Youth activity centers play a pivotal role in helping children grow physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. As a result, swim, gymnastics and dance programs remain increasingly popular, and more and more parents seek such activities to enroll their children in.
Like any other business, youth activity centers rely on their customers to keep revenue flowing and stay afloat. Perhaps, one of the most important things you should know as a youth activity center owner or director is that building relationships and focusing on customer experience is critical to your success.
If your youth activity center is known for its authentic customer relationships, you’ll run circles around the competition when it comes to enrolling new students.
So, how do you foster relationships with new customers at your swim school, gymnastics gym or dance studio?
- Start first by getting to know your client
- Make sure you communicate frequently
- Strive to exceed your customers’ expectations
- Ask for feedback and make good use of it
If you want to know more about how to build relationships with new customers at your youth activity center, keep reading! Or skip to the section that your business needs to focus on to help build relationships with new students and families.
Get to know your customers
Now, more than ever, parents want to enroll their children in programs that have a great curriculum and are authentic. Skills matter, but don’t forget that 90 percent of customers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.
What does this mean to you?
It means that you need to dig deeper than just below the surface to get to know your students and parents. Being aware of customers won’t cut it anymore.
Whether you’re starting a new season, or a family just moved to town and wants to enroll their Brady Bunch-sized crew in classes mid-season, you must make an effort to understand each new customer’s needs and preferences. Then, personalize your interactions with each customer and show them that they are not just another number on your family roster.
Building relationships takes time, and it starts with getting to know them.
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Remember this. Getting to know new students is crucial, but you should not just make the initial effort and call it a day. Relationships need constant investment to stay healthy and grow. So, make it a habit to communicate with customers at your youth activity center frequently. Ensure that you open up channels of frequent communication so you can connect with customers.
With today’s technology, keeping in touch is not something that should take too much of your time and energy. Use social media and monthly email newsletters to stay top of mind. Also, use software to send notifications, share important reminders while customers are in their parent portal or a series of welcome to the family emails.
Building effective relationships with new customers at your youth activity center requires communication. Sometimes it’s easier to communicate with customers as a group. However, make your communication more personal and reach out for one-to-one interactions when you can.
If you want to know how to build relationships with new families, you need to meet and surpass their expectations.
Provide exceptional customer service from the jump by allowing families to register and pay for classes at your youth activity center anytime, anywhere. Take it one step further by making the process a one-stop-shop and you’re as good as gold.
When you first meet new families, be open about what your expectations are of them. From pricing and payment schedules to working with instructors and expected class behavior, relationships with prospective customers will flourish if they know you’ll exceed their expectations and that they can live up to yours.
Ask For Feedback
Your customers’ perception is your reality. Read that again. Your customers’ perception is your reality.
That’s why the last point in this article is to encourage you to ask for your customer’s feedback and carefully consider what they have to say.
- Is there something that your clients consistently complain about?
- Is there a suggestion that you could adopt to make their time at your swim school, gym or studio more enjoyable?
Find out what you are doing well and what you can do better, then use that knowledge to help influence the way you approach new relationships with students and families at your youth activity center.
Remember that there is always room for improvement. No matter how many excellent reviews your business has, there is bound to be something that warrants improvement.
Chances are you can’t see the thing or things that need to be improved. That’s why asking for customers’ open and honest feedback is in your best interest. After all, their perception is the one that matters.
So, make their perception your reality.
Businesses rely on their customers to stay afloat. Nothing could be more certain for youth activity centers.
Swim schools, gymnastics gyms and dance studios should not only offer excellent programs that build strong students, they should invest in building strong customer relationships, too. If you have an excellent program in place but are coming up short in the relationship department, you’ll begin to notice a strain in student retention or hear crickets from customers who were once interested in joining your program.
Instead, invest in ways to promote effective relationships with new and existing clients. If your clients are happy, they will bring in more clients. There is no better marketing than a client who feels valued, appreciated, and enjoys a strong relationship with the business owner.
How can class management software help you foster relationships with new and returning students at your youth activity center? Take a customized tour of Jackrabbit’s communication tools and discover features that help make customers’ lives easier.