In Tailoring the Parent Experience: A Journey to Enrollment Success, we introduced the concept of the parent experience at independent schools. By mirroring the corporate discipline of customer experience, the previous eBook asserted that in an increasingly competitive environment, independent schools should acknowledge that parents are, in fact, customers. Further, the premise was that schools would improve enrollment results by focusing on and improving the parent experience.
Over the past few years, many schools have come to recognize the parent experience as an important factor in enrollment decisions, and discussions about the quality of the parent experience have become an essential component of annual planning.
But what do parents think about the parent experience? Is it as important to them as the strategic thinking suggests? What elements of their relationships with schools take precedence and impact decision making? Does the parent experience differentiate one school from another?
To answer those questions, we conducted in-depth interviews with fourteen parents from six U.S. states and one from London, England, representing ten independent schools. Our conversations were designed to gain insight into what was important to parents as part of their experience at the schools their children attend. We wanted to understand the many ways they perceive the parent experience and gather their opinions about their relationship with schools.
Ultimately, by seeking the views and attitudes of parents, we hoped to provide schools with a path to enhancing the parent experience. Herein are our findings.
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