Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Moments of Truth

One summer during my college years I worked in the accounting department of a company - as a file clerk.  I'm sure my job title was something more illustrious than that, but there was nothing illustrious about filing papers for eight hours a day.  While the job was not spectacular - but I was glad for a job - I did gain a great insight from one of the training sessions the department had.

The point was made is that each interaction a customer has with a company is a moment of truth - either a positive one or a negative one - and the key is to make every interaction a positive moment of truth.

Think about your own experience as a customer.  What companies do you like?  What companies to you dislike?  Why do you feel that way about them?  My guess is it probably has to do with your interaction with one or more people from that company.  The barista at the coffee shop did an outstanding job of making your latte just right.  The teller at the bank really messed up your transaction.  The cashier at the grocery store greeted you with a sincerely friendly smile.

So, as a music teacher, how does this translate into your job?
Here are my ideas:

- Be professional.  

This means having a professional website or blog (if you have one).  This means answering your phone professionally.  This means responding to emails and phone calls promptly.  You get the idea.  Teaching music is your job.  Treat it with the professionalism it deserves.

- Be upbeat.
You probably teach music because you like it.  Be enthusiastic about what you do.  Let your enthusiasm spill over to your students and parents.

- Communicate. 
I can't stress this one enough.  As I stated earlier, be on top of responding to emails and phone calls.  Keep parents in the loop on how their child is doing in his lessons - this could be through a brief chat at the end of the lesson, through an email, or through a phone call.  Talk with your students.  Find out what they want to get from their lessons.  Find out what music they like.  Find out why they are taking lessons.  Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Let's talk: How do you try to make every interaction with students and parents a positive moment of truth?

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