists help you stay on track, but they can also help your prospective families stay on track. Based on how you choose to configure your checklist, the checklist feature can automatically send personalized notifications to your families when you check the box. This saves you time. Let FACTS streamline your communication.
Your Pre-Holiday Checklist
Before you take your Holiday Break, do yourself a favor and think through the steps in your school’s admission journey.
- Do you have steps clearly defined with action items associated? If not, start with what happens when a family inquires and write out the steps leading up to Application. Include all the options and all the action items you need to take to help them keep moving.
- Next, take those steps and create a checklist. Let’s face it – it ALWAYS feels good to check off a box! So create check boxes for all your steps and get ready to have fun clicking them off when applications start flowing after the break.
- Need some help taking your scribbled checklist and entering that into FACTS? We’ve got some great step by step guides for you here, and your Account Manager is always happy and willing to help you do this. It’s so worth taking the time to configure your checklists on the front end, then all you have to do from here on out is check your boxes!