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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is it Time to Let Customers Pay for Camp Over Time?

How many campers do you lose because they can't afford your camp tuition?

Or maybe they can afford it, but since you require full payment up front, it's too much money for a family to come up with all at once.

For some families, paying for camp all at once is a drop in the bucket. For others it's nearly impossible. (Naturally you want the money, but the ultimate loser in this case is your prospective camper since they miss out on your fantastic camp experience.)

Even if a family can afford to pay for camp upfront in its entirety, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate the option to pay over time. Offering families a way to pay for camp in installments is a nice way to help more people afford your program and get more referrals.

If you don’t offer tuition financing, perhaps you should consider it. Letting prospects pay over time can help them fit the cost of summer camp into their family budgets more comfortably, especially in times like these with high unemployment and maxed-out credit cards.

Try to come up with a tuition financing plan that works for both you and your families. As long as your financing plan requires families to complete full payment before summer ends, you should be able to cover your operating costs.

For all you know, nobody will even take you up on this and they'll pay for camp in full upfront anyway. But even if they don’t choose to finance, maybe they know some friends who've been holding back because they can't afford camp.

But when they tell their friends about your new financing options, you may just pick up a few more campers you otherwise wouldn't have even known about. Pretty cool!

See what you can do. My guess is families will really appreciate the option to pay over time, and your gesture will go a long way toward your improving customer service, your social marketing efforts and your word-of-mouth referral rates.

And of course, all of that means more enrollment....YES!!!

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