Keep your customers coming back

Managing your customer retention rates is an enormously important part of growing your business into a sustainable business.

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How many of you have a favorite restaurant, garage or  shop that you like to frequent above others? Why do you enjoy going back to these places? Customer retention is far cost effective and profitable to your business than going out to try and find new business only.

You must understand and appreciate exactly what your clients need when they do business with you—even if they are unable to articulate that exact result themselves. Once you know what final outcome they need, you lead them to that outcome—you become a trusted adviser who protects them. And they have reason to remain your client for a lifetime. – Jay Abraham

Customer retention is how well a company keeps its paying customers over a period of time. It’s been said that the purpose of a business is to make and keep a customer. A low customer retention rate is much like trying to fill a bucket full of holes with water and keep it full. You could keep pouring water into the bucket to make up for the water leaking away but a far better strategy would be to find out what caused the holes and fix them. Retaining existing customers is far less costly than going out to find new ones and far easier than acquiring new ones.

 

In a study by the Harvard School of business it was found  that increasing customer retention by even 5% can increase profits between 25-95% and found that 61% of the small businesses surveyed indicated that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers. Furthermore, the study found that repeat customers spend 67% more than a new customer. The disappointing thing though is that 70% of businesses did not list retention as their top priority.

How can you improve your customer retention rate?

Stand for something

Customers like to be associated with businesses that share the same values as themselves. If you want loyal customers, you need to create real connections with them. What are your values, your business values? Promoting Project AWARE, eco diving practices or safe diving all can help to give value to your dive shop. What do you stand for?

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Use Testimonials

Does your website have testimonials from existing clients telling about their positive experiences with you? Positive proof is the most effective strategy for getting people to listen to your business.

Appeal to your customers inner ego

Most people prefer products and companies that “resemble” them in some way. This cognitive bias is called implicit egotism, and is an important thing to keep in mind when talking to customers. To attract the customers you want, you need to identify your target customers down to the last detail, then craft a message that matches their pains, goals and aspirations. It’s easier to fill this existing demand than to create one. Using the PADI Continuing Education training courses is an effective method. Let your customers do courses that are beneficial to them.

Compare the before and after

“This is your world before diving and this is your world after diving.” Provide a contrast for your customers. Let them aspire to be that amazing scuba diver that they could be. Understand where they are now and where they want to be. Speak to that and show them how diving can bridge the gap between where they are now and where they will be.

Don’t just sell, educate

Customers enjoy receiving helpful recommendations or new information on products that will help them achieve better results, Have guest speaker evenings at your dive centre, invite scuba equipment manufacturers to do talks on their latests products, get the instructors to do presentations on breathing techniques to make dives last longer. This will keep customers engaged and wanting to come back to your dive centre.

Make it personal

In a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that waiters and waitresses could increase their tips by 23 percent by the simple act of returning to tables with a second set of mints. The researchers concluded that the mints created the feeling of a personalized experience for the customers who received them. So, it was the personalized service that made their day, not the small gift in itself. Do you have an effective Customer management program? Are you sending out personalised emails and thank you notes directed at the right customer? Using a system like EVE can assist you in this.

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Customers enjoy business who know them

Numerous studies have shown that customers view their experience as more positive when they don’t feel rushed or ignored. Tell your staff to spend more time with their customers. Get to know them, share diving experiences. But its not just about hanging out. Make sure that your staff find out more about your customers and their key wants and needs. Use this for future retention ideas. Making every customer feel like they truly matter goes a long, long way. 68% of customers stop doing business with a company due to feeling like the company was indifferent towards them.

Get a Loyalty program.

The biggest pitfall in preventing customer loyalty programs from succeeding is getting people started. Everyone that does business with your dive centre should automatically be enrolled into your loyalty program. In the famous Car Wash study two groups of people were given loyalty cards to a car wash. The first group needed eight stamps to get a free car wash. The second group had 10 stamps but when given the card, two spaces were already stamped. Only 19 percent of customers in the eight-stamp group (the first group) made enough visits to complete their card. However, 34 percent of the 10-stamp group (the ones given a head start) came back enough times to finish their loyalty cards.
 Additional research have shown that people love being “VIP” or higher status members. Make sure to have different levels to your loyalty program.

