Retention is Important to Swim School Growth

Your ability to maintain and grow the number of swimmers in your program is essential to many things but especially to your planning for year to year operations, budgets and marketing. Your management meeting agendas are sure to always include discussion of the number of swimmers in your program and comparison of current numbers with those from previous terms, blocks or seasons.

Figuring out how to generate more weekly lessons is usually the main focus but, actually, the easiest way to grow your swim school is to keep the customers you have.

Business research shows that the average business loses 20% of its customers every year by failing to nurture relationships. 

Did you know that customer retention starts with the very first interaction you have before someone even becomes your client and continues as the relationship is built?

Some swim schools are great when it comes to the initial sign up of a customer but fail miserably in building the relationships that they’ve worked to obtain. This means that the swim school is just chasing new business. An agenda item for their next management meeting should be “How are we building relationships?” A sub-item under that question should be “Communication” since this is the key to building good relationships.

How do you make sure that your communication with families is what it needs to be?

Planning a calendar of communication is a great idea. Also plan to mix up the way you communicate. This small detail can help you to maintain engagement with families. Communication components including newsletters, phone calls, emails, text messages, social media and notice boards can each be important to your engagement success and can be used for everything from teasers and reminders to education and excitement. You can make special offers, announce upcoming events, share magic moments and achievements and request feedback. Using a variety of ways to communicate allows you to leverage the format best suited to the information of the moment, capture attention at different times and places and reinforce why they are doing business with you.

Learning swimming and water safety skills is a process that takes a long time. If you build a good relationship with your families, you will be able to nurture students – and perhaps siblings of your students – through their learning and growth as swimmers. Parents should understand the social, emotional and physical lifelong benefits of learning to swim.

Did you know that customer retention isn’t simply good customer service?

It’s about nurturing customers with exceptional experiences. If you build a good reputation and develop good relationships with your customers, they will become champions and advocates for your swim school.

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It’s important that your customers speak well of you. It feels good to know that a new customer has come from a referral from an existing customer.

Remember that:

  • Customer retention has a direct impact of profitability.
  • The quality of the service you provide leads to satisfaction which in turn leads to customer loyalty.
  • Keeping swimmers in your program is essential for water safety education and skill development

Just as important as developing relationships is managing them.

Here are two questions that will help you know if you’re doing this well (or at all):

  1. How do we manage feedback from swimmers and families?
  2. How do we support swimmers and their families?

What is your goal in “managing” relationships? It’s to turn all of your customers into long-term, loyal customers.

Long-term customers have made an investment in you that they will be less likely to give up on. Loyal customers feel a duty or responsibility to stay with you because you have earned their loyalty.

Your loyal, long-term customers are not very inclined to:

  • Switch to competitors
  • Be sensitive to price

They are more inclined to:

  • Purchase other products or services
  • Recommend you to others

Did you know that relationship management doesn’t end with customers?

Your relationship management extends to your staff. If everyone on your team isn’t in sync, there is no way that you can provide exceptional experiences to customers. If your team members aren’t happy, there is also the chance that customers will hear grumblings among your staff. And that can set you back – even if you’ve begun great relationship development.

Make sure you have laser focus on customer retention because good customer retention is good for business and staff morale. Good customer retention gives employees more job satisfaction and makes their jobs easier and happy employees inspire happiness in customers. All of this happiness creates an environment for profitability.

With Jackrabbit, having good information about your retention rates is easy. Reporting gives you the data to understand where you’re keeping students and where you’re losing them. Examining reports, you may also be able to figure out why. Learn more about Jackrabbit’s tools for monitoring retention.


About the Author:

After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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