A recent study revealed that college campus tours were instrumental for students when deciding which college to attend.
Do a bit more digging in the same study, and you'll find that the average student visits three campuses before deciding where to study!
How do you ensure that students instantly fall in love with your college in today's highly competitive market? How do you improve the odds of them choosing you?
The secret - giving an out-of-this-world campus tour.
Tips for College Tour Guides
If you want to plan the perfect college campus tour, you have to be smart and use the right tools to stay ahead of the competition.
Students will fall in love with your college and are more likely to enroll if the tour has been carefully planned.
1. Create a Great First Impression
Like most things in life, a fantastic first impression is essential to your success.
More often than not, a college makes its first impression via its website. To create the ultimate first impression, you need a beautiful and functional booking page where students can schedule their campus tours.
Few colleges realize that a customizable booking platform, such as Book like A Boss (or BLAB as we call it), can help your college make that booking page look impressive and functional.
With booking software, you'll be able to use various media, such as YouTube videos, plenty of pretty photos, and even testimonials. You'll also be able to add a booking form to your contact page within minutes!
The right booking platform will make it easy for students to book a spot on their next campus tour and increase attendance.
2. Make It Easy to Schedule a Tour
Contrary to popular belief, not all students are tech-savvy. They prefer websites with easy-to-use interfaces, practical features, and instant results.
It becomes easy to let prospective students know when the next tour will be with an online booking form.
There's no need for back-and-forth emails or even telephone calls to confirm bookings! Students will book a spot on your campus tour and instantly get automated confirmations of their appointments.
You'll have a fantastic-looking, easy-to-use booking page that makes it quick and effortless for a student to book their free spot on your next campus tour.
Yet, a booking form is also your secret agent! It's perfect for gathering personal information that can help you cater your campus tour to the crowd.
3. Know Your Crowd
Far too many colleges give the same speech during the campus tour.
A student visiting several campuses will quickly become bored. Every college will blur together into one hazy mess. You're less likely to charm that student into signing up when it’s time for them to make their selection.
Why do all college tours have the same boring script?
Part of this is because of the great unknown. They don't always know where their students are coming from, their dreams and ambitions, and what they're looking for from an education center.
Some tour guides address this by asking these questions during the campus tour. Sadly, the group energy might make students shy or less willing to share personal information.
Not only do you end up putting your potential student in an uncomfortable place, but you also lose valuable time trying to get to know your students.
What should a tour guide do?
We suggest using an online booking form for your campus to gather that personal information in a friendly, non-intrusive manner.
For instance, with BLAB, you can ask various questions during the booking process, such as
- Where are you from?
- What will you be studying?
- What are your career goals?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
By asking these questions online, it's easier for students to answer honestly and accurately. You also save valuable time you can instead use to show potential students your fantastic campus.
The more information you gather beforehand, the easier it becomes to create a custom, memorable script for your incredible campus tour.
4. Talk to Them
The right booking system allows you to easily keep in touch with prospective students. You'll end up with a handy email address that you can use to send campus news or follow-up emails to.
Doing this shows students you value them and that your college differs from all the rest!
A booking platform like BLAB won't just improve your marketing and reputation. BLAB will also automatically remind students via SMS or email about the upcoming tour or any necessary changes.
This feature cuts down your administrative burden and makes students feel like VIPs! It also helps avoid no-shows and endless rescheduling.
The easier you make it seem, the more different your college will be from its competitors.
5. Be Different
Being different is essential to your success!
Instead of telling students about the office hours, your efficient blue light system, or those friendly resident assistants, tailor your script to be:
Let's have a quick look at each of those so that you can create the ultimate campus tour.
Make It Fun
No student wants to be bored with endless facts about how old and prestigious that acorn tree over there is. Instead, make it fun. A fun campus tour is a memorable tour!
A great tip for college tour guides is to give students opportunities to take selfies. When they share it on social media, you gain brand recognition!
Since you've gathered all the essential information about the prospective students beforehand, you can further customize your tour to include personalized activities, such as
- Customized parking with their names on it
- A campus scavenger hunt with a prize
- Inclusion in a particular tradition
These activities will generate more interest and enthusiasm, making it easy for a student to remember your college and fall in love with it.
