Chapter 5: Retain Customers
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"What the hell is this? This is the first day of my first job and these parents have come together to ask for a refund!" Dai Li stood there unsure of what to do. For a senior student who was going to graduate this year, he had no social experience that could have taught him how to deal with this. He came back from his thoughts to face the music.
"Everybody please calm down! This is my first day and I have no idea what happened. Please give me a moment. I will make a phone call to verify what exactly is going on."
He took out his phone and entered Jianguo Chen's number.
"Professor Chen, this is Dai Li. There's a situation here and I have a lot of parents asking for a refund," Dai Li told him straightforwardly.
Jianguo Chen was silent for a few seconds on the other end of the phone, then sighed. "I knew that would happen. They are asking for a refund again!"
"It sounds like Jianguo Chen already knew that the parents would ask for a refund. And he said 'again,' which means this has happened before," thought Dai Li. He felt like he was involved in something terrible. He hesitated, then asked, "The parents said that they were looking for Shouliang Zhao. Do you know him?"
"Shouliang Zhao!" Jianguo Chen repeated the name with a tone of detestation. He sighed after a while and continued, "Tell those parents to bring the receipt they received when they paid the bill, and to come and get their refund."
There must be some secrets! thought Dai Li. Then he asked, "Professor Chen, could you please just tell me the truth about what is happening?"
"Alright! There will be more and more parents who want refunds. Eventually there might be no students at all. There is no need for me hide anything from you." Jianguo Chen went on to tell him what was going on.
This training class for the high school PE entrance exam organized by Talent Education had originally hired a professional coach from the municipal sports team. That was the "Coach Shouliang Zhao" the parents were referring to.
Reputation was the most important thing if you wanted to start a training class. Most of the parents had brought their children here just because of the well-known teacher. It was very easy to attract a lot of students simply by having someone famous. There was no doubt that a professional coach from a municipal sports team deserved to have that reputation according to the parents. Talent Education had used him as an eye-catching promotion. They printed Shouliang Zhao's resume on the promotional page. Many of the parents sent their children here just because of the words "professional coach from a municipal sports team."
What Talent Education had never considered was that Shouliang Zhao would quit the job the day before the training class was supposed to begin. He had just made a phone call yesterday morning saying he was out. Jianguo Chen had asked for information hastily, and learned that Coach Shouliang Zhao had hopped to another training school.
The school he had left for was SA Student Education. It was said that people who were involved in the same business were enemies. SA Student Education and Talent Education had competed for years. To scramble for students, they played every trick. This time SA Student Education had made a relentless blow and caught Talent Education off guard.
This kind of job-hopping behavior was very immoral. The training class was supposed to start the next day, and Shouliang Zhao had quit the day before. It was obviously a plot to bring down Talent Education - they could never find someone to replace Shouliang Zhao in such a short time. In fact, Shouliang Zhao had colluded with SA Student Education from the beginning. He didn't leave Talent Education until the last minute so he could purposely put Talent Education into a predicament. He had quit the job knowing that the class was going to start the next day.
Through switching jobs, Shouliang Zhao had also brought many of the students with him. Most of the parents had come for the professional coach, and they asked for the refund as soon as they had found that there would be no professional coach since he had quit. There supposed to be 30 students in the Talent Education program, yet more than half of them had left with Shouliang Zhao . The 12 students left were those whose parents were uninformed. That was why they hadn't quit the class yet.
Reputation was the key for the tutoring institutions like Talent Education. There would be no doubt that an institution would lose its credibility it had taken the parents' money and then told them that the class was cancelled. No one would trust the institution any more if it would to start a new program in the future. The training class had to be continued, even if there was only one student left, just for the sake of reputation. However, Jianguo Chen had no time to find a PE teacher, so he had put up a poster just to try his luck. Dai Li happened to see that poster, and came to apply for the job the same day.
Jianguo Chen would normally never hire a student who hadn't graduated yet had there been time to find a proper teacher. However, the class was scheduled to begin the next day, so there was no time to find someone else. He had to hire Dai Li. That was how Dai Li had gotten the job easily.
But the parents didn't approve of Dai Li. They had come for the professional coach. After the first day of training, they asked their children how it was and found out that there was no professional coach. They had come here to figure out what was going on, only to find out that Dai Li was a student who hadn't even graduated yet. Of course they felt like they had been fooled, which lead to the situation now—they were asking for the refund, and even compensation for their trouble.
