Don’t be an April fool

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or how big your business is, Customer Service is at the forefront of business success. You’re no longer being compared to the football club by the school, the dance class in the community centre or the private recorder lessons. Your level of service is now being compared to the market leaders, the Amazon’s of the online world, the John Lewis of retail, the David Lloyds of the leisure industry.

Parents no longer just want their children to have lifelong self defence skills regardless of the venue, they are looking for the whole experience; from researching the club, to dropping their children off, to making payments etc. Their (and our) expectations are high. Are you upping your game to meet those demands?

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Back to Basics

back-to-basics

It’s easy really, just think about how you expect to be treated by any company you deal with. You want to be treated with care, respect, efficiency and friendliness.
Let me give you an insight into the kinds of things students and parents complain about the most when they call our office…

Notice Payments

notice-payments

“No one told me when I joined that I would have to pay notice!”

When students/parents join do you highlight the cancellation policy? The schools that achieve the highest collection rate of notice payments are those that sit with the payer and explain in detail all the processes and procedures. Making people aware of this from the start helps to manage their expectations so there are less issues when it comes to collecting notice payments.

“ I told the club ages ago I was leaving, why do I have to now pay notice?”

We know how busy you are and that’s why it’s so important to have systems in place to help you capture student requests and action them as soon as possible.

Change Requests Not Actioned

change-requests-not-actioned

“I asked the Instructor 3 months ago to reduce the price as Johnny can’t train as much, he’s just not done it”

This is highly frustrating for the payer, it makes them feel out of control and ripped off, and it’s all downhill from there. Again, make sure there is a dedicated process that you follow when students/payers request changes.

No Proactive Communication

no-proactive-communication

“I haven’t been to class for 2 months and never received 1 call from the Instructor. The first communication I get is your letter asking for notice”

What the student is really saying here is that the Instructor doesn’t care about them; ‘He didn’t even notice I wasn’t in class’ and I imagine that’s not the case, you just didn’t have time to call.

I strongly recommend you making the time to check attendance records and contacting people who haven’t trained in a while, you can use emails and free SMS on myMA to do this quickly and easily. Chances are the student has just been busy and forgot to return to training. Your call could be all they need to remind them and get them back to class.

Not informing them of all the extra costs

not-informing-them-of-all-costs

“When I joined I was never told about the extra grading fees, licence fees, equipment, seminars etc”

Sporting activities aren’t cheap and not all parents/students have the funds to keep up with all the extras. We would strongly recommend spreading out these costs over their 12 month payments so they don’t feel the hit or feel like it’s one payment after another. It’s also a useful selling point that there are no hidden costs and that all services are included in their monthly payments.In summary, ask yourself whether your customers are treated exactly how you would like to be treated so you can be confident that your students are happy and treated fairly. They then have no option but to sing your praises and recommend you to their friends!

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