Conclusion

“Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.” – Ross Perot

It is extremely important to conduct extensive research into your customer’s behaviors and demands to determine the best retention strategies for your business. But keeping that loyal customer will enhance your business, grow your turnover and reduce the overheads of seeking out new customers.

 

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest Winners

2016 marks PADI’s 50th anniversary. We’ve loved our time in the diving community and are proud to continue to serve PADI Members and divers as best we can. So to celebrate this milestone, we held a contest asking PADI Pros and divers alike to submit photos, videos, and stories to share what you love most about diving. We were delighted to receive nearly 6,000 entries from all over the world and loved seeing the ocean through so many of your eyes.

After weeks of going through all the entries, we were finally able to make the difficult decision of picking our top three winners in each category. We’ll start with our first place winners:

First Place Photo: The Pit by Tom St. George
This photo of the famous Mexican cenote is absolutely breathtaking. We love the silhouette of the diver against the unique backdrop of this freshwater pool. Tom wins a GoPro HERO4 package!

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First Place Video: Perhentian Islands by Alex Cheok
This video showcases the Perhentian Islands so well that it convinced a few of us to add this to our future dive vacation bucket list. And we can’t get enough of that clown fish! Congratulations to Alex who wins an Aqua Lung CORE regulator.

First Place Story: By Leda Monsma
Leda’s determination and courage shown in becoming a PADI diver inspired us and brought smiles to our faces. We’re proud to be associated with such strong divers, and are excited to share this story with our community, which wins Leda a Suunto D4i Novo dive computer.

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Congratulations to our first place winners! Our second and third place finalists also had great submissions:

Photo Finalists

Second Place Photo: Photographing a Shark by Brian Burnett
Sharks are always a crowd favorite – and this one wins Brian an awesome PADI swag bag.

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Third Place Photo: Two Humpback Whales by Sergio Nogueira Jr
We can’t help but smile whenever we look at this photo – everyone loves whales! Sergio wins Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

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Video Finalists

Second Place Video: Turks and Caicos by K Ian Wells
We can’t get enough of these videos that showcase the area so well. Turks and Caicos is an amazing place, and Ian’s video captures it perfectly. Ian takes away a fantastic PADI swag bag.

Third Place Video: Lembongan by Kai Barlow.
Winning him a copy of Vivid-Pix photo editing software, Kai took this video to show off the spot where he did his Divemaster program. Sign us up!

Story Finalists

Second Place Story: by Amy Kendall

We can all relate to the feeling of being connected to other divers, regardless of the languages we speak. Amy wins some top PADI swag!

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Third Place Story: by Danielle Downe
This story of reconnecting with her mother through diving is so touching. We’re glad Danielle has found a way to be close to a lost loved one and wins Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

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With thanks to our contest sponsors, Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix:

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Congratulations to all of our winners, and remember you can continue to celebrate PADI’s 50th Anniversary by ordering your very own Limited Edition 50th Anniversary replacement certification card from here.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

On my travels over the past year or so to many different types, sizes and locations of dive centres I have come across many different types of plans in these dives centres. Although there are many dive centres that have plans and strategies in place there are very many that do not. Of this group of dive centres I think that the types of planning I see can be broadly grouped into two main categories. The first and most common one I see is the “Make it up as we go” strategy. The second type is the dive centre that has a year plan proudly displayed in the office but mid way through the year hasn’t implemented any of the well thought out plans they had put together for the year.

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Having a plan within your business becomes critical to staying ahead of the competition and significant to the future success of your business. Failure to acknowledge the power of planning can be the end to any growth within a business and if you don’t know where your business is going, it’s going nowhere.

Regardless of what method of planning you decide to carry out, there are a few basic questions you should be trying to answer in your planning processes. These questions should include some of the following:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • Who will do what and by when?
  • How are we measuring our success?

This is a pretty simple way to describe planning but if you are focusing on some form of these questions, you can put together a road map for your dive business. The planning process does not have to be complicated. In fact, if your planning process is complicated then you run the risk that nobody  will understand it or people will interpret it in a different way to what you had envisioned.

There are two types of plans to implement. The first is your strategic plan. This is developing a strategy for the dive business. The second part is the planning. What steps need to be taken to execute the Dive businesses strategy.

