Being educators themselves, the management team at AOne noticed the turmoil that their peers were facing, and decided to help out.
This initiative was met with much enthusiasm, and within three months, more than a million minutes of teaching time was accumulated on our account.
When the world was plagued by the novel coronavirus in early 2020, most countries reacted by going into lockdown. The Malaysian government did the same in an attempt to restrict local spread of the virus, and the country was placed under a movement control order (MCO) since March of the same year. Citizens were discouraged to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary, and non-essential establishments, including schools and learning centres, were ordered to stay closed.
Since then, many education centres had struggled to adapt to this change. Most centres in the country had been operating similarly to schools prior to this, where lessons were conducted in physical classrooms, and students had the freedom to interact freely with their teachers and with each other. However, since the MCO was instated, this kind of teaching model could no longer be used in the near future. Faced with such a sudden crisis, many learning centres had been scrambling to find alternative solutions, and not all had succeeded.
Being educators themselves, the management team at AOne noticed the turmoil that their peers were facing, and decided to help out. While there were teachers who had successfully adopted Zoom as their teaching platform, they did still face issues like fewer opportunities for interactive teaching, difficulty adding ad hoc teaching materials when students have questions etc. Eager to help, our team combed the web for solutions, and finally stumbled upon the whiteboard teaching platform HeyHi.
HeyHi is a cloud-based whiteboard app that can work on any digital device, such as laptops, phones and tablets. The way that this platform is superior to Zoom and Youtube is that it allows interactive real-time tutoring between teachers and students. Educators can write or draw on the whiteboard, attach files at any time, and chat with students via a chat feature during lessons. This creates a much more similar environment to a classroom setting, which allows for a smoother transition from offline classes to digital learning.
In an effort to give back to the community, AOne partnered with HeyHi to offer the app’s service for free to all our current clients. This initiative was met with much enthusiasm, and within three months, more than a million minutes of teaching time was accumulated on our account. There had been queries about the sensibility of doing so from a business perspective, as no revenue was generated from the partnership. However, to us, the main objective during these uncertain times should not be to make money; but to help out fellow educators in the country. In AOne, we believe in the philosophy “givers gain,” and we firmly believe that as long as we can provide value to our clients, the reward will come someday.
In 2008, pizza company Domino’s Pizza’s stock hit an all-time low of $3.00 per share. During that time, the company had a reputation of providing poor food quality and poor service, with public complaints of its pizza crusts tasting like cardboard. Fast forward to today, Domino’s Pizza has outperformed its competitors in the quick serve restaurant industry, beating famous brands like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s. Its stock price rose 5000% within a decade, the rate of which is rivalled only by streaming company Netflix. Now, Domino’s went from being a failure to one of the most successful fast food chains in the world; while its main competitor, Pizza Hut, struggles to survive. What is the reason behind this disparity?
The answer: Domino’s inspiring digitalization strategy.
When the company’s valuation bottomed-out, then-CEO Patrick Doyle led the company through a massive overhaul, both in its menu offerings and its digital transformation. Domino’s announced a new menu with new recipes, which garnered significantly better reviews from customers. However, the most notable reason for its success was the brand’s quick adoption of technological innovations.
If you have ordered from Domino’s Pizza online, you would have noticed how easy and user-friendly the process is. Customers can easily order from their website or app, choosing food items from a neatly-categorized menu, and customizing their selections effortlessly. After the order is placed, a progress bar appears, letting you know which stage your pizza is in at the moment. It even tells you the name of the staff in charge of your food! This smooth and interactive process was a hit among customers, especially with the younger crowd, thereby propelling the company to its leading industrial position today. Compare that to Pizza Hut, which is now one of the worst-performing subsidiaries of its holding company Yum! Brands. The difference between these two contenders are their willingness to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour, as well as their promptness in embracing digitalization as part of their business strategy.
So, after reading this story, do you still wonder if digitalization is for you? If an industry that is so entrenched in a brick-and-mortar business model can be disrupted by digital tactics, don’t you think yours will benefit as well?
If you still need convincing, here are four reasons why your education business should go digital, right now.
1. It will give you a competitive advantage over other establishments
One of the biggest benefits of digitalization is the ability it gives you to track and analyze data. When speaking with our clients, we found out that most of them still market their services by giving out brochures and posting banners. After distributing the flyers, there is no way for them to track how many people are actually interested in their services, and they also have no opportunity to collect contact information from potential leads.
