While we think we are most judged on the dance or music education we offer at our studios and the quality of our instructors, don't forget about the impression your office staff makes on your customers. They are usually the first and last people they will deal with at your school and the quality of customer service they offer could make or break a family's decision to join or continue at your studio. Make sure your office staff is nailing everyone one of these tasks, every day.
1. Greet the customer and create a relationship. A happy, friendly staff is important. Staff members need to make a conscious effort to remember customer names, faces, likes, hobbies, etc. That is what will set your studio apart from the competition. Creating relationships with your current customers is internal marketing at its best.
2. Answering the phones. If possible by the second ring. Don't make a potential customer wait on you. They'll hang up and call your competitor! Do you know what your staff is saying when they answer the phone? Make sure this is clearly spelled out for them.
3. Checking company email. Most communication comes via email these days. Don't make your customers wait - I suggest 15 past the hour, each hour, office staff is checking and responding to email. If you have online registration, they should be checking for enrollments too.
4. Give tours to new or potential customers. Part of their job is to turn walk-ins into long-term customers. Make sure you have a tour script and your office staff is familiar with it. This is a great thing to role play and practice.
5. Daily cleaning. Cleanliness is so important to parents. Do you have cleaning checklists for the office, studio rooms, lobby, bathroom, etc...? When a potential customer walks through your doors you do not want their first impression to be a bad smell or a cluttered office. You want them to feel confident about their choice to check out your studio and all it has to offer.
6. Keeping schedules and office forms in stock and up-to-date. Office staff must be prepared and have what they need to do their job. When they don't that is poor customer service at it's finest and looks terrible to the customer.. Who have you placed in charge of restocking the office on a regular basis?
7. Scheduling make-ups. Do you have a solid system in place that everyone follows? Parents should not have to worry about a lost make-up date or have to wait on the phone too long when calling in their sick child.
8. Collecting tuition. Hopefully you are using an automated system to collect tuition, but even then new students join in the middle of a month, credit cards are declined, etc. Make sure your system can handle all your different tuition amounts, coupons, discounts, etc. Train your staff well in entering data correctly in your system to minimize any errors. At staff meetings go over how to handle sticky financial situations such as late payments, declined credit cards, etc.