I’ve written about unanswered phones before. It is no good spending £000s on marketing only to ignore the calls when a prospective student calls.
Sadly the blight of unanswered calls continues. In the last two weeks, I’ve repeatedly called two providers that have failed to answer. One just lets the phone ring and ring without going to answerphone. The other plays back testimonials (with background noise) for several minutes before saying it has not been possible to connect you and cutting the call.
Interestingly, both providers are in merger talks due to their Ofsted grades. They will soon be absorbed by a bigger and hopefully better provider.
Are Phones Indicative of Underlying Quality & Management Issues?
I’ve only checked a handful of providers, but to date in our tests, there is 100% correlation between poorly performing colleges (e.g. grade four or poor financial status). The numbers are small, so caution is needed, but there is no doubt that not answering phones will impact recruitment, and that in turn will impact a provider’s financial situation.
The reason phones aren’t answered fall into two camps, technical problems and lack of staff. Both can result from bad management, though there are other reasons that are not related to management.
Are you answering your phones? Do you know this for a fact? Have you called your number several times to check how quickly the calls are answered or if they are answered? Are you absolutely sure all calls are connected?
I suggest you mystery shop your phones. We can help if you want an objective external check.