How long has it been since you thanked your devoted students and their parents? Few things are more important in running your business than fostering loyalty among your dance family. Here are 9 ways to show your appreciation for those who keep your studio up and running without breaking the bank.
1. Stay in touch with an e-mail greeting or a monthly newsletter, and thank customers for their business on a regular basis.
2. Throw a “Customer Appreciation Day” party for parents. In addition to a performance, provide refreshments and a simple card or gift.
3. Reduce class and merchandise fees for students who have been at your studio for three or more years. Provide valued customers with free tickets to an upcoming recital or a local performance.
4. Contact local businesses like a local spa to donate prizes for a raffle. Then, post winners’ photos and brief notes on why each winner is important to your business. If it’s a big prize, such as a “walk-on” part in a local theatrical performance, share the news with the media.
5. Design unique holiday presents specifically for valued customers. Create a studio photo keychain, “Ballet Mom” bumper sticker or handwritten certificate.
6. Make your studio an enjoyable environment. Have free magazines, snacks, coffee, water and other inexpensive items available in the waiting area. And don’t forget to clean the bathrooms and dressing rooms!
7. Take and display student photos to show customers that you are proud of them and that you value their business. Parents and students will be able to see progressions from year to year and look forward to what’s to come.
8. Use student photos to create a yearbook or calendar. Make one copy for the studio or print enough for everyone. Sell advertising space in the book to pay for the printing.
9. Ask for and listen to feedback. Place a suggestion box in the lobby or host meetings to update parents on studio changes and to listen to their worries. And always reply if a parent leaves you a message or sends an email. This way, the customers feel that they can easily tell you what’s on their mind.
Based on “Customer Appreciation Without Breaking the Bank” by Melanie Rembrandt