How To Turn Strangers Into Raving Fans Of Your School – Grow your School
The Customer Value journey

How To Turn Strangers Into Raving Fans Of Your School

For those of you that are new to Digital Marketing, one of the most important processes to understand is the Customer Value Journey (CVJ). The CVJ is something that we will be talking about a lot, so today’s blog is an overview of the main points.

What is the Customer Value Journey

The Customer Value Journey is a basic road map for all your marketing activities. It is something that you will need to use if you want to grow your school significantly as it will cover all your marketing activities.

Most people consider marketing as the process that brings students to your school, but it is so much more than that. The CVJ breaks your marketing effort into 8 stages, from the initial stage, which is awareness of your school, to the final stage where your students are actively promoting your school.

The great thing about the CVJ is that it basically mirrors the “12 stages of human intimacy”, which are the 12 stages that people go through as they move from strangers to intimate partners (see Desmond Morris's "Intimate Behavior"). All of our marketing efforts need to mirror these stages of forming and building relationships with our students.

If you look at the 12 stages of intimacy above, think about what would happen if you skipped any of these stages when you meet someone for the first time. Can you imagine if a stranger you had never met before came up to you and wanted to hold your hand? It would be very off-putting to say the least. Most online marketing does the equivalent of this. They get your email details and want to sell you something straight away - it just doesn’t work. So it's important that you follow the CVJ in the right order or else you will be making the same mistake.

What is the point of this?

When you think about your most satisfied students, the ones that love recommending your school and raving about how good the method is. Do you ever think about how to recreate the process that turned them from an initial stranger to a customer to being one of your main fans? From now on you will have a framework specifically to recreate this. 

Think of it this way...

When a new student pays for a course, most of us think that is the end of the marketing journey

But the sale is only one part of a bigger sequence of the CVJ. If you stop here you are really leaving a lot of money on the table, so to speak, and you also miss the opportunity of your students spreading the word of your brand. So let's take a look at this Customer Value Journey.

We want to help you double the numbers of your school using the latest digital marketing techniques. Are you Interested in Learning practi​cal methods to improve Your bookings? We can Help you!

The CVJ is a sequence of steps, not a one-time transaction. Like most sequences in life (like the 12 Stages of Intimacy), if you skip one step, you end up in failure. Also, even if you do everything right but you carry out a step in the wrong order, you’ll end up in failure. 

The Role of Marketing – Guide your ideal customers seamlessly and subtly through each stage of the Value Journey.

Let's look at these stages a little closer...

Step 1 – Awareness

Awareness. Making people aware of your school through social media channels.

So you have an English school and you want people to become aware of your courses. First you would need to identify the channels you want customers to come in through. Since you have identified that one of your big target markets are women (late 20s – late 30s), you want to use channels that these audiences would use, like Facebook and Instagram.

So then you would create a Facebook advert promoting your school – fast effective learning with native speakers, etc.

Step 2 – Engage

Engaging is the act of turning a glance into a stare. Meaning you grab the attention of your potential customers/prospects. This can be done through educating and/or entertaining them by the way of content.

How you grab their attention depends on how you made them aware in the previous step.

Unaware – Using entertaining content to grab their full undivided attention. In simpler terms, it interrupts their daily routine life and makes them stop to look at your content.

EXAMPLE: Making a post about how unique your school is and how happy & satisfied your student are

Problem Aware – Using educational content to let everyone notice a rising problem and then engaging with customers to know that your brand is the solution.

EXAMPLE: Making a post about some aspect of grammar or vocabulary

Solution Aware – Making notice of the problem at hand but immediately turning the content piece’s message into going against the commonly known solutions but offering your own.

EXAMPLE: You create content about best tips for passing Cambridge exams

Product Aware – Showing that the product/service you have is better than the competition.

EXAMPLE: You make a post that shows your customer satisfaction rating and comments

We want to help you double the numbers of your school using the latest digital marketing techniques. Are you Interested in Learning practi​cal methods to improve Your bookings? We can Help you!

Step 3 – Subscribe

Now that you have people’s attention, you want them to subscribe to you in order to let them hear more about your schools services so that you can eventually convert them into regular students in the next step. In simpler terms, you want to gather contact information from them so you can convert them later. This practice is called lead generation.

This can be done by offering a lead magnet – which is giving a small chunk of value for your audience in return for their information.

The easiest lead magnets for Callan Schools are e-books on grammar or tips for passing exams.

Step 4 – Convert

Now that you have leads' contact info, you want to convert these leads into students. This process is called “conversion”. It’s not the end-all sale like we mentioned in the beginning, it’s a small commitment to getting customers more into your brand. This commitment doesn’t even have to be money, it can also be their time.

You can follow up these leads by email with a free testing and some trial hours.

Step 5 – Excite

In this part of the sequence to success, you need to step up and get your converted customers excited in order for them to commit to the next step - ascension (paying for a course). What you need to do is show them “little victories”. An easy victory is giving your potential student the confidence to speak in a class full of students. Make sure your teachers are aware of all new students doing trial lessons. They need to be extra careful with them at this stage, make sure your teachers encourage and help all trial students.

Step 6 – Ascend

We got our lead, we converted and now it’s time for the actual sale, which we call “ascension”. It should be easy if you followed the sequence to success properly. Generally, we find that most of the students that came for a trial will happily pay for a course. If they don’t, not to worry, as they will probably come at a later date or at least tell their friends

Step 7 – Advocate

It's great when a lead becomes a paying student, but it's not the end. The conversion went well and the upselling went well, but that’s not the end. The next step to increase your customer’s value is for them to be an advocate for your brand. The next step is to get testimonials from your happiest customers.

The school should ask the students to give a testimonial and a short story of their success or how they overcame their fear of speaking. After all the information is gathered, the school can use it in content to help generate leads or attract awareness.

Step 8 – Promote

Now that they are advocates of your school, they can take another step by being a promoter. Being a promoter is a bit different from being an advocate. While an advocate is spreading the word through word of mouth or via telling experiences, a promoter is someone who is almost an official spokesperson for the school.

We want to help you double the numbers of your school using the latest digital marketing techniques. Are you Interested in Learning practi​cal methods to improve Your bookings? We can Help you!

A good example of a customer promoting your school would be through a referral program or a rewards system. (We offer 30 Euros to all students who bring their friends to sign up for a course) A customer who continues to buy your courses and has given testimony of your brand’s offerings would be a good example of promotion. It's very likely that he or she would tell their friends or coworkers about how they can be successful as he or she is with your school's approach.

What now?

Now that you understand the sequence of what it takes to get the most value from your students, you should be able to get more from your students without painstakingly worrying about losing customers or money. As long as you follow the sequence’s steps to success. Over the coming weeks we will be going over ways to optimize each stage so you can generate a lot more sign-ups.

Digital marketing agency that specializes in helping language schools grow their businesses

Larkin doo

Strossmayer trg 4
Zagreb 10000, Croatia