800response Blog

Train Admissions Teams to Listen – Sound Call-handling Keeps the Doors Open – authored by 800response


Regularly reviewing your call-handling process is just smart business management. Below are a couple of ways your admissions department may improve call handling and avoid losing potential students.

Listen to the caller
Is your admissions team trained to listen to what the caller is asking for first? And then to look past that and find out what they need to succeed as a student? Teach the team to:

  • Listen to the speed that the caller speaks and try to match that pattern.
  • Listen closely to intonations.
  • Know that emphasis on certain words may provide a hint as to what questions to ask to move the enrollment process along.
  • Ask questions to identify their needs and work hard to fulfill them.

Then, the key to identifying holes in your staff’s call-handling process is to use a lead-tracking system with a recording feature. A call recording system will let you play conversations back at a later date, so you can monitor admission reps, spot any problems with the call-handling process, and fine-tune those holes to turn more callers into enrollees.

Stay on topic
Some admissions reps may overdo the need for a “relationship” by compensating with excessive chatter. Others may spend an unwarranted amount of time on irrelevant information, delaying
enrollment and distracting the caller. While you do want to build a relationship and make your callers comfortable, the goal is to schedule appointments and take the caller one step closer to enrollment. If
financing is the topic, don’t coast too far off on tangents like the local facilities or extracurricular events. Save that relationship chatter for later, like when they are in the orientation process!

Follow up on leads
Just because someone does not enroll immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be interested later. Follow-up is a critical aspect of admissions that is often neglected. The key to making the most of every incoming phone lead is to employ a lead-tracking system that provides caller information like name, address, and phone number. This will help you capture that essential information and allow you to keep that prospect on your radar for future follow-up and pro-active marketing campaigns.

A thorough analysis of your callers’ experiences as they are introduced to your school will speak volumes on where your admissions team excels and more importantly, where there is room for improvement. If you don’t already have a lead-tracking system with call recording, find one today and get started. You’ll undoubtedly identify areas and specialists that need training. Improve their call-handling skills and you will see your enrollment rates rise.

Laura Noonan has 16 years of experience in the vanity 800 numbers and telecommunications industry. She coaches hundreds of clients each year on using toll-free vanity 800 phone numbers as direct marketing tools to increase advertising response rates. Laura can be reached at

lnoonan@800response.com or 1-800-NEW-SALE.

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