With digital marketing, you can measure the number of people that engage with your advertisements, and get in touch with them easily. This gives you an edge over other centres – rather than blindly distributing papers and letting them gather dust in an abandoned folder; you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right audience.
On top of that, going digital allows you to efficiently track the two things that matter most in your business: cost and revenue. If you’re running a tuition centre, what is the most efficient way to figure out which classes are doing well, and which need help? When making plans for the next quarter or year, how would you know which parts of your business need expansion, and where to cut costs? These decisions can be made more effectively by digitizing your operations.
With a software that allows organized revenue monitoring, you can know how your centre is doing at one glance. For example, when using AOne Schools, you get to view detailed revenue reports based on the classes you offer, your subject categories, and student levels. You can even monitor monthly sales and enrolment performance, which helps you determine when to boost your marketing efforts throughout the year. All the contacts of your students and/or their guardians are saved in the system, allowing you to reach out to them easily when needed. You don’t even need to send individual messages to each guardian – just blast out notifications in one go! On top of that, tracking student’s attendance will be effortless, both for you as centre operators, and for their parents as well.
2. Digitalization improves productivity
As mentioned above, the two most important things to a business are cost and revenue. To gain more profits, revenue is not the only thing that you should focus on. It’s also important to ensure cost efficiency when scaling your business. As an educator, what are the most time-consuming aspects of your daily operations? Scheduling? Invoicing? Payment tracking? All of them? If you have to keep hiring staff to perform these duties, it’s time to find a better solution.
AOne Schools is a software that helps education centres systematize their workflow. Students that are registered into your system can quickly be enrolled into multiple lessons at a time. Class schedules can be changed with a few clicks, and instantly updated on the calendars of relevant students and teachers. Recurring invoices are generated automatically, and payment can be processed within the app, leaving you with ample free time to focus on other things that matter. It used to be that growing a centre means hiring more administrators, which gets expensive with time. Now, you can grow your business while keeping employee numbers low, without sacrificing efficiency.
3. You will boost customer satisfaction
Let’s do a little experiment. Observe ten people that you know. How many of them are on their phones when they’re hanging out with you? Do they still watch cable TV, or have they switched to a streaming service? Is there at least one food delivery or shopping app on their phones?
Chances are, most of them will check their phones multiple times in an hour; watch movies and shows online; and have apps on their phones that allow them to make purchases online. On top of that, they probably prefer banking online, and make transactions through e-wallet(s) regularly.
If so much of their daily lives is already digital, why would you expect them to be satisfied with analogous systems for their extra-curricular education? Instead of receiving printed schedules, wouldn’t it be better if they can view all their lessons on a single calendar? Rather than going to your centre to pay their fees every month, do you think they’ll prefer the flexibility of paying anywhere they want, and receiving a digital receipt right away?
One way education centre owners can improve customer satisfaction is to enable guardians to access information about the students’ education. As a parent, they might want peace of mind knowing that their kids are safely in class. They would also like to know how their children are doing, and maybe receive photo updates about their learning progress. This is why we added these features into our software, so teachers can help parents feel more involved in their kids’ education.
4. It creates more business opportunities
“My business is conducted offline. Why do I need to digitalise it?”
This is a question that many education centre owners have, when considering whether or not to go online. While it’s true that your classes may have to be conducted offline, having a digital component is still encouraged. First of all, you need clients to be able to find you. According to the Global Web Index compiled by Datareportal, 81% of people search for products or services online. Even if it’s a local business, consumers still prefer doing some research online before buying. Therefore, having an online presence gives you a higher chance to be discovered by potential students, and a simple contact form lets them inquire about your services easily. For centres who are not keen on investing in a website, at least have a strong social media presence, or list your services on an education platform. The biggest benefit of being online is the ability that it offers you to receive and keep your leads’ contact information. This gives you an opportunity to follow-up with them after initial contact, and share news about package deals in the future.
On top of showing your business offerings, being online also allows you to share testimonials that you receive from customers. Similar to how word of mouth helps promote businesses, good reviews also build trust in customers’ minds. Going digital is a great way for you to give future clients an idea of the good service that they can expect from you.
“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to reinvent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.” This is a quote by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, a.k.a the richest man in the world today. Identifying shifts in the way people shop, and jumping onto the digital bandwagon early helped him achieve monumental success.
Will you be like him, or will you be left out like Pizza Hut? Your choice.