Your ability to maintain and grow the number of students at your swim school is essential to many things but especially to your planning for year-over-year growth. Before you focus on adding new classes to fill with new students, the easiest way to grow your swim school is to keep the students you have. This is called customer retention.
What is customer retention?
Customer retention is the process of engaging existing students so they continue to enroll in classes and participate in programs offered at your swim school. Customer retention is different from student acquisition because you’ve already converted the swim family at least once to enroll in a class, summer camp or event.
Now that we’ve identified what customer retention is, let’s look at why it’s important for the growth of your swim school.
Why is retention important?
Before we answer that question, let’s address customer loss. When you lose a student at your swim school, you lose the opportunity for repeat business and your program is left spending time and money attracting new customers.
Why do students leave? Research shows that the average business loses 10-25 percent of its customer base each year by failing to nurture relationships.
Creating a top-notch customer experience for families at your swim school won’t just make them feel good. Research shows that when you put effort into your customer service and experience strategy, it will actually pay off in the long run by creating more loyal customers who return to your program year after year.
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Student retention is important for your swim school because it enables you to form long lasting relationships with customers who will become loyal to your program. It won’t happen overnight, but loyal customers retained season over season will even spread the word about your swim school within their own sphere of influence.
Bottom line: it costs more to bring in new swim school students than it does to keep existing families happy and enrolling season after season, and that’s why customer retention is important for the overall growth of your swim business.
How can I keep more students enrolled at my swim school?
In addition to a great customer experience, many factors play into why students decide to stay at your swim school.
Surprisingly, student retention starts before a student or family even walks into your facility. It starts with their first reaction to your website.
Do you provide enough program information?
Have you make it easy for families to contact your program?
Do you offer other conveniences on your website like online registration?
An intuitive and easy-to-use website is one of the best ways to make a great first impression on new students you’ll need to retain over the long-haul. Other ways to keep more students enrolled at your swim school include:
- Identifying your target customer
- Creating a communication strategy targeted to your ideal customer
- Communicate with students regularly
- Create a personalized experience for students
- Set expectations with families early
- Take customer feedback seriously
- Diversify your program offerings
- Use automation to make customer’s lives easier
- Keep customer lifetime value top of mind
- Reward repeat customers
Level up your student retention game with these 10 tips. Read more!
What contributes to student loss?
Neglecting customer experience or any of the 10 areas of focus above can contribute to student loss. However, there are a number of different factors that play into student attrition.
If you are in a competitive market with many swim school options in your area, your student turnover may be higher simply because students have more options to choose from. The slightest difference in programs, services or tuition costs could sway families in choosing one swim school over another between seasons.
Make sure you’re competitively pricing your program and services. Monitor your competition to see what they are offering and you’re not to help prevent student loss.