Customers are the reason that your dance studio, gym, or swim school continues to thrive. Oftentimes, customers are returning year after year because they’ve had a great experience with your staff, facility, and program. Whether you realize it or not, customers are there for the experience you’ve created.
To help you be more intentional about the experience you’re providing for your customers, we are breaking down what customer experience is, why it matters, and actionable items to help you create the best customer experience.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is a combination of all interactions a customer has with your youth activity center and your brand over the time frame they’ve been connected with you. Whether it’s a fun social media post, an informative email about an upcoming enrollment period, or paying their monthly tuition – all of these exchanges are a part of their journey with your program and create the customer experience.
Why does customer experience matter?
The answer is simple. A great customer experience creates return customers. Return customers are happy with your dance studio, gym, or swim school and are more likely to spread the word to their inner circle. Someone from their inner circle signs up with your program, has a great experience, and then shares it with their friends and family. The cycle continues and the next thing you know, classes on your schedule are filling up!
A customer’s positive experience will keep them loyal to you, your brand, and your program, which feeds the success of your business? Your customers are your best (and cheapest) advertisement so it’s important to make sure they have the greatest experience possible from start to finish.
How to create a great customer experience
Now that we’ve reviewed what customer experience is and why it matters, let’s review some actionable ways you can create that best experience for your customers!
Review your program’s customer service strategy
Customer service is a big part of a customer’s experience with any brand or business. You’re already the expert at the barre, on the mat, or in the pool but if you aren’t feeling like the expert on the phone, behind the desk, or on the other side of an email, there are many ways you can improve your customer service immediately:
- Listen first
- Learn to empathize
- Avoid negative language
- Look for common ground
- Communicate clearly
- Ask for feedback
- Be willing to learn
(—>Check out the full article on 7 ways to boost your customer service)
Train staff on how to improve customer service
You’ve got your strategy in place but now, you need to train your staff so they can be an extension of your customer service plan to create a consistent experience.
Review your strategy with the team during a staff meeting where there’s an opportunity for someone to take notes and for staff to ask questions. More than one staff member may have the same question so it will help keep everyone on the same page, ensuring your team is a united front when it comes to your customers.
Solve for customer problems before they occur
We’ve all heard the saying ‘the customer is always right’. That perspective goes hand-in-hand with determining what your customers need so you can give that information upfront. For example:
- what does a new student need to know before their first class at your facility?
- how can parents pay their tuition or add classes to their schedule?
- what should parents know about upcoming events or performances?
Knowing what your parents and families need and taking the extra step to keep them informed creates that loyalty and bond that keeps them coming back for more season after season.
Give customers self-service solutions
Part of having a great experience with your program is empowering your parents with the tools they need to be self-sufficient. After the hustle and bustle of day-to-day activities, parents finally get a moment to register for new classes or pay a bill when the kids are in bed and they themselves have settled for the night.
Well, the great news is having a class management software like Jackrabbit Class not only helps you keep a pulse on scheduling, enrollment, and billing, but it also comes equipped with a portal just for parents.
The Jackrabbit Class Parent Portal allows parents to log in at their convenience and:
- interact with your front desk staff,
- make payments on their account,
- schedule future absences and makeups,
- enroll in new classes or events,
- view skill progress,
- watch their child’s class live via a virtual viewing room,
- and so much more!
And as if that isn’t powerful enough, you can upgrade your portal with a parent mobile app that is branded to match your website. Bonus features of the mobile app include the ability to send push notifications, virtual punch cards, quicker enrollment, and more!
Collect customer feedback
The best way to know what someone needs is to ask them! This is no different for your customers. Instead of speculating how well the flow of the recital went for families and guests or how easy the registration process was online, ask for their input.
Knowing what customers need from you and your staff will help you prepare for the next performance or enrollment period from the people who were there! This also shows your customers that you care not only about their experience but also their feedback. It shows you value them and fosters the relationship you’ve already started.
Here at Jackrabbit, we collect customer feedback through our Idea Portal where our clients can let us know what features they need to run their business most efficiently. This helps our Product team prioritize future enhancements as they build the roadmap.
So now that you’ve identified, implemented, and taken feedback on your customer experience strategy, it’s time to see how well it performed.
For example, if you decided to implement online registration as a time-saving benefit for your families, use the reporting in your class management software to track how many families enrolled in classes online vs in-person at your facility. Then use the results to make informed decisions on how to promote the benefits associated with online registration to parents prior to your next enrollment period.
With Jackrabbit Class, you have access to a full suite of reports so you can easily compare registration numbers from year to year, see who is enrolled for this session but hasn’t registered for the next session, and quickly determine how new families are finding your program.
Ready to take your customers’ experience to the next level? Sign up for Jackrabbit Class today and get 30 days free!