Your best bet for growing your client base is to ensure you keep the ones you have. This means maintaining the same level of support, customer service and quality of service you offer when acquiring new clients.
Investing in your relationship with your current clients produces results that will grow year after year. With the average business losing 20% of its customers annually, investing in retention is something you can't afford to skip.
SwimKids USA created a retention department to ensure all their clients feel valued and appreciated. We were lucky enough to have Shaunna share some of their strategies for not only keeping their clients but keeping them happy! Check them out:
Train, Train, Train!
Not only do we train weekly on their skills as instructors; we also train on customer service as well. We teach them about body language, projection vs. yelling, intonation, and how to speak professionally with parents about their child's progress. Sometimes just teaching them to have the courage to speak with parents can really have a positive impact on how they teach. We encourage and provide personal development with all staff because Happy/Fulfilled Employees = Happy Customers.
Get to Know Your Clients Personally
We encourage our staff to get to know the clients on a personal level. We remember their names so they don't have to give it when they come in for classes (not perfectly, of course). If they were gone on vacation for a week, we ask them about it when they come back.
Little Things Matter
Living in the desert, it gets hot, so when someone comes in looking flushed, our front desk will offer them a water from the snack bar. When I saw an older child trying to get water out of his ears, I offered the sample of Earsheild I received from the conference to the mom to try. The next day they came in for a make-up and both the mom and child were beaming because it worked perfectly! If a parent forgets their cash (our snack bar is cash only) and the child already has a treat, we just tell them to pay next week when they are in. If we see a child doing something nice or kind, we give them a sticker or tattoo.
Life Event Cards
Any time a client has a baby, death in the family, medical illness, graduation, etc., we get an appropriate card and have the entire staff sign it and give it to them.
We list all our clients who are coming in for their first time on a welcome board at our check-in computer so they know where to go and feel welcomed from the moment they begin their classes. I have even had some parents take pictures of the board with their name on it. I took a picture of the one I have out today to give you a visual reference.
If a client has no call/no showed for 2 or more weeks in a row, we call them to make sure everything is alight and offer to move days/times if necessary, or anything else that can help them be able to attend their classes.
When a child checks in for their class, a note will pop up right around their birthday letting us know it is either coming up or just passed (gives the date). We have a treasure chest with toys in it and we invite the child to come back and pick a treat from it.
We decorate for all the Holidays. We especially go all out at Christmas and Halloween. The kids come in amazed and awed by the atmosphere. It's almost like stepping into Disneyland for some of them. We even do a pumpkin patch every October We offer free wi-fi so the parents can check email, finish a work project, or just catch up on Facebook and know their children are in good hands. We offer a free indoor play area that our clients can use anytime, not just when they are here for lessons.
SWIMKIDS USA, INC.
2725 W. Guadalupe Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85202