Would You Let This Doctor Treat You? (Bear With Me – It’ll Soon Make Sense)
You get a small cut and think you might need stitches. Not wanting to spend $800 on an emergency room visit – not to mention the drive across town – you Google family doctors in your area and find one that’s just around the corner.
So, you drive over and walk in the front lobby. As you walk in, you detect the distinct odor of dirty feet and stale mop water. The front waiting area is full of chipped floor tiles, stained ceiling tiles, the windows are dirty, there are cobwebs in the corners, there’s something sticky on the floor, and there are posters and fliers on the walls that are advertising events that happened months ago.
So far, not so good.
Realizing that you really should see a doctor to at least get a tetanus shot (when was the last time you got one?) you approach the front counter. No one is there. However, a nurse peeks her head into the waiting room, briefly glancing your way out from behind a closed door, looks you over and pops back behind the door without so much as a fare-thee-well.
Finally, the front desk attendant walks in and sits down behind the counter. “Are you here to see Dr. Mal Practice or Dr. Sue Delott? Fill out this form and have a seat.”
You fill out the form, and sit. And sit. And sit. And sit. 30 minutes pass. No one speaks to you. No one talks to you. You haven’t even seen a doctor yet, and yet you’re already pretty sure they’re both vets and that you must have Googled the wrong thing by accident.
At that moment, you decide $800 isn’t so much money after all and that the drive really isn’t all that far anyway, and you walk out the door to head over to the ER.
As You Might Have Guessed, It’s Not A Doctor’s Office I’m Talking About…
Ahem. Are you blushing yet?
If you’ve read this far, you know darned good and well I’m not talking about the doctor’s office here. What I’ve just described is the experience new students are treated to in thousands of martial arts schools across the country.
Here’s the thing; you might be the best martial arts instructor in three counties, or the whole darned state. You might have moves that would make a contortionist bionic ninja do a double-take. And, you might have a martial arts system and curriculum that is the martial arts equivalent of the Encyclopedia Brittanica and Wikipedia combined.
But all that doesn’t mean diddly-squat if your front-end enrollment process and business image is criminally bad. Honestly, if no one ever gets to the point where they actually are able to see how good you are, then what’s the point?
Forget About The McDojo Thing – You Could Really Learn Something From McDonald’s
Consider the lowly McDonald’s franchise. They serve a product that is, in my personal opinion, consistently less than mediocre. Grey meat slightly singed on a bun that tastes like sawdust bread. I have come to believe that the secret sauce and those condiments aren’t meant to enhance the flavor, they’re supposed to cover it up.
Yet, you can walk into any McDonald’s virtually anywhere in the U.S., and 99% of the time the floors will be freshly mopped, the tables will have been recently bussed and wiped down, the bathrooms will be serviceably clean, you could literally eat off the stainless steel counters in the kitchen, and the staff member behind the cash register will at least greet you verbally when you approach the counter.
As we all know, McDonald’s spends a large fortune on advertising. Their brand awareness is nearly unmatched. But, the reason why they make money hand over fist isn’t because of their advertising or brand awareness, and it’s certainly not because of their product. No, it’s because of the consistency of their service.
See, people want to know they are going to get the same thing whether they’re in Schenectady or San Antonio – which in the case of McDonald’s is a clean, dry, friendly place to sit down and have a burger, fries, and a Coke that is going to taste the same, every single time you go in there. Sure, it’s not the best meal, but there are ZERO surprises when you walk into a McDonald’s restaurant.
Honestly, I can’t say the same for any other fast food restaurant chain. Not a single one.
That’s Why The McDojo Down The Street Is Kicking Your Butt: Good Service
Most people wouldn’t know good martial arts if it smacked them upside the head. But, they do know that they want to train in a nice clean facility with friendly staff and instructors. Service counts.
That’s why it is absolutely critical for you to realize that once you figure out how to get leads, it’s only half the equation. The other half is providing consistently good and friendly service to your clients.
Get both halves of that coin stamped, and you’ve got yourself a winner. But, mess one or the other up, and you’ll be struggling in your business from now until you quit or it dies.
And what goes into good customer service in a martial art school? If you’re asking that question, I suggest you read Small Dojo Big Profits and The Profit-Boosting Principles to learn what that really entails.
Oh, and one more thing…
Disinfect your floors – that “bare feet” smell is bacterial growth.