"Okay, I see. So I was just a replacement for this emergency! No wonder Jianguo Chen only checked my student card and then offered me this job. It was all because there was no one else! Well, that coach Shouliang Zhao must have been really discredited." Dai Li finally understood what had happened and why he had gotten the job so smoothly.
However, the next moment, Dai Li suddenly realized that one student meant 500 yuan in commission. There were six parents here — if they all asked for the refund, he would lose 3,000 yuan in income!
After he thought about it further, he realized he would even lose the salary of 1,200 yuan as an trial. Talent Education had no reason to keep him if all the students dropped off from this program.
"No, I can't let him give them refunds! I will be unemployed if they all leave." Dai Li mulled it over for a few seconds and figured out what he was going to say.
Dai Li walked in front of the parents and began. "Everybody please take it easy. I just found out what happened. Coach Shouliang Zhao is no longer in our Talent Education program. But you still have me!"
"What do we need you for? Go get your diploma first!" someone amongst the parents said.
"My major is sports training. This is what I've been studying. Speaking of the result of training, I have confidence that he is no better than me," Dai Li said.
"You gotta be kidding me!" the parents said with contempt. From their point of view, they couldn't understand how an undergraduate student had the nerve to compare himself with a professional coach from a municipal sports team!
"You are teacher Li, right? It's good that young people have faith in themselves. But don't reach for what's beyond your capability. Coach Shouliang Zhao is a professional coach from a municipal sports team. An undergraduate student like you should be modest and learn from him," a parent with a beard said.
"But I really can improve your children's scores," Dai Li said immediately.
With the help of the top-level coach card, Dai Li was superior to anyone else in the world when it came to training results. This gave Dai Li the confidence to speak like this. However, this kind of confidence was seen as conceited and arrogant by the parents.
"Let's stop wasting our time here with him. He is just an undergraduate student, and this is his first day. He knows nothing! Let's get our refunds and sign up for another training class. Our children can't be held up," said Zhenye Zhu's mother, dragging her son.
Xiaoming Huang's father also added, "I saved Coach Shouliang Zhao's number when I signed up. After we get our refunds, I'll call him to see where he is and if he is still coaching any classes. The day I signed up here, he promised me that after the two-week training, he could have my son doing at least five to six pull-ups. Maybe my son will be able to pass the exam with his help!"
Dai Li saw a glimmer of hope after he heard what Xiaoming Huang's dad said.
"Wait a moment!" he said. "You said Coach Shouliang Zhao promised you that he could make Xiaoming Huang do five pull-ups after the two-week program?"
Xiaoming Huang's dad turned around and said, "What? You don't believe it? He is a real professional coach. It's normal that he is better than you at training."
"Look how you scared Teacher Li," said Zhenye Zhu's mother, who was standing right next to him. "The real professional coach sounds so incredible compared to the others. It seems like he really has talent in coaching if he can make promises like that. Could you please check for my son as well and see if there are any vacancies in his class once you contact him? I want to send my son there too."
"It's destiny that we all gathered together here, man. Don't forget us if you manage to contact him! Coach Zhao also promised me that he would make my son pass the exam as well," another parent said anxiously.
Xiaoming Huang's father had become the most welcomed person here now.
Dai Li took one step forward and continued asking, "Are you sure? Coach Shouliang Zhao said he could make Xiaoming Huang do five pull-ups in two weeks?"
"What do you mean? Are you looking down upon my son?" Xiaoming Huang's dad got very angry. He continued, "My son is a little big. But he is not that bad! You don't believe he could do five pull-ups after a two-week training? Just because you couldn't do it doesn't mean the others can't!"
The other parents echoed his words. "He is a professional coach, different from you. It might be hard for you to believe. Maybe you should just go back to school and study harder from the beginning. Maybe after 10 or 20 years you can reach Coach Zhao's level. Who knows."
Their sarcastic words didn't make Dai Li feel angry. On the contrary, he sighed with relief and smiled. "If what you said is true then I'm not worrying anymore!"
The next second, Dai Li pointed at Xiaoming Huang and said, "Xiaoming Huang. Get on the horizontal bar and show your dad the result of our first day of training!"
Dai Li made it extra clear and loud when he said the words "first day".