One Studio Owner’s "Five-Diamond Approach" to Customer Service
September 24, 2018

At Brookfield Center for the Arts, owner Mandy Winiecki gives parents what she calls a “five-diamond experience.” Her Wisconsin–based studio caters to an affluent community, and she takes advantage: “Instead of trying to be the cheapest,” she says, “we are the most expensive. But we deliver the best of the best.” Here are her suggestions for taking customer experience to the next level.

Use high-end brands

Her lobby is stocked with Fiji water, Starbucks coffee and expensive granola bars. For her competition team’s warm-ups, she uses Lululemon apparel. “It’s trippy, but people think they’re being treated better,” she says.

Offer a pay-in-full option

Though it’s expensive to be a part of her studio’s comp team—$10,000 for her seniors—Winiecki found that when she offered parents the chance to pay in full up front, and save five percent, most took advantage. “A monthly payment of $375 plus warm-ups and travel on top of that means they’re getting their credit card dinged every two weeks, it feels like,” she says. “I expected zero people to choose to pay in full, but most did.”

Attract high-level talent to your teaching staff

By offering high salaries and “an amazing work-life balance” to her staff, Winiecki doesn’t have to confine her search for teachers to the greater Milwaukee area. “We have two teachers who moved here from Los Angeles. I’ve talked to other owners, and when they hear what I pay, they want to fall over dead,” says Winiecki, whose teachers earn as much as $70,000 a year. “But we have 1,500 students, and because we’re willing to pay these teachers well, in turn, we get more enrollment.”

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