Imagine that you’re 22-years-old, getting ready to take a new job and moving from Vermont to Georgia. After discussing it with your family (and posting it on Facebook of course), what is the first thing you do?
You MapQuest it.
You want to see just how long it will take mom and dad to get to you if you need them. The results? 17.5 hours and 1067 miles, minimum. I guess if you need them you better plan ahead — no more weekend trips home to do laundry.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with your campus visit. Ironically, it has everything to do with it.
The audience you are recruiting has grown up with GPS, OnStar, and at the very least, MapQuest. We have always known how long it is going to take us to download something, ship something, upload our iPods or post on one of our many social media accounts. The age old question of “How much longer Mom?” has always been answered.
This seems like an easy concept right? Unfortunately, many campus tours and visits in general forget to set the expectation. You forget to answer two questions, “How long am I going to be walking?” and “Where am I going to go?” Unless the majority of your audience is a trusting rarity like my mom — who hits every grey road on the map and likes to “enjoy the ride” — they want those questions answered.
No one likes to feel lost and no one likes to be late to appointments. Help your families understand your campus tour route and expected time frame. Don’t march your guests out the door without setting the expectation first. Answer those key questions for your prospective students and parents.
If you don’t set the expectation, you might just hear a dad in the back humming the theme song to Gilligan’s Island.
“A three hour tour…a three hour tour…”
Read more about our authors. Emily Welsh is the Director of Client Experience for the Consulting Division of TargetX. Emily’s experience in college admissions, hospitality, and retail has given her a keen eye for customer service and authenticity. With a passion for the experience, a confidence in the campus visit and time on many campuses, Emily brings strengths in observation, organization, writing and training to the Campus Visit Consulting team at TargetX.