I want my franchise to have all the resources it needs to be successful, and text messaging is one of the essentials.
Our Sylvan Learning tutors and staff consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. I’m a franchisee with four centers, and I’m also very active within the brand as a member of the Sylvan Franchise Owners Association. That means I actively look for ways to improve other locations. I want our brand to have all the resources it needs to be successful, and text messaging is one of the essentials.
SMS helps us connect with our families quickly, whether they’re considering Sylvan services, need to change their tutoring schedules, or just want to share feedback after a great interaction with a teacher. Texting is their preferred means of communication, and it makes them feel at home with us. That’s why when Zipwhip announced they were shutting down, I knew I needed to find a replacement immediately. Text Request was recommended to me by our text-to-payment vendor, Authvia.
The migration from Zipwhip to Text Request was seamless, and roll out could not have been smoother. Our entire team was able to get a training session and ask all the questions we needed to feel comfortable with the software. They transferred our Zipwhip data on a day we were closed, and everything we needed was there for us when we came back in. There was no downtime, and everyone was able to pick the software up immediately.
We advertise the keyword “WELCOME” to invite families to start conversations with us, and our autoresponse associated with the keyword directs them to schedule their first call to learn more. Our centers stay busy, but that keyword makes it easy for us to get back to families ASAP. Parents appreciate getting the information they need, even when we’re not there to pick up the phone. It allows us to work with more families at a time.
Templates are another feature that helps us save time. We have one for literally everything. They keep us consistent in our messaging and save our team the headache of having to share the same message over and over again. We can utilize more part-time staff, since they don’t have to memorize all of our standard responses.
We have a big team, but Text Request makes it easy to see who is responding vs. who still needs to be responded to. It’s also become an essential way for us to request and receive payments. My staff loves that families can put their own credit card information in, and parents love that we can just send them a secure link to pay. The amount of time and follow-ups the Payments feature has cut down is unbelievable, and we could not go back to the time before we used it. It’s so easy to see who owes what and when, and it’s all in one place.