Designing the Customer Experience

Swim schools are high energy and high emotion businesses. The successful ones focus on superior experiences. Experiences are journeys. Great journeys are designed. Great journeys lead to high customer retention and high “WOM” (word of mouth) referral.

Service design is a system for developing the relationship between your business and your customers. Service design and delivery = SD2

If you want your swim school to thrive in a competitive environment, you need to make sure things are constantly improving day in and day out. You are never “done” – You must anticipate, create, innovate, iterate and repeat as needed. Identify 3 or 4 reasons why customers prefer you over the competition. This is your baseline, your starting point.

Look for ways to impress your customers – here are a few ideas:

  • Valet Parking – Car Wash during lessons (additional fee, outside contractor)
  • Nanny Day – free coffee and cookies for the Nanny
  • Quality Play area for young siblings and Homework Haven for older siblings and working parents
  • Chair massage during peak hours (additional fee, outside contractor)

Look for opportunities to create service bundles:

  • Pre-pay for 15 lessons = discount on a birthday party or retail coupon
  • Adult lesson fees include a cap and a basic practice kit; fins, paddles, kickboard
  • Waterbabies first session fees include pool pants, educational material for parents and some bathtub toys used in the lessons

Alternatively offer a la carte offerings and pricing to change the customer service and mix:

  • Holiday programs registration + one private lesson at a special price
  • School group bookings receive one complimentary private adult lesson for the teacher

Create tiers of service: which things should be automated? (On line registration). Which things should have a personal touch ? (On deck concierge service, customer support)

Devise perks and paths to encourage customers to move to premium ranks:

  • A Deluxe lesson package entitles your family to one free Family Exploratory Swim per month
  • Purchase of four private lessons gives you a bonus of our best fins and goggles
  • Gold Club – double your Aqua Bucks (credits) with every purchase

Your culture lines up with your customers expectations and reinforces your ability to deliver on those expectations.

A service oriented culture demands service oriented leadership. Service Leadership demands a constant focus on finding a better way to serve customers and employees. Service Leadership is never satisfied with the status quo.