With all of the challenges we have faced over these months of Covid-19 shutdown we have taken a deep dive, lost leads and income and have customers that have not come back to the studio.
So many business owners think that people left because they were not happy but in reality, many of them have left because of life changes, or they are worried about the virus or their child decided to do something else. It could also have been that the time the class they wanted to take was offered didn’t work for them. But now the choices of kid’s activities and after school programs have diminished greatly. As a matter of fact, this could lead to a major spike in enrollment as we proceed in the coming months, but you will need to do your part in working lost leads and customers.
A goldmine right at your front desk!
Recently we had our front desk staff go back and cross check the message books from the past 3 years and see how many of these leads never signed up. Well we found out that there were 179 leads that never became customers. WHAT??? The nerve of these people!! How could they pass up on signing up? So, we have started a campaign of calling, emailing and hard mailing to these folks. One of the hardest things to do is to get people to raise their hands and say I am interested in what you have to offer. So, the fact that we have 179 names of people who did that but never followed through tells us that they have a child that is or was interested. Now we will probably not get anywhere near all of them to sign up but it will be well worth the effort to see who we can convert to a paying customer.
Let’s do some easy math:
Even if we can get just 25% of them which would be 44 new students to sign up for just one class.
$697 for one class a week for the season, September to June.
$30,668 (44 x $687) Total income
To convert these folks into paying customers will only cost us a fraction of what it would cost us trying to find someone who doesn’t know us at all. Customer acquisition is expensive and I bet you have a goldmine of lost leads sitting in message books at your front desk. Times have changed, options for kids after school activities have shrunk or have disappeared altogether. So, why not work your lost leads?
I highly recommend doing this by phone. I know many people don’t really like calling people, especially since they never became customers. So you need to have a script that can help you or your front desk staff pitch them into coming in again. So here is a simple way to break the ice and get a dialog started.
Hi (Parents Name)
This is (you or your staff) from (your studio name) is this a good time to talk? (If they say yes continue if not try to nail down a time to call them back) The reason for my call is that you had visited our studio and (their child’s name) tried out a (style of dance or dance class) so we wanted to give you a call to see how you and (their child’s name) are doing and to let you know we are open for business and we would love to see if you would like to come in and try out some classes free of charge.
Now let them talk without interruption and start taking notes.
Next you may want to find out if they are doing home schooling or on some kind of blended virtual and in-school sessions. Then you can let them know that you offer private lessons during off hours and if they have a few friends and they are willing to help you organize it you can set up a class for a small group during off hours. The key here is to let them know that you have lots of options and flexibility to have them come in and take class.
During the call try to get some commitment to have them come in and see all the safety features and try a class for free. Heck, let them come in and try out ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop and any other style you offer on a “first class is free” basis. Who knows, maybe you can get them to sign up for all of them! Just get them in!!!
Now do the same thing with past customers. Make the call and get them back in. Let them know you are open for business and that you have a great lineup of classes, private or semi-private lessons. Be flexible with time and give people lots of options. We are going back 4-years with past customers to see who wants to dance again. Just cross off the customers who were a pain in the neck or didn’t want to pay. You don’t need the aggravation. Just remember not everyone who left did so under bad terms. And even if they weren’t happy for some reason, they may tell you why they weren’t happy and you can thank them for the feedback and offer them some sort of discount as your way of trying to make things right. As business owners we want to know if we dropped the ball and someone left because of it. That will only make your business better. The more you know the better you will be!
Good luck and start calling!