Once parents have enrolled their child, a child care center may make the mistake of thinking their marketing effort is done.  It is not; you as a child care provider must nurture the relationship with the customer by engaging parents in a variety of ways such as hosting events or providing invaluable information.  You can also cross-sale products and even up-sell services providing customers with desirable products and services and the center with additional income.
Parent Engagement
As a child care provider, you must actively seek to build a relationship with parents through activities designed to make parents feel like they are a part of their child’s life.  Event announcements and email updates on a child’s progress, along with pictures or videos of the child engaged in an activity can be very powerful.  Your center’s website could also host a forum that could build community among the parents and staff.  Additionally, your center should invite parents in for events such as breakfast with their child.
Hosting Events
Another way to engage parents is to host events that provide a service for the parents or children.  Experts can be invited to present seminars on hot topics such as ADHD, child predators, on-line safety or even fire safety.  You the child care provider could even offer kits for child identification purposes.  Your center could also offer a parents’ night out during December to provide parents with some much needed shopping time.
Establish Expertise
Parents must feel like they can trust their child care provider.  Maintaining a website or handing out newsletters with informative articles can go a long way to reassuring parents regarding the competency of the staff.  Additionally, the center can invite experts to write articles on a variety of topics such as immunizations or potty training.  As a result, the child care center will be the first thing a customer thinks about when looking for information or help.
Cross-sell Products
A child care provider can also cross-sell products that are convenient and desirable for the customer.  Not only does this help cement the relationship with the parents, but it can provide additional income for the center.  Some examples of products could include book clubs, educational toys, or even environmentally friendly or kid safe cleaning products.  Your center could also partner with the local YMCA to provide children with swim lessons during the day.  What parent doesn’t want that?
Up-sell Programs
Another way to increase the life-time value of the customer is to up-sell services.  Many child care providers make the mistake of offering one flat rate for their services.  Instead consider offering bundling them into packages with catchy names such as “The Little Einsteins” for a program for gifted children.  Other additional services could include programs for children with disabilities, child transportation, extended hours, or a sick care child program in case a child has a mild illness.
Ultimately, as a child care provider, you must seek to actively build a relationship with parents because this ensures customer loyalty and can provide additional income for your center.  Parental communication, hosting events, providing useful information can all help build this relationship.  Cross-selling and providing additional services can also make the center invaluable to the customer and can even provide the center with an additional source of income.