Resort management has a good reason for paying you more for return and request students. A Harvard Business Review article notes that that improving customer retention by 5% can increase profitability by as much as 95%. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/1590.html. You too can achieve this result where a smaill increase in your return rate will almost doubling your net income! In this post I present how you can use email to engage with your clients and bring them back to you.
At the ski school, you are the supplier of lessons. If you want to enhance “word of mouse”, an email campaign can engage your students, keep them coming back for years, and inspire them to spread the word about your teaching talents.
Your Clients Come From Far Away
Most sport coaches from other industries maintain regular contact with their students. As the relationship develops, they discover the student’s strengths, weaknesses, goals and fears. Three interfering factors make the ski school experience resemble a one-night stand:
- A short ski season: During the summer, students might forget everything they learned.
- Financial constraints: Cost of travel, hotel, lift tickets and lessons might limit regular ski trips
- Distance constraints: If someone lives on the other side of the country, they might not be able to attend regular lessons.
Converting that one night stand into repeat business is the goal and email will help reach across distance and time and bring your clients back to you.
Creating an Email List
During lunch or cocoa breaks, tell your students that you would like to correspond with them through email. Map your ideas, which might include:
- Tip of the week
- Off-season training
- Questions and answers
- Trip Reports
Ask for their emails, but make it optional. Students who opt-in want to hear from you. If you didn’t get the email from your guest during the lesson, your resort’s booking system might have it, but still ask the client. The simple act of asking confirms an old adage about teaching: “People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Your first email should take the form of an evaluation questionnaire. This creates an immediate, two-way conversation, which opens the door to engagement. Use either a simple email form, or a site like Survey Monkey. The later provides anonymity, and might produce more honest responses. Compose questions that evoke pleasant memories of their ski lesson.Then, ask the pivotal question: “Would you recommend me to your friends and family?”
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