Whether customer service is your responsibility as the studio owner, or you have a team of 10, your dance studio deserves to perform to a standard that your customers will appreciate. Excellent customer service can make or break a dance studio (it’s the reason we invented the CareFactor method in the first place!), especially in our increasingly competitive industry.
When your potential customers are literally one click away from trying or enrolling at the dance studio around the corner, creating magic ‘moments’ at each touchpoint is the one thing that will really set your studio apart. These magic moments are an essential piece of the CareFactor method.
1 – Build rapport with your customers
Your dance studio is significantly smaller than a Fortune 500 company where customers are just a number. As a dance studio, you have a real opportunity to personalize the customer experience. Regularly reaching out to your customers, getting to know them by name and remembering faces are all small details that will make all interactions with your studio more memorable and will make your customers feel valued.
2 – Be available
Creating memorable moments is all about being present, from the front desk, to the studio, all the way to social media outlets and emails. Taking hours or days to respond to your customers via phone, email or social media will no doubt leave them feeling neglected and eventually unhappy with your studio. Before you let it get that far, have an action plan in place for every avenue of communication and make sure your team is on the same page.
3. Treat every customer with the same level of service
From the dance-mom who works full-time that you rarely see, to the one that you’re in contact with daily, make sure each one gets the same level of service. Repeat customers, referrals and former customers can be a huge asset for your studio so you don’t want to roll the dice with inconsistent service experiences.
Having a solid process in place through the entire customer lifecycle – from marketing and enrollment to onboarding and retention – can ensure that everyone receives the same awesome level of service.
4. Pay close attention to feedback
Make sure your customers have a way to share their opinions about your studio. Whether it’s a customer survey or an open invitation to share reviews online, when your dance families feel like you are listening to what they have to say, they’re more comfortable investing in and recommending your studio.
5. Hire staff with excellent people skills
From your admin team to your teaching staff, employing people with good people skills is a non-negotiable for your dance studio’s customer service success. Often these team members serve as the face of your business so you need to ensure that it’s a face you’re willing to show.
6. Be a pro at problem-solving
The age old mantra “the customer is always right” still holds true today. It doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong. At the end of the day, reaching a solution for your customer is going to make a positive impact on your bottom line. In a best case scenario, you can increase customer loyalty and generate referrals. Worst case scenario, you can quell negative word-of-mouth (in person and online) about your studio. Put your pride aside when dealing with difficult customers. No one wants to be told that they’re wrong, especially by a dance studio that they’re investing their time and money into. They want to reach a solution.
7. Don’t make fake promises or guarantees
Extravagant promotions and promises will no doubt entice customers, but nothing is more frustrating for current or potential customers than a click-bait offer or a promotion with a multitude of stipulations. Simplicity is key when it comes to your offers. Be honest and upfront about your promises and you’ll build a happier, more committed dance community.
8. Focus on retention
Marketing is expensive and requires time and effort to do well. While it’s important to grow your studio by adding customers, make sure to keep in mind the value of retention. It is 7x more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Retention is only possible if you’re demonstrating appreciation for, and value to, your customers at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
9. Treat your team the way you want them to treat your customers
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked secrets of stellar customer service. Dance studio owners should treat employees with the same respect, transparency and appreciation that they would a valued customer. The happier your employees are with their position, the more dedicated they’ll be to your studio’s success.
It’s a competitive world out there for dance studios and it’s often hard to cut through the noise. Customer service is your chance to differentiate yourself and exceed expectations to build a loyal customer base and make your dance studio memorable.