All in the name of "Customer Service"
Running a Swim School is never easy. Being organised with scheduling and staffing is always a great addition to the daily operations of your business. Having policies and procedures in place for contaminations and emergencies are a must but what about those difficult situations with customers?
Will those situations ever come up and do you have to plan and prepare for them?
Yes, you do.
Firstly, what will it go wrong?
Customers will turn up to the wrong lesson
The wrong information will be communicated to customers
Direct debit systems can backfire
Make up lessons can be incorrectly scheduled
Class ratios can be incorrect
Lane space can be incorrectly allocated
The list is endless!
Here are some great easy ways for you and your Swim School to handle difficult situations of conflict resolution when things may not go the way you expect.
1. Stay Calm – remaining calm is a massive part of dealing with any upset customer. Provide the customer time to explain why they are not happy with the situation. Take a deep breath and listen to what is being said.
2. Assess the situation – whatever you believe has happened look at the situation from every angle. Put yourself in the customers shoes and try to understand what they are dealing with. Be honest with yourself and the customer if you have dropped the ball.
3. Body Language – No one likes negative body language. Stand tall with a customer, make eye contact. Never stand with your arms folded across your chest, provide open body language that is ready to listen to the customer. If it helps take notes to get the details correct.
4. Be professional – remember your response reflects you and your company. Don’t take anything personally. Be mindful of the image you are portraying, this could be your golden moment of turning a disaster into a triumph!
5. Location – Conflicts with customers usually occur in open areas. If you can move yourself and the customer to the side this is great. Avoid having any sort of conflict completely disrupt your businesses regular operations. If another staff member can continue to serve other customers this is ideal.
Never accept abusive language or physical threat and don’t be concerned to ask another staff member for assistance.
6. Be clear and committed – Come to a resolution. This may mean a refund, a credit or change of lessons for a customer. This can also mean a customer walking away from the business. If this is the case, this is completely acceptable. Don’t feel that you have to sacrifice everything for a customer, sometimes having them walk away is the best option for both parties.
Dealing with difficult customers is part of running a swim school and having the skills to deal with these customers is great. Make sure you have these skills and your team are equipped as well. Customer service can make or break a business!