Driving school owners want to make sure their driving lesson schedules are as full as possible--vehicles in parking spots don’t make you money.
Take a page out of Jeff Bezos’ book. Amazon’s founder wants his company to be customer- obsessed. Look for every opportunity to improve the customer’s experience--you will have more of them.
One solution is offering Behind-the-Wheel driving instruction packages. You can’t offer too many packages--there’s a package for everyone--10, 10, 30 or even 40 hours!
Teen drivers, especially, will want--and need--more time to practice, and packages will allow you to cover both the state-required BTW training, give them good supervised practice, and even more opportunities to practice without their parents!
Include the packages in your marketing, and you will draw more customers to your driving school.
Here are seven reasons why lesson packages will grow your driving school.
1. You’re giving your driving school students (and parents) better service
All customers are looking for better service--however it works out. By creating a range of packages which offers people flexibility, you will give them better service.
Everyone wants flexibility--in time, money, and scheduling--and driving lesson packages offer your customers all three.
Your wide range of packages will meet their needs--especially if you’re providing 10, 20, or 30 hours (or more!) of supervised driving for your students.
2. Your driver training program will be more effective
You want your driving school to be known for quality and success. While you can’t guarantee passing the road test, you want to be able to boast about your 95%+ pass rate on the first try.
We all know that road accidents are a major cause of teen deaths. Many of those accidents come from inexperience. Packages allow more supervised training--you will have the opportunity to improve the driving habits of new drivers.
Think big! While parents need to be involved in their teen’s driving instruction (or spouses/family for adult learners), you can play a hug role in that.
See what your state requires. New Hampshire, for example, requires 40 hours of supervised driving above the driver ed requirement. 10 of those hours must be done at night. You can offer packages which cover 8, 10, 20, 30, or even 40 hours. Some can include night driving.
Think over the top. One of your packages (based on New Hampshire) could even be the “WHOLE PACKAGE” -- the 30 hours of classroom instruction, 10 hours of practice driving, 6 hours of observation, and 40 hours of supervised driving -- all required for a driver under 18 before getting a license.
3. Your behind-the-wheel driving lesson calendar will be filled.
Creating packages--especially ones in which customers can select time slots--keeps your instructors and vehicles (and you!) booked.
You’ll be able to coordinate schedules and timing, especially if you offer pick-up/drop-off services. The increase in bookings will increase your driving school’s income--even at the apparent lower rate per session.
Your scheduler (that might be you!) will find their job easier when you can book packages.
Knowing that some of your students have picked a 12 or 20 hour package of BTW lessons over the next month or two will keep your mind at ease -- you will be busy.
4. Your driving school’s income will increase
Businesses in general do better when they offer more options to their customers. You don’t expect a butcher shop just to offer ribeye steaks--they will offer a full range of meat for customer selection, and they personalize to take care of customer requests.
Likewise, your driving school can offer each customer a range of choices:
- Single lesson at $75
- Three for $200
- Five for $300
- State required 6 hours plus road test use of vehicle for $425
- State-required supervised hours--12 for $650
- The WHOLE PACKAGE -- 86 hours of classroom, observation, and BTW instruction over 3-4 months for $2,400
And so on.
Customers may start at the single-lesson rate and want to upgrade.
You’ll also have the advantage of office efficiency, since you will have one contract for multiple lessons, rather than one for each--depending on state regulations, the paperwork can be streamlined.
It’s better use of your time as well as improved service for your customers.
And people will buy them
5. Packages generate more referrals to your driving school
Success in education requires creating a relationship between the instructor and student. The two have to work together to achieve the goal--learning how to drive--and success comes from that relationship.
With more guaranteed time together, your students and instructors will establish the relationship.
And the students will be successful.
And they will tell their family and friends.
Successful students--teens and adults--will recommend you to their friends. And they will come to you based on the successful experience. It becomes part of your marketing plan.
And that experience comes from the teacher/student relationship. Single, occasional lessons will not create that relationship.
6. Your driving lesson packages help manage seasonality
Driving schools--especially those training teens--have to manage seasonality. New teen drivers generally can’t take driving lessons before mid-afternoon on weekdays, and they have school activities (and studying) to take care of.
Until summer break starts.
Then you can find yourself overwhelmed by students ready to learn from morning until nightfall. Packages will help you manage that time and quantity of students -- market them in late Winter and Spring!
Your area may be icy, snowy, and slick conditions for much of the year--November - March. You can offer special packages for winter driving--making sure your students experience skids, ice, and the challenges of bad weather.
You could even plan those packages around winter school breaks.
Parents may be happy to pay for a holiday package around the New Year, especially if you offer training in getting out of skids.
By offering packages which address the seasonality of the business, you will end up with a smoother cash flow.
7. Flexibility helps your driving school
Offering a range of packages--in addition to single lessons. You might find it uncomfortable at first to be flexible on your pricing and program.
But you should find that a burden is lifted because of that flexibility. You should be able to make more per student, and increase the number of students on your active list.
Your website’s pricing page can detail all your packages--both the standard ones and the seasonal offerings you set up.
Working within your state’s rules, you can create Saturday/Sunday BTW and observation packages.
For example, if your state allows a maximum of 2 hours BTW and 2 hours of observation in a day, a weekend package of 4/4 at a package price will keep your cars busy most weekends.
Including use of your vehicle for the road test should be part of most long-term packages.
Your packaging can help you create more traffic.
Some thoughts on driving school BTW packages
Some things to consider as you create your BTW driving instruction packages:
- Be imaginative--Be open to a wide range of package ideas, even if they seem wild. Stick within what the regulations allow, of course, but do everything you can to offer packages of 10/20/30/40 hours -- or more. If you have simulators and the state allows BTW credit for simulator time, include that in your package.
- Refund Policy--you should have a clearly defined refund/reschedule policy in place and include it in your contracts with all students--in writing. Your state’s regulations may limit what you can say or do regarding refunds, so pay attention to those. If you provide reasonable times for cancellation/rescheduling (24 hours is usually sufficient), you should be good. Packages give you some flexibility with your customers.
- Marketing the Packages--you’ll want to market these packages aggressively at first. Standard packages should be covered in email and social media campaigns, phone calls, and of course on your website. Seasonal campaigns can use short video greetings linked to the campaign--make sure everything includes a call to action.
- Know and Use the Regulations--many states and provinces will have regulations on hours of driving instruction per day, the length of the course, the terms of your contract, your refund policy, and other aspects of your business. Obviously, you should know those regulations.
In addition, use the scheduling to your advantage, especially if you’re offering both BTW and observation. If you do pick-up/drop-off service, you can coordinate with nearby students to maximize your time, and everyone benefits from the package.
The key to creating packages is flexibility. Creating them, however, will bring you more students and increased income.