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Some of the benefits of Strategic Planning include the following:

  • Provides a method for decision making within a business.
  • Allow staff to ask and answer important questions within a business.
  • Should reveal future opportunities and concerns.
  • Sets objectives and goals for the business and staff.
  • Provides a measuring stick for performance.
  • Develops team and team work that is focused on the business’s future

Having a Business Strategy gives your dive business the ability to better anticipate and prepare for change. You’ll lose valuable momentum being reactive rather than proactive. Customer expectations, competition, and economic changes are all variables that can rock the dive boat and send you to the sea floor if you don’t have strategies in place.  

The lack of a strategic plan can also send your employees morale down to the sea floor too. Besides the obvious need for your employees to receive a salary they need a reason to come to work everyday. Without a focused plan, morale falls and employee interaction becomes vague and lifeless. A good plan lets your employees know who is doing what, why they’re doing it, and how they individually contribute to the success of your dive business.

Having a plan allows you to set benchmarks and assists you in assessing your performance. A  plan requires you to measure and document performance. Doing so will allow you to benchmark where you’ve been, allowing you to adjust your trajectory of where you are going. Documenting data is a wise business decision to keep your organization moving forward. Do you know how many certifications, launches, charter customers you had in the same period last year and what are you aiming for in the months to come?

Failing to plan is indeed planning to fail.

My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.

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Each year, you help bring one million people closer to the underwater world by issuing PADI certifications that present countless opportunities for fun and adventure.

But a certification card is much more than an all-access pass to Earth’s final frontier. To many, it’s also a badge of courage that has helped transform their lives in deep, meaningful ways. These authentic, inspirational stories of transformation shared at “My PADITM, My Ocean, My Hope” can inspire millions more around the world to start, keep or teach diving.

My PADI is how Leo Morales found salvation through diving when he lost his leg to cancer. My Ocean is how Andre Miller connected and inspired his community to protect their greatest natural resource through dive education. My Hope is Emily Krak’s dream that others will learn to respect and protect the ocean for future generations.

My PADI collects stories of the human experience where diving is the foundation for connection. It’s a conversation starter about a deeper purpose and shows that diving enables us to realize our best selves. When this happens, we are the happiest. When we are happiest, we are most able to find purpose and to help others find theirs.

Do your divers, friends and community members have stories such as these? Encourage them to share what My PADI, My Ocean, My Hope means to them and how diving transformed their lives. Watch the stories. Be inspired. Spark conversation.

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest with Prizes from Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix

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2016 marks PADI’s 50th Anniversary, and to help us celebrate this landmark event we’re calling on PADI Professionals and divers to share their favourite diving moments from the last 50 years.

Enter a photo, video or story today and you could win one of these incredible prizes: an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, a GoPro HERO4 package, a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, Vivid-Pix photo editing software or a PADI eLearning Gift Pass/Gift Bag.

The contest is open now and will close for entries on 10th July 2016 (23:59 UTC). Winners will be announced on 25th July 2016. Please visit the contest page for full terms and conditions.

Why not share…

  • An incredible marine life encounter
  • A memorable experience with your scuba students
  • How and why you became a PADI Pro

Make sure you get your customers and student divers involved, too! They can share their top underwater memories or simply tell us what being a PADI diver means to them.

Top tip: Why not offer some themed events (like local marine life spotting or photography days) to help your students experience and capture some incredible moments under the surface. Make it easy for everyone to enter the contest by setting up a computer and connection for them to make use of e the post-dive briefings.

Click here to enter via the Contest Page
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Tag your entries on Twitter or Instagram using #PADI50Years

3 Categories to Enter:

gopro#1 – Share a Photo

A photo says a thousand words. Submit a photo which showcases your favourite diving moment to win a GoPro HERO4 package, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

core-reg#2 – Share a Video

Manage to get your favourite diving moment on film? Let us watch it too! Submit your video to win an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

#3 – Write About it

Didn’t have a camera with you? That’s OK. Write about your favourite diving moment in 150 words or less and win a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

 

Enter Now!

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Changes in Attitudes

Attitude… Its a little thing that makes a BIG difference!

How often have you heard this? On your path to becoming a PADI Pro you would have realised that there are people that you have met along the way that have had such an amazing attitude and have positivity influenced you but just the same you have met people that just should not have got out of bed that morning.

