“What you say before the event is an explanation, after it’s an excuse.”
Guest post by Jurek Leon, Perth, Australia
Brisbane dentist Paddi Lund makes this point in his fascinating book Training customers to treasure your business. He has a ‘Welcome Book’ which is given to all new patients before their first appointment. This explains potential problems with some procedures before they happen. For example, taking out wisdom teeth. That way he doesn’t have to make excuses afterwards. He also sets out what is expected in fees.
Dr Lund says, “If I say I’m more expensive up-front, and my new customer accepts that, they are not going to complain that I am pricey when they get their bill… within reason.”
At Glen Helen Resort in Australia’s Red Centre, Shelagh O’Brien and her staff do this well. Their confirmation email includes a paragraph that educates their customers (often international guests unfamiliar with the challenge of distance in Australia) prior to arrival so that they don’t have unrealistic expectations.
“We ask that you understand that while our rooms are not deluxe they are comfortable. The price is influenced by the high cost of operating in a remote environment and once you take in the beauty of the region I’m sure you will find it to be money well spent.”
What do you do currently to pre-educate your customers and what else could you do to improve on this? Share this article with your team and use it as a discussion point at your next team meeting.
I’ll let guest author Jurek Leon introduce himself…
I am based in the City of Perth in Western Australia but run numerous workshops on ‘Valuing Visitors’ – these days particularly in drought stricken and tourist depleted communities in regional Australia. The customer experience and how to influence it positively is the main way I work as a trainer and facilitator. I also do a bit of work at times in the UK and New Zealand in small towns. I came across your [Positive View of Rural] newsletter through another Perth based community consultant, Peter Kenyon’s ‘Bank of Ideas’ newsletter where he has been giving you a mention.
Welcome, Jurek! And thanks for sharing this article with all of us.
You can subscribe to Jurek’s Terrific Newsletter or email him to subscribe at email@example.com
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Thad James says
Excellent points! Every quote request I receive is a conversation with the potential client. I explain my services AND the procedures it takes to complete the deal. Discussing my expectations and detailing what the client can expect makes for a more informed consumer and a happier customer. This saves confusion, communication errors and builds trust.
Becky McCray says
Thad, I love the idea of training your potential clients from the very first moment.