“Brand” is relevant to every business no matter what size it is, and we need to establish our brand to survive the competition.
How will branding yourself as a Driving Instructor and a small business keep you “top of mind” with your students and parents? What do you need to spend on branding – a small fortune?
Establishing your brand is more about how your customers perceive your business. Even if your driving school is a mom-n-pop business, you can create an impression with your customers that you are professional, trusted and knowledgeable by being exactly that!
How that is some Driving Instructors get away with charging a little more for their driving lessons than others yet still seem to be leading the way with lots of business and recommendations. Customers will pay for perceived value for money. With delivering a consistently excellent service and creating an enjoyable and educational experience for learner drivers (and parents), the market will place value on this and pricing becomes insignificant as they see the expertise and value in what is being offered, delivered and maintained. As the old saying goes – “You get what you pay for”! If the experience meets the expectations of what a student and parent expect and deserve – they will value it.
Your brand basically sums you up as a Driving Instructor and once you have established it, keep building it and protect it by meeting your students and parents expectations consistently – the same experience for past, present and future customers. What messages are you planting in your customer’s minds? When a customer speaks to a friend about your services, what are they saying? If they see an ad from your business, how do they feel? Most of all, if they book lessons with you – what do they expect and are their expectations fulfilled? All these things are considered when selecting your driving school over another?
Many of us may think that our “brand”, starts and ends with the lesson. Our service, knowledge and expertise is top priority but our students also remember us because of the overall experience they receive. Your brand as a Driving Instructor or Driving School is earned over time – not over one lesson.
This experience can be likened to a “journey” or a road trip – a student going from selecting us, booking with us, perceiving our lesson value, repeat booking with us and ultimately passing their driving license. This journey should be enjoyed by the student who gains value every step of the way. It is the customer experience from the time they find you through to the time they are ready to drive solo. Give your customers a truly unique experience, one they will rave about.
In the driving software, there are many excellent driving instructors. It is competitive and many of us are trying to attract the same students in our local areas. We all advertise similar lessons, packs and “promises”. Who actually delivers on those promises? Offers the best experience end-to-end? This overall experience will help solidify your professional brand and lead to a strong reputation and recommendations.
Start mapping out how your students and parents interact with you – what is their experience from the first point of contact? Think through the process from a student or parent’s perspective, put yourself in their shoes! Is it a breeze or is it a nightmare? Endeavour to make their experience great and fulfil all their expectations and you will cross the winning line first…
Carry out a business health check:
- How do your students and parents find you?
- How do they know when you are available?
- How do they know if you offer manual and auto?
- How you do they book with you?
- How much time is spent on back and forth texts and phone calls?
- How do they pay for their lesson or lesson packs?
- How do they remember they have a lesson so they show up?
- How do they receive feedback on what they need to improve on and what they are doing well?
- How do parents know where their students are at and where they need extra help?
Most importantly how easy, conveniently and seamlessly does all of the above happen? And how do each of the above actions impact your day as a driving instructor? These mundane tasks, phone calls and texts take up YOUR valuable time – time that could be spent on more important aspects like ongoing development, training, focussing more on lesson content and adding value in other areas that you only think and dream of? Don’t forget a day off or a holiday here and there!
How would you like to automate each and every one of these tasks as a start? If you looking for a niche solution in the learner driver industry – look no further.
Other tips to build your brand:
- If you have other instructors as part of your brand – take onboard their ideas and expertise so everyone is on the same page with “consistency”.
- It’s always a good idea that all instructors are trained in a similar way to deliver this brand consistency
- Offer your students and parents value-add information over and beyond their lesson
- Remember names and birthdays – if these details are stored in a CRM system at your fingertips all the better! YLOODrive could be your CRM of student and lesson history!