We’ve been shouting about it for ages: the way teachers purchase and interact with marketing is changing! Teachers don’t need marketing, they need relationships with people who can understand their needs, help solve their problems and overcome their obstacles.
I want to focus this blog on relationship building and overall experience for a teacher looking to purchase from you. The aim must remain the same: to give the client a delightful experience so that they become loyal followers and advocates of your brand.
We all know that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, but this is a double-edged sword. Those wonderful recommendations can be flipped on their head in an instant if a client has a bad experience.
Of course, it is impossible to please everybody all of the time but if you focus on these 5 tips it can help you ensure that all clients have a delightful experience that they will happily share with colleagues, friends and anyone else that wants to listen!
1. Make each client interaction personal:
I have been told that my memory can sometimes be a little ‘too’ good; remembering things that people may prefer I forget, but this helps me tremendously when dealing with clients. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone and like a knot in an elephant’s tail we all need little reminders!
This is where you can rely on your CRM (check out Campus and how it can help you make each teacher interaction personal).
Make teachers feel important and appreciated (because after all, they are!). Where possible use their name and refer to your CRM for any notes you may have made about the client, what they have previously bought, any historical issues, names of other people in the school that you have previously dealt with.
2. Under-estimate : Over-deliver
Always give teachers more than they expect. If an enquiry is likely to take an hour to deal with, tell them you will have a response for them in a couple of hours. When you get back sooner than promised the client experience is instantly enhanced.
We tend to remember positive and negative experiences more vividly than average ones. If a teacher has a positive experience they will be more likely to remember and tell others, becoming an advocate of your brand.
If possible, give a little extra. For example, attach a free report that you have written or provide a link to a document that supports what you are helping them with.
3. Deal with problems quickly and honestly
As a teacher, if you contact a company with a problem, there is nothing worse than not getting a prompt reply (we can all relate to this in any aspect of life). It is so important to respond quickly, even if it is to say that you are looking into the issue and you will get back with a resolution as soon as you can. The teacher will not feel ignored and will also be more willing to wait a little longer for a response and resolution.
If something does go wrong, apologise and explain where the problem arose. It shows you are human after all and a teacher will appreciate your honesty rather than making an excuse for the problem.
Knowing your teacher personalities is also really important so you know the best way to deal with any problems/enquiries they may have to leave them feeling delighted. Any complaint is also a learning opportunity to help you improve your current processes to avoid a similar thing happening again.
4. Shut up and…..Listen
Listening to your clients is key! Listen to what they are saying, do not make assumptions. You will not always know what your client wants. Their body language and tone of voice can often tell you more than words. Listen to how they feel and give them your undivided attention.
Your clients can be your biggest advocates but they can also be your harshest critics. Ask them how you are doing, what they like and don’t like and then take this feedback and learn from it. If there is some negative feedback, look at why the client was unhappy in this area and put a process in place to avoid it happening in the future.
5. Never stop developing your knowledge
By understanding every inch of your product inside and out, you will be able to give teachers confidence in your ability. With this understanding you will be in a position to help teachers with any problem and confidently answer their queries and also over-deliver by giving them that little bit extra.
So there we have it. Really simple steps which may seem like common sense but I cannot stress how important each and every one of these are when creating a delightful client experience!
Get out there and be delightful!