Retention... and I'm not talking water.
We're full on into the season, school year, routine of Fall. We're all starting to let our hair down a bit. But hold steady to those reigns my friends...or you don't know where that horse will go!
Plus...it's Halloween week y'all.
I've experienced it in my studio. A little more chatter, a little more looking out the window, a little more telling you about their latest lost tooth....again. Pulling them back into focus isn't the hard part. We have little tricks to do that.
The hard part is when students start realizing, "this is hard..." or "can't we just play the music and dance?" or my favorite, "are we almost done?"
You worked your tail off to gather your tribe. Putting out a class schedule, getting it filled, hiring great teachers, creating great content, and now you may be starting to loose some of those hard earned students. Ugh. Why? How?
This is normal. This is business.
But if I could tell you 2 things you could do to prevent it? or make it as little as possible?
1. Create a Culture of Community
2. Create Anticipation
I think most dance studios and small businesses treat their tribe like family. Our businesses are literally an extension of us. (Pun intended.) They're our baby. But sometimes we can get so caught up in the day to day of business that we don't take the time to do the very simple, yet very meaningful ways to keep our tribe fiercely loyal.
Why? Because it takes a little bit of time... and time, my friends, is a commodity.
So with a drop ratio of less then 1%, these are some tips that I have learned that have helped me.
I'm also going to include a little cheat sheet ~ a list of ideas to help generate more community in your studio or business. So please grab it here!
1. Most of our client management software has a text or email feature. But a phone call is #1. Once you realize someone missed class or hasn't purchased in awhile, phone them, even if that phone weighs 5 tons. If that's too much? Facebook messenger allows you to leave voice memos. (but not everyone checks their Facebook regularly) I'm surprised that a lot of people don't know about this feature, so here is a picture of how to.
Hold down microphone and record. It'll let you record for 60 seconds at a time.
Hearing your voice is HUGE and most people don't think you'll even notice that they're gone. But we all wanna be noticed... even if it's quietly.
2. Send a note in the mail. Yes, like with an actual envelope and stamp. Do this especially when you've had a lovely experience with a client. A hand written note is HUGE! And if it's to a younger student ... Um, HUGE bonus points! The biggest way to guarantee retention with a parent (who is paying the bill) is make their child feel amazing!
I recently was the recipient of this. My daughter received a hand written note from a friend of mine after she saw my daughter dance. Y'all... I'd do anything for my friend in the first place... but now, she could ask for the moon and stars, and I'd figure out a way to make it happen.
3. Recognition. Maybe it's a student of the month, or a birthday recognition, or a compliment on their amazing put together attire . Recognition is a big deal. Quietly with a little note, or loudly, announcing them in front of their peers. As long as you are completely genuine, you really can't go wrong.
Anticipation! (see what I did there?)
Always leave your clients wanting more!
Share with them your goals for the year, what music we're going to dance to, what their costume will look like, or what steps we're going to work on today. Tell them what products would work really well with the ones they just purchased so they can envision themselves making that next purchase. Make them feel completely at ease with you in their next steps, and EXCITED about the "next time."
So... I hope this drew out some ideas for you in keeping your tribe loyal. As you know... it's the little things we do every day that add up to be huge in a month, year, or decade.
Remember, grab my free check list of building community. It will not only give you some great ideas, but spark your own creative mind into making your tribe even more amazing and loyal TO YOU!
1. Comment with your successful ideas for building community
2. Like & share this post with your tribe!
3. Go crush your day!
With Grit & Admiration,
Melissa, Creator of BoogieFit Curriculum.