Make It Informative
Just because you're making the campus tour fun doesn't mean you don't have to give the safety-first speech.
It also doesn't mean that you have to ramble off facts like a robot. For example, before you let students know how many computers or books there are in the library, ask them to guess the number.
This informative interaction between the guide and the student will create a pleasant flow of energy that'll keep everyone interested and engaged during the tour. Use this tactic to make those dull parts of the tour fun!
Make It Flexible
Far too many tour guides stick to a rigid script. They lose a fantastic opportunity to give students an intimate campus experience by being inflexible.
So, let your students wander the campus and explore it on their own. Don't be afraid to encourage them to do so.
Make It Specific
Since you have specific details about your prospective students on hand, use them to create the ultimate script.
For example, suppose Sarah is interested in astronomy. In that case, you can specifically mention how your college has an astronomy club boasting 11 members!
If Troy indicated he loves playing hacky sack, let him know that you've been the reigning hacky sack champion for three years.
Names, numbers, and specific topics will make the campus tour feel intimate and personalized. Students will remember these moments, and it'll make your campus stand out from the crowd.
6. Be Honest
It's easy to get carried away and talk about that new DNA research center that's still five years away from becoming a reality.
If you want to have a successful college campus tour, you need to be honest and realistic. Tell them about the college's plans, but don't create the impression that the prospective students will benefit from it.
If you do and get caught out, your reputation can suffer tremendous damage.
7. Give Free Advice
The last of our tips for college tour guides is to be generous with your advice and insight. Some free advice and insight that can make your tour rock are:
- Local restaurant recommendations
- Share career advice
- Reveal time-saving shortcuts to different study halls
- Tell them about the local hangouts
Not everything has to be campus-related. When you're generous with advice, students will feel valued.
They'll also have a better time during the tour and think of you as an actual, honest person and not some sleazy sales robot.
Bonus Pointers for College Tour Guides
If you've gone through our tips for college tour guides, you should have an excellent campus tour ahead of you. Here are some bonus pointers to present your college tour like a boss!
Get Authentic Feedback
How will you ever improve your college campus tour if you don't know what works and what doesn't?
Getting authentic, honest feedback is an excellent way to improve your tours and fix any mistakes that turn prospective students away.
Since your candidates signed up online using your campus tour booking page, you have an email address to which you can send a survey.
Use this survey and the anonymity of being online to get open and honest feedback from students. It's also a fantastic way to keep in touch with students once they leave your campus!
Offer Customizable Schedules
Not every student is the same, nor do they all have the exact schedules. One of the biggest problems in planning a campus tour is meeting all those different scheduling demands.
For instance, a prospective student may have to skip a dorm tour to meet with their financial aid counselor.
You can keep everyone happy and informed by setting up customizable schedules that suit staff and students alike. This added professionalism will show students they are essential to your institute.
Display Hard to Reach Places
No matter how excellent your planning is, it's not always possible to show off every campus faculty, hall, and room.
So, instead of just ignoring those hard-to-reach places, try to advertise it and point it out to your candidates. Show these places off online, on your booking page, so that students know what your college has.
Make light of the situation to bring some fun and humor into it if you have to. For example, if you won't be able to show the dorm rooms during the campus tour, you can always say something like:
"Fortunately, we'll be skipping the freshman dorm rooms because I don't want you to run into overeager, chatty students. I'll spare you that energy!"
This script is far more memorable than just ignoring a facility or feature that could've turned a prospect into an enrolled student.
We've all heard the old saying that knowledge is power. It's also true for your college tour!
The more you know about your prospective students, the better you can address their needs with your tour.
While many colleges put effort into beautifully designed but static printed material, few make the campus tour experience fun, personal and memorable.
If you want to succeed and plan your tour like a boss, you need to look at every aspect of your tour. The first place to start is when candidates are browsing your college website to figure out whether they'll belong.
When you make it easy for them to book the campus tour and build their excitement up with automatic reminders, you'll end up with students that'll fall in love with your campus!
Our tips for college tour guides are sure to help you plan the perfect college campus tour.
Will it take long to set up the perfect booking page? No, in fact, it won't even take you 17-minutes to grab this free trial and set up a customizable booking page for your college.