Swimming Instructors Tips - The Importance to Customer Feedback

by Pool Builders on 09-02-2011 in Articles

As professional swimming instructors and teachers.

Do you seek active feedback from you clients or are you a little frightened too?
Do you reward and thank your customers for their feedback?
Do you have encourage your customers to come forward with feedback?

In our last newsletter we talked about the importance of swimming professionals being in a positive mental state, when we are given negative feedback or criticism from clients or bosses. Today we are going to concentrate on welcoming feedback as part of your daily practice.

So what is customer feedback and do you take personal responsibility for it?

At our swim schools, we saw feedback as complaints or compliments on our products and services. All our swimming instructors came to understand, it is a very necessary open communication and where ever possible, we welcomed it from our patrons and bosses. So allow me to share with you, some of the ways we would do that.

Organizing regular opportunities for feedback from your swimming patrons are a great way to deepen existing relationships with your customers. You may be quite amazed by the insights and snapshots of your customers. As their perceptions, can be quite different to yours.

For example. Not to long ago, we had a policy that, if a swim instructor was not happy with the content delivered in a 30 minute lesson; they had my permission to extend the lesson by an extra 5 minutes. It didn't happen very often, but we felt our parents, would appreciate the extra effort and commitment to the kids, from the swim teacher.

In actual fact, it was through a feedback survey that we discovered, how "annoying" many parents felt "this practice" was, not just the parents who followed these longer classes, whose lessons subsequently ran a few minutes late, but the actual parents whose children, where in these extended classes, as just that extra 5 minutes upset many parents carefully planned schedule, yet not one of those parents had approached us at the reception desk or talked to our pool deck co-ordinator.

Clearly we too, had failed to pick up this vibe and not communicated the reason or benefits to the children why we were doing the extra five minutes. This response was not limited to a chosen few, but largely in the majority. Many parent grateful, but clearly stated in our survey that they would rather the children finish on time. Subsequently, we stopped doing this practice immediately and worked that little bit harder on putting everything into the 30 minutes of lessons

Do you actively follow up complaints?

Verbally or formally! OK, in the bigger aquatic centres and swim schools, often there is a person in charge of complaints, however, I have always felt, it's important as a professional swim teacher to be directly involved with complaints and their procedures. It shows a deeper commitment to your customers.

I love following up a complaint personally either by phone or official letter, as this gives me the opportunity, to thank them again (Yes, I thank all of my customers whether the feedback is good or bad). I am also able to report the actions, we have put in place because of their comments, thereby showing our patrons, that their comments or complaints were valued and acted on. I find often, a complaint equals an improvement.

By implementing a regular feedback processes properly, it may seem little time-consuming yet it can be very rewarding and even accelerate your progress. In fact, I venture to say many swimming instructors today; simply don't bother, therefore just by establishing and acting on a feedback from a customer, you have already established a point of difference from others immediately.

Once the feedback channels with your patrons are open, you will be amazed, how accommodating your regulars will be. A small step, often repeated, can lead to massive changes and improvement. Just some of the ways a swimming instructor, personally can establish opportunities for their customers to comment.

Type up a series of questions (survey) & ask them to complete on pool deck.
Organize a special time to meet & great your parents. Host a morning tea.
Send a "miss you "card & include a survey with a stamp addressed envelope to past clients. Designate a special time that you are available to take phone calls.
Display a small Suggestion box at the pool.
Organize a special "Coloring competition" questionnaire for your children, attach a comments sheet for your parents.

Just think of some ways you can positively use feedback from your customers?

Of course, not all the feedback collected will be useful so understanding what is useful and what's not is another skill but more about that in another article..

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