The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

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Swim School Customer Service

Have you ever been irritated because of the way you were treated by someone who is supposed to be in the customer service business?

How did that make you feel?

I just spent $500.00 on a flight that I am currently on so I am about 30,000 feet in the air right now (yes, I am in the air now as I write this blog). Five minutes ago I politely asked my flight attendant, “Could I have a cup of coffee please?” She replied, “sure when I can get to you!” And not only the choice of words, but the tone! I wish you could have heard it!

My grandmother always taught me the golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Wouldn’t you rather hear words like, “Sure, I’ll be right with you!” Wouldn’t that make you feel better and help you enjoy your experience more vs. “WHEN I can get to you?” Not to mention it would be just as easy! Most importantly, you would step off the plane with a GOOD FEELING about XYZ AIRWAYS. Instead, this one flight attendant gave me a bad impression of their entire company!

Imagine if you or I have swim instructors or other employees who speak to our customers like that in our swim school business. It could kill a small business like ours (or at least hinder our growth) and we would have no idea why!

Be proactive rather than reactive. Here are FIVE takeaways you can put into action today:

1. Find out how the swim teachers are speaking to the parents (Many of my teachers have never met my wife so I have her sit near customers and listen).

2. Listen to how your receptionists talk to your customers on the phone (I listen in when my receptionists don’t know I am listening. They will also sound great when you are there).

3. Check your employee candidates references! Their previous employers will usually be happy to help.

4. Call your swim school from an unknown number.  See how they friendly they sound!  Better yet, have a friend call to collect information without registering.  I would utilize this strategy on a semi-busy day to see if they rush your “potential client.”
5. TRAIN them! You have to train and prepare your employees for those busy, stressful days.  That’s when they have to be at their best!

If you have ideas or stories that you would like to share, please do! I would love to hear from you. And remember: “It’s not just what you say–but HOW YOU SAY IT!”

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

November 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm
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