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Old 08-08-2017, 11:55 AM
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Indoorvoice Indoorvoice is offline
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Default When Doing An Initial Phone Interview...

Does anyone have a phone interview script or an example of how your phone interviews usually go? I'm talking about when a parent first calls you inquiring about daycare. My initial calls are just so awkward on my end. Usually because my hours don't work with what they need or because they don't like my rates. I never know how to respond appropriately when they aren't interested in what I offer. Usually it's when they ask my hours and then ask if I could open earlier or close later... Help. I've been avoiding calling people back because I just don't want to deal with it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:46 PM
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I just have a list of things I always mention and questions I always ask. If the parent doesn't have any questions of their own or doesn't seem interested in anything except for hours and rates, I don't set up a tour.

Role-playing is a great way to overcome phone shyness. Get a friend with a sense of humor to play several different potential clients. First, practice how the calls should go, until you feel like you've mastered it. Then, have the friend play someone weird, difficult, or standoffish, until you feel like you have an appropriate response.

Heck, you can call me if you're too embarrassed to do it with someone you'll have to make eye contact with someday.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:10 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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My "script" is more like a list of points that I want to cover. I'm kinda all over the place so it helps me make sure I cover everything.

Availability - the openings that I have and ages I can take
Fees - rates, charging flat rate even for days not present etc.
Hours & location - individual client hours, highways nearby
General - contract, meals, no smoking, play based
Non-Negotiables
Keep to your schedule, don't be early or late
Sick Policy, symptoms of exclusion, don't administer medication, kids on fever/pain reducer stay home, stay home 48 hours after immunizations
No pick-ups or drop-offs during nap
Transportation, everyone must be ok with it
Holidays and days closed

I have a worksheet too where I keep all of my notes like parent and child names, contact info, how they found me, start date needed, days and hours of care they are looking for, kids birthdates, what they're doing for daycare now and why they need new daycare, where the parents work and their schedule, if on subsidy or not, their expectations for child care, do they have a backup provider, and a place to write down when the interview is scheduled for.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
Does anyone have a phone interview script or an example of how your phone interviews usually go? I'm talking about when a parent first calls you inquiring about daycare. My initial calls are just so awkward on my end. Usually because my hours don't work with what they need or because they don't like my rates. I never know how to respond appropriately when they aren't interested in what I offer. Usually it's when they ask my hours and then ask if I could open earlier or close later... Help. I've been avoiding calling people back because I just don't want to deal with it.
I messaged you
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:22 PM
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dont rely on phone. it does not serve anyone's interest. Just use it to schedule a tour. People obviously want to know the costs, but without a point of reference by visiting you, your site, and understanding the value of the service, simply knowing the cost has little value. Only the client searching for rock bottom price really cares about it and if this type of person is not your customer then speaking about your prices does nothing for you unless you know you are the rock bottom provider.

Your script:

Thank you for your interest in considering us for caring for your child. We offer a number of services and customized care packages, and are available to share this information with each evening from Monday - Friday at 6:30pm during a scheduled tour.

That's it. If they don't want to schedule a time for a tour, you probably would not get them anyway. Why commit yourself to someone over the phone you cannot see or evaluate? Remember, you are interviewing them just as they are interviewing you.

Kids are almost never the problem, its the parents!
in the beginning, I fell into the trap of answering phone questions, it went no where. Once I stopped and offered the tours, about 70% of all calls accepted the offer of the tour. Once they start coming, then you need to develop the skills to quickly size up people to determine if they are a good fit for you and the program so you end the tours quickly for those folks not appealing to you and give the time to the best candidates.

best of luck
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
dont rely on phone. it does not serve anyone's interest. Just use it to schedule a tour. People obviously want to know the costs, but without a point of reference by visiting you, your site, and understanding the value of the service, simply knowing the cost has little value. Only the client searching for rock bottom price really cares about it and if this type of person is not your customer then speaking about your prices does nothing for you unless you know you are the rock bottom provider.

Your script:

Thank you for your interest in considering us for caring for your child. We offer a number of services and customized care packages, and are available to share this information with each evening from Monday - Friday at 6:30pm during a scheduled tour.