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Enhance or change your attitude toward scuba instruction by identifying the importance of your role, and  professional duty, as a recreational diving counsellor…

A great instructor not only conveys knowledge and skills, but also transfers enthusiasm for our sport to the student. Why did you decide to become a PADI Instructor? At some point in your career there was probably a PADI Instructor that so inspired you or positivity changed you that all you could think about was one day becoming like that person.

In the dive centre or resort that you are currently working at or have recently visited there will be instructors and dive masters that you are drawn to and like to dive with or listen to them interacting with their students. You may noticed that these PADI Pros are truly living the dream. but what are the attributes that are making them successful?

Today’s diving consumer:

  • Interested in many sports
  • May only dive once/twice a year
  • Free time is at a premium
  • May be 5-10 years old!

So…

  • Challenge and thrill of new experiences is critical
  • Your experience and enthusiasm with regard to success in the experience is invaluable

Why do people come to us for our services? If you ask your students most of them will include high up in their list that they wanted to become a diver to have some fun. Too often the Instructors goal is to simply get the student certified and they forget about having fun themselves and with their students.

Change your attitude. Your new goal should be to create lifelong divers rather than certifying students.

What do we Sell?

What do we sell?

Fun

This is generated though a transfer of enthusiasm for our sport through proper equipment counselling, challenging and adventurous educational experiences. If the diver is enjoying himself/herself (having fun), the investment in equipment, further education and additional experiences is just the means to the desired end.

Equipment

The most influential person on when, where and what a student buys is…

The PADI Instructor!!!

Surveys indicate that 65% of PADI divers made buying decisions based on recommendations from their instructor.

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Prepare them for success with proper equipment outfitting

  • Will the students be more comfortable?
  • Is it critical to be more comfortable in initial training?
  • Might they progress better with consistency in their equipment?
  • Might it be safer?
  • Will they have more fun?

Education Counselling

  • Your attitude toward learning experiences is key to success
  • Must truly believe in benefit of training to achieving student’s goals
  • Challenging educational programs entwined with new equipment exposure and adventurous experiences will maintain the diver’s interest in our sport

Experience Counselling

  • Adventurous experiences may be the impetus to buy equipment and continue training
  • The thrill and allure of experiences could have been the spark of their interest
  • Extreme exposure is attractive
  • Extreme exposure requires equipment
  • Your experience contributing to theirs is invaluable

Have a look at how you are doing things in your dive centre. Have a look at your approach towards your students. When you arrive tomorrow morning try and have fun.

The Power of Attitude

“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.  A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes.  It is a catalyst…a spark that creates extraordinary results.”

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PADI 50th Anniversary Promotions

PADI_50_lightbackgroundThe PADI 50th Anniversary campaign celebrates PADI as yesterday’s trailblazer, today’s leader and tomorrow’s future in the dive industry. This global campaign draws on industry icons and legends to share PADI’s story throughout the evolution of the dive industry over the past 50 years, clearly reinforcing PADI’s position as the authority in recreational diver training now.

The PADI organization will celebrate its golden anniversary throughout 2016 with the following plans currently in place:

  • Additional video testimonials featuring dive industry luminaries – past and present – will be produced and shared via PADI channels.
  • The PADI logo received a special, 50th anniversary treatment and will mark PADI communications throughout 2016.
  • Hosting contests and giveaways focused on the 50th Anniversary across PADI social networks and in certification card mailings.
  • Limited-edition 50th Anniversary certification cards will be issued to all divers earning certifications throughout 2016. Several styles will also be available as replacement cards.
  • PADI’s 25 millionth diver certification, expected to be issued during 2016, will be celebrated via an extensive media push.

All PADI Members are invited to join the celebration. The PADI 50th Anniversary logo and related marketing collateral is available on the PADI Pros’ Site.

What is a PADI AmbassaDiver?

AmbassaDiver_Hor_Logo_RedBlk - CopyLast week we launched our search for our PADI AmbassaDiver! We are looking for Pro divers and divers who really make a difference and have a story to tell. But what does it all mean?

As a PADI AmbassaDiver, you will be representing what PADI stands for. A passion for the ocean, safe diving and a constant desire for new adventures. You will be introduced as an AmbassaDiver on the official PADI blog where we will highlight your projects and your story. We will keep up with your adventures and the way you influence the diving community all year. You will also receive exclusive PADI AmbassaDiver merchandise.

