Friday, January 02, 2009

Non-Paying Customers

How can you create loyalty if you are a non-profit? Just like the for profits do!

I recently encouraged public schools to offer additional services that appeal to their "free clients" (the students) as well as their "pay clients" (the taxpayers). There was a wonderful article in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review (November 2008) about the value of non-paying customers and it got me to thinking about all the various ways these things play out.

After School Magic Workshops are one way that a school can serve both the paying and non-paying clients. The students win by learning a fun new skill and the parents win because their kids are safe, engaged, learning, and most importantly growing to LOVE the learning process, which is a GREAT thing to have happen in any business.

Think about it, Starbucks (for all their current challenges) built a business around teaching their customers how to enjoy the PROCESSS of drinking coffee. It was only partly about the coffee, and mostly about the process of ordering, sitting, savoring, socializing, seeing and being seen, etc.

The same thing could happen in an after school magic workshop, too. The students would learn about the joy of the PROCESS of learning. Just my thoughts.

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