Early education and child care franchise brand arms franchisees with a tool to measure and help maintain best-in-class customer service
Since its formation in 1997, Lightbridge Academy—The Solution For Working Parents®—has set itself apart from others in the child care and early childhood education by providing next-level customer service that extends beyond the child to the parents, the staff and the local community. The brand calls their philosophy "The Circle of Care" and it is fostered every day, in every center across the franchise system.
One way Lightbridge Academy stays focused on customer service is by utilizing a survey known as Net Promoter Score, or NPS. The NPS is used to measure the loyalty of customers and whether a business is at risk of losing customers or not converting prospects into customers. The Net Promoter Score is a valuable tool used by many companies to gauge overall customer loyalty by asking the question, "How likely are you to recommend Lightbridge Academy to a family, friend or colleague?"
“The loyalty that is created within our child care centers is an important indicator of future success,” said Martha Echeverria, an enrollment manager at Lightbridge Academy. “NPS enables our franchisees to measure the health of their current businesses, to predict the likelihood of retaining their current customer base and get a sense about whether prospective customers will convert.”
The NPS is a 200 point scale ranging from -100 percent to 100 percent. To arrive at the final score, the number of detractors is subtracted from the number of promoters and then divided by the total number of scores. The average NPS across all industries is 44 percent, with Costco at 78, The Ritz-Carlton at 72, Amazon at 70 and Southwest at 66, according to the 2013 Satmetrix US Consumer Report. Lightbridge Academy believes that success goes beyond delivering a high quality of care and early education to children. They believe that it also depends on their ability to delight customers and create an exceptional customer experience, therefore, the expectation for all of their centers is to maintain a minimum NPS of 60 percent.
“As a Lightbridge Academy franchisee, it’s very important to know what is going on in your center and how your staff is perceived by your customers,” said Amy Speiser, owner of a Lightbridge Academy in Mount Laurel, New Jersey that opened in March 2017. “With the NPS, we can easily review the feedback from both existing and potential customers, share our findings with employees and identify opportunities for improvement on a regular basis. Because we receive feedback from parents that have toured the center but not yet made the decision to enroll, we’re able to reach out to those folks to thank them, let them know their feedback was heard and address any questions or concerns they may have.”
Lightbridge Academy families receive a survey at after certain milestones: once they complete a tour of a center, throughout their journey as an enrolled family, and once they’ve graduated or withdrawn from the program. This enables Lightbridge Academy franchisees to receive ongoing feedback that can be responded to in a timely manner, creating higher levels of customer loyalty and helping to maintain required quality standards within the center.
Amy explained that she sits down with her team to discuss surveys in real time, and then they reach out to the customer directly. Because it’s an ongoing program, responses are delivered throughout the year enabling her to keep a pulse on how her customers are feeling about Lightbridge. The brand’s commitment to providing superior customer service is one of the reasons Amy was attracted to the Lightbridge Academy franchise opportunity.
“My husband and I were looking for a business opportunity and wanted to find something that we could make our own. We liked the child care model and spoke to several franchise brands, but knew that Lightbridge Academy was the right fit for us,” she said. “We love what the brand stands for, particularly as it relates to customer service. We remember our day care years and wish Lightbridge had been an option for us when we were looking for a child care center. Lightbridge Academy is a really good fit for our family, and we believe that tools such as the NPS, help ensure our success as franchisees."