You will be a part of all the new product releases, engage with the PADI news, and be invited to talk at events such as PADI member updates or PADI Go pro night. You will be a brand advocate of PADI through social platforms, events and relevant engagements and will be expected to use said social platforms to bring brand awareness as AmbassaDivers are passionate about diving, exploration and adventure, and sharing their love of the sport and the ocean planet is one of their greatest joys.

PADI AmbassaDivers are leaders in the dive industry or local communities and will be elected based on their abilities to influence, engage and inspire others to start and keep diving.

Through passion and dedication, PADI Brand Ambassadors are changing the world of diving or changing the world through diving.

Application Procedures:

Applicants for the PADI AmbassaDiver program should be certified by PADI and able to show a strong social media following and/or significant contributions to scuba diving or related areas.

Download the application here and send an email to [email protected] telling us why we should choose you!

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PADI Pros: Renew Your 2016 Membership Before 31 Dec and Get These Offers!

Renew your 2016 PADI Professional membership before 31 December 2015 and you’ll be able to take advantage of several exciting renewal offers:

SS021949000_D6i-Novo_Stone_Front_Metric_Airtime#1 – Win a Suunto D6i

Renew before 31st December 2015 and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a Suunto D6i dive computer in one of four colour options (stone, stealth, black or white excluding metal strap variants). PADI Pros that have already renewed their 2016 individual PADI membership will also be entered into the prize draw. Terms and Conditions apply.

Renew Online and Enter the Prize Draw Now!

#2 – Free PADI Digital Product

Complete your renewal before 31st December 2015 and you’ll be able to take advantage of our free digital product renewal offer as a thank you for renewing, by choosing from either a free PADI Open Water Diver Touch or PADI Equipment Specialist Touch. That’s a benefit worth up to £65 / 88€ / 96CHF to you straight away. Find out more about PADI Digital products here.

To claim this offer, simply renew your membership and contact your PADI Sales Representative to claim your free Open Water Diver Touch or Equipment Specialist Touch today!

Renew Online and Get Your Free PADI Digital Product!

#3 – 5-for-4 on PADI Digital Products

Renew your PADI Professional membership and get the 5 for 4 offer on all digital products; that’s a saving of 20%!* Don’t miss this chance to save on PADI’s latest digital products – contact your local PADI Sales Representative to place your order and take advantage of this benefit for renewed PADI Professionals!

Renew Online and Get 5-for-4 on PADI Digital Products!

#4 – Automatic Renewal Discount

PADI’s Automatic Renewal service saves you even more money and registering is easy! Sign up to have your membership automatically renewed for 2017 and you’ll still get the discounted rate for your 2016 PADI Professional membership! Simply select the option to register for Automatic Renewal during your 2016 Online Renewal process to take advantage of this fantastic benefit.

Renew Online and Sign Up for Automatic Renewal Today!

If you have any questions about your PADI Professional renewal for 2016 please contact Customer Services by email ([email protected]) or telephone (+44 (0)117 3007234).

Don’t miss out on these fantastic offers above – click here to Renew Online Now

Together We’re #1 In Diving!

It’s no mystery why PADI is the world’s leading diver training organization. Members value the high quality of PADI materials and excellent customer service while divers get the benefits. All of this has made PADI the global leader and most trusted source for diver training since 1966.

*5-for-4 Offer ends 31st July 2016. Offer available only on multiples of five of the same product, not available as mix and match. Available to PADI Instructors who have renewed their PADI membership for 2016.

New Contest: 12 Days of Scuba

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Between 1st and 12th December, take part in our brand new “12 Days of Scuba” contest and share with your students to get them excited about diving, too!

Every day an exciting new challenge will be unlocked – from photo competitions to creative tasks – and there’s a total of over $2,200 worth of Aqua Lung scuba goodies to be given away over the 12 days.

Prizes sponsored by Aqua Lung include: PRO HD BC, CORE Regulator, Alu Trio Torch, Impression/Linea Mask, Rashguards, Defense Dry Duffel and more!

To enter, simply visit 12 Days of Scuba contest via the PADI Facebook Page.

Click on the daily gift box to see the latest challenge and prize, and submit your entry before midnight each day to be in with a chance to win. You can complete as many or as few as you like, and winners will be announced throughout the 12 days on the contest page.

Make sure you bookmark the contest page and check back each day to enter the next challenge and see the latest winners.

Can YOU complete all twelve days?

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