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How to re-engage with pupils that have dropped off

As an ADI, you've definitely had that pupil that was great, committed and then for one reason or another - stopped learning. Today we go through practical techniques that will help you re-engage and see them back into the drivers seat.

Person Looking Away. Photo by Noah Silliman

Start with a list of names and numbers

To get started, it's advisable to start with a clear and visible list of which pupils dropped off and specifically the pupils that you want to teach again. By doing this you're thinking about who you want in your car. It's important to have strong pupils with a high level of engagement, that have a positive rapport with you and that are good to be around.

Grab a piece of paper or spreadsheet, list of their names, the number of hours or lessons they previously attended, the progress they made and the reason why they chose to stop learning. Next, give them a number between 1 to 10 of how likely you believe they are to start driving lessons again with yourself.

By doing this, you now have a sheet of past pupils, in priority order, to go through and to start calling or re-engaging with. And now, it's very clear who you will be contacting and you will have refreshed the learner driver in your head - which will make reaching out easier.

The Direct Approach

Now that you know which learner driver you will be reaching out to, it's time to contact them. A common and most simple approach is to reach out to them.

When doing this, we strongly advise a phone call over a text message. A phone call is more personable and the learner will appreciate you reaching out.

Some tips for these phone calls:

  • Ask if they have 2 minutes, you want to ask permission to speak and not assume that they are free. By doing this you're allowing the learner know you will only use a couple minutes of their time.
  • It's about them, not you. Start with the reason they stopped learning. Ask them how that situation is, is it on-going.
  • When talking to them, be specific about their progress and test readiness if you are to use that as a factor.

A good example to use is, "James, I have some open spaces starting in a couple of weeks, you were making great progress with hill starts and your clutch control. How do you think your progress was? And how many hours do you think you would need to be test ready?"

By doing this, you're asking them engage and think about the possibility of passing their driving test - from there you can ask the question if they are interested in coming back.

Social Media Approach

Perhaps you don't want to take the direct approach there is always the subtle approach. Past pupils will have you on Facebook and Instagram - here is where utilising social media comes into effect. Update profile on Facebook / Instagram.

Update your social media presence, a new photo of your car / your driving school logo.You could even add a banner to the logo Limited Spaces. This way they will see you've updated your profile and perhaps see that you now have spaces.

You can then follow up with a post on both Instagram and Facebook:

That's my car ready to go! I still have 3 open spaces, if you have previous lessons with me and want to pass your test - get in touch! Can't wait to get you back on the road!

Zoom Checkin Session

Another solid approach is call your pupil and offer a Zoom Class. You can find out how they are prepping with their Theory Test, and give advice for 30 minutes to an hour.

Additionally, they may have been learning with their friend or parent. Why not ask them, and ask to talk about how they are getting on. What sort of challenges have they found - apart from Dad getting a little too upset!

Another advantage of this, you could potentially start getting paid for online classes.

Reach out to the parents

Rather than reaching out to the learner driver, you as an ADI could reach out to the parent. Explain you know that the pupil stopped for the specific reason they gave and explain that you feel they were making good progress. Let the parent of the learner driver know how close they were to becoming test ready.

They parent, who is often funding the learner, may just give them a boot to get their lessons started again.

Consider offering a deal

If you're prices have changed since they last were with you, you could consider giving them a deal at their old hourly rate so they feel like they are receiving special treatment. Only do this if you're keen to see the specific learner pass and you're happy to give out the deal.