Young girl does a handstand on the balance beam creating an ideal experience for parents and students at childrens gym

Creating the Ideal Experience for Kids and Parents in Your Gymnastics Program

Selling your gymnastics classes to a new family doesn’t stop once they enroll their child. Enrollment is just the start. Making them love going to your kids’ gymnastics program multiple times a week is the golden ticket to maintaining a positive, high-energy atmosphere in your gym, keeping your new enrollment pipeline flush, and consistently growing revenue.

Parents and kids aren’t the only groups for whom your gymnastics center needs to provide an amazing experience. You also need a loyal, engaged staff. A team who enjoys delighting parents and students is indispensable. You can’t grow your gym with a dour, frustrated team.

Defining what an ideal experience looks like

Start by defining and documenting what a fantastic experience looks like for each of these three groups. While they’ll differ in the details, they will share common principles:

  • Make things easy. That means parents can easily enroll their kids and pay their fees. Staff can easily see their schedules and track their time for accurate payroll. We all know what happens to our attitudes when the admin details of life constantly irritate. Your gym should never be a source of annoyance to anyone.
  • Become the “cool” place to be. You don’t have to break the bank on decor, but your kids’ gym needs to be welcoming and pristine at all times. It also needs to cover functional needs like privacy and security. How about setting up a designated place for kids to hang out while waiting for parents to pick them up?
  • Find ways to anticipate needs and uncover what will delight each group. Fulfilling requests is great. Surprising them with what they don’t yet know they want is next-level stuff. What type of support, perks, and adventures can your kids’ gym provide that separates you from your competitors?

As you may have read in our other articles, documenting the principles and required steps is a necessary condition for providing a consistent experience. For families and staff to get enthusiastic about showing up to the gym for each visit means they have the same, great experience each time they come.

Planning for accountability and resolution

Despite your best efforts, you’ll have unhappy situations and unhappy people. That’s just part of life. Plan for those as well. Train your staff by practicing your guidelines with them. This way they feel comfortable handling various concerns and complaints and can do so graciously.

Get them excited to create a positive experience for families. And don’t forget to hold them accountable if they aren’t following guidelines. Learn to do it in a positive way so they aren’t resentful, but are enthusiastic and eager to please instead.

Last, create customer-facing, friendly documentation outlining clear expectations and outcomes for bad behavior. Part of building a welcoming, positive atmosphere is to prompt and reinforce good behavior by your families. Let everyone know what’s expected, what’s out-of-bounds, and what happens when boundaries are crossed. People tend to get less frustrated or angry when they feel they’re being treated fairly.

Say your documentation sets a limit of three attempts at a circuit station before the parent and child have to move to the next station. It would lay out the consequences for a parent who’s holding up the flow because they aren’t moving their child to the next station after three attempts. For example, the first time can be a warning, second time could be sitting out for five minutes. Whatever the boundaries and consequences, just let everyone know beforehand in your written orientation guide that you can refer to later if necessary. It’s hard for people to argue when they’ve been given fair warning.

Happy families and staff are the compound interest on your revenue

Let’s break down why family and staff happiness is so vital to your gym’s financial health. Most of it boils down to three simple words: student lifetime value. Student lifetime value is how much revenue a student contributes to your gym over the course of time. You can gauge how well your kids’ gym is performing by how high your average student lifetime value is. A high average student lifetime value means your families and gymnasts stay with your gym for years, investing lots of time and money. They don’t do that if you’re not providing an excellent experience for them.

Inspiring such loyalty has a monetary value. It costs far more to acquire new students than it costs to generate additional revenue from students you already have. When parents and kids stick with your gym for years, they’re not just enrolling class after class. They’re more likely to enroll in special events and purchase products. In short, happy families aren’t just spending money with your gym each year. The chances are they’re spending even more money every year they stay with your gym.

An individual student’s lifetime value is only one part of the story. The second part is that these loyal parents and kids become natural ambassadors for your gym. They recommend your gym to their friends. The same principle works with your engaged, loyal staff. They’ll organically promote your kids’ gym just by talking about their work.

However, don’t leave this type of ambassador revenue to chance. You can develop a referral and loyalty program that gives benefits to families and staff for specific acts, such as referring a new family or employee or posting positive content about your kids’ gym on social media. (Be careful with review sites – you can ask for positive reviews, but you can’t offer inducements for positive online reviews.)

Turning your kids’ gymnastics program into a vibrant community

The big picture goal is to turn your children’s gymnastics facility into a vibrant, exciting, and safe community. When you approach family and staff happiness through this lens, the details how to do that for your gym will crystalize. Nurturing all its participants into a vibrant community is the most reliable route to financial and personal fulfillment.

Grow Your Gymnastics Center

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