A few days ago, we introduced you to the beginning of our four part series: 100 Customer Retention Ideas, Pt. 1. Part 1 offered a lot of insight into analyzing customer retention, building relationships, and creating community. Today, we dive deeper into getting to know your customers, as well as gaining feedback and loyalty from staff to help cultivate a community within your yoga studio!
Know Your Customers
- Get to know names.
- On a customer’s birthday, gift them an e-card and free class.
- Be aware of injuries.
- Respond immediately to customer suggestions or complaints and follow up with an email on how it was handled.
Create a Community Feel
- At the beginning of class, say something personal.
- Make eye contact at the start of class with as many students as possible.
- At the end of workshops or a training, gather in a circle to close.
- Try some community inspired asana:
- Tree pose: go arm and arm with neighbors.
- Utthita Hasta Padagustasana: hold neighbors’ leg or heel.
- Use humor in class.
- Know customers’ goals and follow up to ask if they are getting there or need help.
- Close a class with Om, chant, closing prayer, Namaste—and define it.
- Share your own yoga journey.
- Make each person feel special.
Encourage Feedback From Your Customers
- As the business owner, be visible and around the studio.
- Be present, teach classes and attend classes. As the owner, exemplify behavior that you want teachers to display.
- When doing a demonstration, pick a stiff or unlikely student for demonstration. Show how this person can make progress due to your instruction.
Getting Your Staff on Board
Your staff is the face of your studio and brand. They represent you even when they are not in the studio. You need to make them feel valued. Your job as owner and leader is to inspire your teachers to want to spread the word, and be fans within and outside of the studio—this helps to create community.
Maintaining a positive, happy studio culture is essential. If it ever turns south, it is very hard to turn around. Make this a constant priority, it is worth the investment! (Consider right now—how can you do this?)
As the staff are the face of the studio, what things can they do to enhance the customer’s experience and keep their class attendance growing?
Keeping Teachers Invested
- Celebrate all holidays with a party or snacks at the studio.
- Encourage teachers to come to as many classes as possible.
- Have social events that are just for teachers.
- Give teachers gifts , flowers, or candles on birthdays and work anniversaries.
- Give a social media shout out on a teacher’s birthday.
- Be available to hear teachers’ concerns and actively try to address these concerns. If they feel heard and feel that you will take action, you will have a committed group.
- Expect teachers to be there 30 minutes before class starts.
- This 30 minute window allows the teacher to be grounded, centered, and prepared to engage students to teach their class. There is nothing worse than a flustered yoga teacher!
- Have teachers check people in at the front desk.
- Teachers can help new students to meet people and introduce them to one or two senior students.
- Teachers can be a the front desk after class to address questions or simply to build rapport.
- If there are other teachers that are taking someone else’s class, they can help check students in and welcome new customers.
- Have a stack of stamped, branded notecards that teachers can send out for fun reasons:
- new baby
- new job
- mastered a difficult pose
- having a rough day/time
- record attendance
What can you do in your studio to keep both customers and teachers engaged, and to create a cohesive community culture?