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Case Study: Cognita

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 by Weduc

Cognita Europe transforms communication to elevate parent satisfaction

By adopting ReachMoreParents as its branded communications platform in Europe, Cognita is progressing toward its goals. Offering parents consistent, easy communication across over 40 schools, it's paving the way to greater satisfaction and stronger parent-school ties. 

Parent satisfaction essential for lasting success 

On a mission to enable young people to thrive in a rapidly evolving world, Cognita manages over 100 schools globally, including over 40 in Europe. Each school is unique, but all are united by shared goals: to deliver an outstanding holistic education to students and an excellent customer experience for parents, including high-quality communication.

Why is this so crucial?

Clear communication, as Cognita's annual surveys show, is at the heart of parent satisfaction. And it's this satisfaction that improves student retention, which contributes towards Cognita's success. Especially in the world of independent schools, where enrolment rates don't change much, keeping the students they’ve got is paramount. 

The struggle of ensuring consistent communication  

Facing the critical need for clear and reliable communication, Cognita faced a stumbling block. There was no uniform system to manage non-school fee disbursements, like club and trip charges. This administrative inconsistency risked confusing parents, and in turn, compromised the quality of communication.

This mirrored a broader issue with the school group's communication, which lacked one central system to use. Parents' opinions on communication quality across over 40 of Cognita's schools in Europe were a mixed bag. Some were content, others saw room for improvement. 

Raising communication standards to satisfy parents across all schools was no small feat. As with collecting payments, every school communicated with parents in their own way. Rather than forcing change, Cognita wanted to give schools the option of a superior platform that could infinitely enhance communication consistency.

ReachMoreParents: Cognita's tool for progress

The right tech was needed to whip payments and communication into shape, fuel parent engagement and lift those satisfaction levels. Cognita chose ReachMoreParents, initially for its secure online payment feature. This would ease the payment process for UK-based staff and parents while providing valuable reporting insights.

Cognita didn't just adopt the platform, they made it their own. They rebranded it as Cognita Connect and added their group logo. The new branding created a more personalised, unified experience that affirmed Cognita's standing as a trusted, top-tier school network.

However, implementing Cognita Connect across over 40 diverse schools presented its fair share of challenges, given the different resources and needs each school had. Despite the hurdles, our team's technical support, coupled with tailored training videos for each school, made the process smoother. The implementation became easier with the help of Cognita’s change champions who not only endorsed the platform but provided peer support, minimising the need for project lead intervention.

Boosting parent engagement with key features

The platform’s fast and accessible messaging feature quickly became a favourite among schools for its convenience and efficiency. It has replaced emails and letters with a system that enables staff to send event reminders, student instructions, and even mass messages to entire year groups. Saving school staff a lot of time while keeping parents informed and engaged. 

Moreover, the calendar feature has emerged as a reliable hub for school events. With it, parents can stay effortlessly up-to-date, enabling participating schools to retire their website calendar. This strategic change has allowed the newly redesigned websites to focus squarely on engaging prospective parents.

Also making waves is the Newsfeed feature. A community-building tool, it’s making sharing student achievements, artwork, and school events a cinch for staff while fostering a vibrant school community. What’s more, given the international nature of Cognita’s parents, they’re excited to start using the platform's translation feature. This will not only enhance communication but also unite Cognita's international community further.

Consistent communication earns parent praise

Thanks to Cognita Connect, pulling communications together across the group's 40 schools has never been smoother. Turning parental engagement and information sharing into a breeze. 

This improvement hasn't gone unnoticed. The evidence lies in the annual parent surveys, which reveal a clear winner - Cognita Connect. Parents appreciate having one source of information and the surveys show that Cognita Connect is a preferred platform for this. Given the platform didn’t exist three years ago, this underscores how rapidly it has improved communication within Cognita's schools. 

Cognita Connect also doubles as a platform to share local achievements in schools. Cognita can use it to share and celebrate amazing feats from Chile to the UK. In essence, the platform has become the backbone of the Cognita community, satisfying the high expectations set by parents for independent schools. It offers more than just stellar results—parents get to see the bigger picture of how their children are being prepared for the real world.

Cognita’s thoughts 

“Cognita Connect has helped us deliver consistent, effective communication to our schools. Tailoring the platform to our brand was key, elevating parents' experience while affirming our status. Our comprehensive pre-launch efforts and support from the ReachMoreParents team ensured smooth sailing through initial hiccups. With Cognita Connect, we've shown parents their voices matter and their needs are our priority.”

Adam Teall, Product Owner for School Operation Platforms.

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