You may be a rock star admissions person, but if your front desk is dropping the ball then it’s going to kill your show rates and kill the number of people that are coming in for tours. Maybe the person has a bad attitude, is not handling the call correctly, or maybe the phone just keeps ringing and ringing and ringing once they've transferred them to the admissions person, and no one picks up for a while. Maybe the prospective students are forced to leave a voicemail. Maybe there is not a clear policy or script, or the front desk answers admissions questions, which they really don't know the answer to and have no business in answering in the first place.
Out of the 400 schools that we secret shopped, here are the statistics on this mistake: 17.4% had a bad attitude or incompetent front desk team. That's pretty high. It was only about 2% of the time when the phone keeps ringing and ringing and ringing. There were a lot of people who were forced to leave a voicemail; About 30%. NPR (National Public Radio) did a recent study on millennials and whether they leave voicemails or not and 80% was the statistic from National Public Radio, that millennials will not leave a voicemail if they're transferred to somebody and nobody picks up.
Keep in mind, a lot of millennials will not be calling either, they may be texting. But, not getting back to them very, very quickly, when they do text you or when the lead comes in and not texting them right away, has pretty much the same effect. Whether we're talking about calling or we're talking about texting, the underlying principals are still the same and these mistakes apply. The number of front desk teams that didn't have a clear policy or script was like 34%. And then, the number of schools where they had front desk teams answering admissions questions when they really, clearly weren't trained to do so, was about 8%. Some of these mistakes are very common. Some of them are less common. But if they're happening at your school, you really, really, really need to correct it.
When the front desk has a bad attitude, doesn’t sound competent, isn’t friendly, isn't really caring for the person on the other end of the phone, it really, absolutely affects what that person is like when they're reaching out to you.