That's it. If they don't want to schedule a time for a tour, you probably would not get them anyway. Why commit yourself to someone over the phone you cannot see or evaluate? Remember, you are interviewing them just as they are interviewing you.

Kids are almost never the problem, its the parents!
in the beginning, I fell into the trap of answering phone questions, it went no where. Once I stopped and offered the tours, about 70% of all calls accepted the offer of the tour. Once they start coming, then you need to develop the skills to quickly size up people to determine if they are a good fit for you and the program so you end the tours quickly for those folks not appealing to you and give the time to the best candidates.

best of luck
I disagree. Scheduling a tour is a complete waste of my time if the potential client is a flaky no-show, and you can usually tell from a couple of minutes on the phone if they're serious about considering your program.

Scheduling a tour is a complete waste of my time if the potential client expects unreasonably low rates, needs hours outside of mine, needs care for a child whose age group I don't have space for, needs care for a child who's allergic to my pets, or needs care for a child who's not immunized.

I always screen with that information. My time is too valuable to block out a tour for someone who could have been ruled out in a five-minute phone call.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:11 AM
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I agree with Pestle. If someone is looking for care at 6 a.m. or 7 p.m. I want to know that up front. If someone has a child with a disability I cannot work with(I have no ramp, etc.) I need to convey that. And on and on. But with that said, my basic conversation is very short and sweet, plus I offer to email them my handbook of policies to see if my dc is anything that can work for them.
What hours do you need? Date they need to start. Age of child?
Is the child in dc at the moment?
Do they have any known allergies or fears(I have dogs).
Just basic things that may eliminate any further time on either of our parts.
Then if there is an interest, I request they read the handbook I email them, gather their questions, and we can schedule an interview.
HTH
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pestle View Post
Scheduling a tour is a complete waste of my time if the potential client expects unreasonably low rates, needs hours outside of mine, needs care for a child whose age group I don't have space for, needs care for a child who's allergic to my pets, or needs care for a child who's not immunized.

I always screen with that information. My time is too valuable to block out a tour for someone who could have been ruled out in a five-minute phone call.
we have customers, who came here by recommendations of people who were visit us but were not able to afford our price. The more people come here, the more people share information about our daycare. I see no reason to lose the possibility of such advertising.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:32 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I use the initial phone call to weed out people that I know will be obviously not a good fit. I don't want to waste someone's time by giving them a tour only to find out that they're allergic to cats or they're not comfortable with vehicle transportation or they're vegan etc. I also don't want to waste my own time. I work Mon-Friday from 7am to 5/6pm and I have 4 of my own kids in various programs. I also have my own interests and hobbies and of course I always make time for us as a family together so I don't want to use up time in my schedule for family that absolutely will not sign up.

Even if there is a slight chance that the family MIGHT tell someone else about my daycare it's not a sure thing so going through with a tour doesn't appeal to me. The way I see it is if someone comes to my daycare and doesn't choose me they're going to recommend the daycare they did choose, not me.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:18 AM
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All people are different. Because of that some strategies of interviews can fit to one person or completely do not work for some others.
For example: My English is not my strong part. Because of that I prefer to arrange a meeting with people, than to talk to them on the phone. My personality+great looking daycare+a way how kids communicate with me and how they do not want to leave us + a way how I introduce my program ... all of that eliminate my "broken English".
It work great for me. For someone else it will not work.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:05 PM
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That makes a lot of sense, Sunburst! Especially since there are unfortunately people who'll assume you're "dumb" or "not really American" if you don't speak the same way they do. My MIL still talks about how scared she was that her speech-delayed son would come home speaking Hindi because the care provider was from India, and that she thought the delay came from hearing more than one language. I don't think she realizes that she sounds like a jerk when she talks about it.

I spent a couple of years as an account manager for a trucking firm. I was on the phone all day, schmoozing with the customers, giving instructions to drivers, and hollering at my coworkers to give my own customers' accounts more love. So I'm comfortable on the phone these days, great at being e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y cheerful and oh-so-helpfulthankyouverymuch and also at being clear and strict, because I have that background.
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