He simplifies it for you, “Cooling hose broken. Car overheating. Got it? Changing the hose will take about twenty minutes and I can top up your fluid – that will get you on your way.” He quotes you for the job. Twenty minutes pass, then thirty, then an hour, before he returns. “All done,” he says. Irritated by his poor estimation of time you think it wiser to pay and get out of here. When the bill arrives, you notice it is triple what he originally quoted. “Took three times as long,” he says while coyly smiling. You agree to pay the bill for no other reason than to expediently rid yourself of this place and never return. Unfortunately, as you attempt to pay by credit card the machine continually gives you connectivity errors. The mechanic shrugs. You try again and again but without success. Deciding to intervene, the mechanic slams the payment system on the counter and waves you to try again. It works. You get in your car and drive away. Fast.
It’s important to ask yourself what kind of brand experience you want to give parents upon their first encounter with your schools. School boards often look towards the functional aspects of registration such as the data collection required and communicating the legal elements, but they rarely explore the brand impact of this process. Do you speak using education language or plain english that any parent can understand? Is your process streamlined and time efficient? Is your process smooth and bug free? Is it available on all mobile devices, the preferred device for most parents today? Do you make the parents feel special as part of the process? Registration doesn’t have to be either functional or beautiful: it can be both.
Enterprise solutions that allow for this kind of flexibility are often extremely expensive. As well, many student information systems make it difficult if not impossible to provide third party integrations. This leaves school boards trapped by the market and forced to pay a premium for half-baked solutions. *** All of these challenges are why we worked with almost a dozen school boards to design Parent Forms. It’s an online registration system that keeps the parent experience, customizability, and affordability foremost in mind.