Once upon a time, Buffy Folise used a paper process to enroll students at Chicago Swim School. Enrollment topped out at 400 so this was difficult. Actually it was complete chaos. Papers were flying everywhere and credit cards were being manually processed one after the other in a monotonous progression. Buffy’s partner Rob looked at her with blurry eyes that had been staring at a computer screen for far too long, keying in student, parent and payment information by hand.
Notice that we said “once” upon a time. The paper processing ordeal that took place the first enrollment season that Buffy co-owned the school inspired her to quickly implement software that would help her staff by automating several critical business processes – like enrollment and tuition collection – and streamlining the way they organized and managed their data.
Over the next few seasons, Buffy saw some amazing things happen.
- Improved productivity. Her staff could do more in less time. And not only did they complete tasks faster, their work was also more accurate.
- Greater professionalism. Part of the professionalism was a direct result of greater accuracy. But what was even more obvious was the time that staff had to spend in engaging with families face-to-face about things that are more important to them than tuition payments, like their child’s development in skills and self-confidence.
- Increased enrollment. It didn’t take many enrollment seasons after that initial one for Buffy to see the swim school’s enrollment soar toward 1400. Yes – one thousand four hundred. The driver for that growth was software. The software gave Chicago Swim School the ability transform the way they did business so that it to fit what parents wanted. They tremendously improved the experience of their customers and made them ecstatic. The word of this type of experience spread. Not only did Chicago Swim School produce great retention numbers, they blew the top off with grow in new students.
Chicago Swim School continues to grow – in fact, they now have two locations and more than 2400 students enrolled in classes.
It just so happens that the software Buffy implemented at Chicago Swim School after that first paper enrollment ordeal was Jackrabbit.
“Jackrabbit has definitely been a catalyst to our growth. We simply couldn’t have handled our growth without software to help us. But Jackrabbit did more than help us handle it. Jackrabbit gave us benefits that helped us improve how we operate and to exponentially grow our business.”
Buffy Folise, Chicago Swim School co-owner