Your customer, I hope.
Everything you do, keep your customer at the forefront of your mind.
There’s an advert at the moment where 2 men question their bill in a restaurant. I can’t remember the details, but they are charged extra for asking what the house white was, and they are charged extra for this and extra for that.
I took the car in for a major service this morning. It wasn’t done last year as I was barely using it during Covid, so I went for the ultimate one this year.
As I handed the keys over, I asked to confirm the price. £209 unless it needed a special oil. They would let me know if it did.
Just as I started a lesson my phone rang. I ignored it so the phoned the landline.
They were told I would phone them back within the hour once my lesson had finished.
As soon as I finished my lesson, I gave them a call. Did I know where the wheel kit was for taking them off the car?
I said everything I was given when I got the car was either in the boot or the glove compartment. Feel free to have a look.
They said they had looked but couldn’t see it. They could take the wheels off. But it would be £35 for the kit to put them back on.
A car with no wheels seemed like a ridiculous idea so I agreed.
Then he stated that was per side.
So, I confirmed £70.
No, £140. It was per wheel.
I suggested that instead of doing the major service they did the full service instead.
Sorry, they couldn’t do that. They had already put the car on the ramp to do the full service.
An hour later they called again. He wanted to check which wheel set they wanted me to use. The one agreed upon or another one for an extra £40.
I confirmed the one already agreed upon and confirmed the price was now at £350.
No, £460. It had needed a new coil. Had I not been told about that?
I pride myself in been fairly even tempered. But I could feel the annoyance start to rise.
I love my car, it’s just a small Corsa, but for what I need it is perfect. It was a job that needed doing but having gone from a quote of £209 (expecting to pay £250-260) to now being at £460 and still not finished, I was fuming.
How does this relate to tutoring?
When a parent/ potential customer gets in touch and asks questions, be clear. Don’t just give them “the talk” and say what you think they want to hear. Be honest and open. Tell them what you charge and mention from the outset any possible extras (if there are any).
What does your price include?
Because the thing is, I obviously have a car. Clara, my daughter, and her partner both have cars. Angel is learning to drive.
I will tell them the story when I see them. Are they likely to take their business there? No, probably not. Am I likely to go back there? No, definitely not.
And again, it’s the same with tutoring. When a customer feels hard done by, they will tell others.
And the reputation you have worked hard to establish can quickly be torn to shreds.
Keep your customer at the centre of everything. Treat them like gold. Be open, honest and do the very best for them that you can.
Let that be the story that others say about you and continue to grow your business from strength to strength.
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