As October winds down here at CourseStorm, we’ve been working hard on a couple of great new features. Starting today you might notice something different about the email notifications you receive from CourseStorm. It’s no Halloween trick – our emails are getting a new, modern, mobile-friendly makeover!
Whether you run seasonal catalogs or hold year-round classes, fall can be an important time of year! And we love doing everything we can to help attract registrations for your program. Here’s a quick tip to fill some extra seats with one of our newest features: class-specific promo codes.
Do you have a class that’s in danger of being cancelled or one with a lot of available seats? Try posting a limited-time promo code for the class to your email list or on your page on Facebook. Combined with CourseStorm’s automatic low enrollment emails, class-specific promo codes are one more way to reduce the chance you’ll have to cancel.
We hope you’re all enjoying the new start of the school year. As a little “back to school” present from us, we wanted to let you know that partial refunds have come to CourseStorm.
Not only can you now issue partial refunds for your registrations, but this update also includes a few other refinements to the refund process. To start, you can now cancel a registration without refunding if you like. You can also issue refunds outside of a cancelation — for example, if the registrant forgot to add a promo code during checkout.
“Where are all the strings?” That was the question on the mind of Don Kindred while living in Corona, California in 2013.
At that time, the musical education system in Corona placed most of its focus on teaching children band, rather than orchestral instruments, meaning that students in the area were trained in brass, woodwinds, and percussion, while stringed instruments were largely ignored. Kindred, a classically trained musician and founder of the Corona Symphony Orchestra, knew that if nothing was done, a great opportunity to expose students to the magic of playing stringed instruments might be squandered. So, five years ago, he decided that change needed to start with him and the Corona Symphony Conservatory was born.
It’s no secret that here at CourseStorm, we like to make things simple. Take a look at our pricing page, for example. We don’t offer a Silver plan, a Gold plan, and a Platinum plan. There’s just one plan: CourseStorm.
Why is this so important to us?
When’s the last time you remember being truly bored?
That’s the question Manoush Zomorodi posed to us at the LearnLaunch Conference in Boston last month. Zomorodi, author of Bored and Brilliant, went on to explain that we get our most creative ideas when our mind goes on autopilot—when we’re taking a shower, for example, or driving our car on the way to work. When our brains are allowed to go into default mode, our subconscious makes itself known and makes new connections. In short, boredom unlocks our minds’ creative potential.
After months of working behind the scenes, we are beyond excited to announce the single feature that has been requested by customers more than any other: the ability to register for multiple classes at once. We call it CourseStorm Cart. Read on to find out how to enable early access to the feature on your site!
Once your site is equipped with Cart, students can pick as many classes as they want from your catalog and register for them all in a single transaction. And because CourseStorm has easy tools to register your family and friends as well, you can register as many people for as many classes as you want with just a few clicks!
A couple of weeks ago we talked about the importance of loyal students. Now we want to delve deeper into how you can attain that student loyalty by using a thought experiment first developed by Airbnb called Seven Star Design.
These days giving something a rating of five stars no longer holds the same importance it once did. Where once, a five star rating meant that the company went above and beyond, these days five stars tends to mean that there’s nothing wrong with the experience. That’s a pretty low bar. So Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, set their goal to go beyond five stars. As he put it, “We wanted to build a product where you loved it so much you would tell everyone about it.”
Customer loyalty is a buzzword in many businesses. As an educator, you may not think in business terms all the time, but in some instances, it can be valuable to take a page out of the business playbook. Focusing efforts on increasing student loyalty is one of those instances. When you work in education, however, it can be hard to know what a loyal student looks like or why they’re important. If you’re teaching professional development courses, for example, you may not expect repeat students in your classes as they may achieve their educational goals quickly. This can make it feel like there’s no point in working to keep individual students happy once they’ve enrolled and paid for your classes because they’ll be gone so soon.
Despite the challenge of students who may only ever take one or two classes through your program, student loyalty remains an important factor in keeping enrollment rates high. Even if a student never comes back to your program, they will remain a part of your community.
Imagine you want to take an art class but don’t know where to go. The first thing many people do in this circumstance is to ask friends, family, and coworkers if they know any programs nearby that offer good art classes. The experience your students had in your program will directly impact who they think of when they are asked these sorts of questions and what they say in response. If you have done the work of ensuring student loyalty, it’s your name they’ll think of when recommending programs. This is how you grow your reputation in your community and increase enrollment.
So how do you develop loyal customers? Here are some quick and easy tips!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: It’s a motto many of us live our lives by. Unfortunately, sometimes we get so used to doing things the same way we’ve always done them that we don’t notice the cracks and tears in the system. Think of that old swelling front door that you have to kick to close or the upstairs toilet that you have to remember to wiggle the lever on to keep the water from running. While this solution works for a while, over time the problem gets worse. At first, you tell yourself that you’ll hire a repairman or look up how to fix it yourself, but you get busy, and then you grow so accustomed to the inconvenience that it can be easy to overlook the fact that it’s costing you time and money.
The same may be said your current strategy for managing enrollment. It’s working okay–it’s been working for years–but is it still the most efficient, cost-effective solution for your needs? It’s easy to add registrants to a Google spreadsheet at first, but as your program grows, that spreadsheet grows as well. You start to lose track of who has paid and who hasn’t, and what started out as a simple solution has become complicated.Read more