As the diversity of learning options for families continues to explode, fewer families choose to go to their neighborhood school just because it is close. While I don’t have national data for ALL schools, I think we know that the most important driver of school selection is word-of-mouth. What we hear from our friends, family, and “on the soccer field” is much more important in terms of selecting a school than any other form of advertising.
That is why school organizations and leaders should be familiar with the Net Promoter Score.
Used by a wide range of industries, the NPS uses response to a single question that has proven to frequently indicate customer loyalty, which, if your school is relying on word-of-mouth promotion, is the key to attracting and retaining students.
The graphic tells you all you need to know: the single question, and how to measure the response. What is not intuitive about the NPS for schools is that anyone who is not a 9 or 10 on this scale is not going to positively impact that buzz on the proverbial soccer field. It is not good if your customers are calling the principal in anger; and it is not good enough that they are NOT calling the principal in anger. The only way to increase an NPS is to increase the number of true champions of your school who are consistently shouting positive things about you. And the only way you increase those ranks of the 9’s and 10’s is to consistently know, attend to, and perform on, your core value proposition.
(Footnote: while I cannot find definitive data for schools, it appears that an NPS that is positive is considered “good”, while an NPS anywhere close to 50% is considered great. And remember that you have to include the “passives” in the denominator when calculating percentages. There are all kinds of resources on the net about NPS; just search on it.)