I’m leaving your studio ;-(

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You never forget your first.

You never forget the moment they walk into your life, but the most difficult is the moment they walk out on you.

As a studio owner, I’m sure you’ve gone through the pain of losing a student that you have trained for years. You’ve given everything you can to that child (and their parents) and then one day they decide to either stop dancing or go to another studio.

Your heart stops beating and you feel like a limb has been cut off.

This happens daily around the globe to all studio owners, yet each time it makes us tear up or feel like what we’re offering isn’t good enough…and sometimes it isn’t.

This very conversation came up in the Dance Studio Owners Association this week and it’s one I’ve spoken about often. It’s not just the one student that leaves who you adore but it’s every other student that leaves… the recreational student… the preschool ballet student… the company or competition student…

While many studios focus on bringing in truckloads of new students (super important, by the way) many forget about the people who are part of your studio now and the hard work needed to keep them in your studio starts the second they sign the enrollment form.

So why did they leave? Even when they do tell you why, 90% of the time it’s not because of the reason they tell you. Have you ever heard any of these…

“We can’t afford it anymore”

“Suzie is really busy with school”

“The times don’t suit us anymore”

“We’re going to try gymnastics”

The list goes on…but the big question still remains: HOW DO WE KEEP MORE OF OUR STUDENTS?

When it comes to retention, there are only 8 things you need to be doing consistently to bump up your retention rate. Today I want to share one of those with you to get you started.

THE 90 DAY CALL

If this is new to you, it’s about to change everything!

Every 90 days I want you (or your staff) to call each of your parents for what I call a “warm fuzzy” call. It’s a simple call to ask how things are going, solicit a little feedback or to simply let them know you appreciate their business! Here’s the calendar to follow:

January – Call

April – Call

July – Call

October – Call

This means that in the months above everyone will get a call from you.

If the first thing you think of is “Wow…this is going to take a lot of time!”, my response is…”Yes it will, but it’s worth every second!”

Now these calls don’t need to come from you directly as you can have your office staff help you with these.

Studies show time and time again that our customers want to be engaged and feel part of a community and have a sense of belonging now more than ever. You can’t get this as a parent from dropping your child at classes, picking them up and seeing money go from your account each week. By simply picking up the phone and checking in with your parents you’ll make their day or even their week and they won’t forget it.

What you need to cover on the phone call…

There are 3 things I’d encourage you to ask on the call, or your own variations of these questions, so it’s authentic and in line with your studio’s values:

Check in to see how their child is going in class
Let them know that you’re always striving to improve the experience for your dance families and ask them what they believe you could improve on
Ask them what do they really enjoy about being part of your studio, what’s the reason they stay
We have come up with a number of different loose scripts to suit our different members in the association, but this gives you a foundation of how to direct the call.

My favourite saying when it comes to keeping happy and loyal dance families is that LOVE AND SUPPORT CANNOT BE BOUGHT.

I will add one more thing. You might be thinking “I can accomplish the same thing with an email, so I’ll just send them a ‘How’s it going’ email every 90 days.” DO NOT DO THIS! Emails do not have the personal touch and the back-and-forth that a phone call does. Plus, it’s likely your email will never get a response because, honestly, who has time to respond to all those email questionnaires? Do not cheat…just pick up the phone!

Start your 90 day calls in January or even NOW and watch your retention improve and watch overall energy and culture of your studio grow!

Keep me posted please on your progress! I love hearing about your success stories!

Clint

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If you want to receive business and marketing strategies in your inbox each week to help GROW your Dance Studio, click here!

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