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Here’s How to Retain, Gain and Upsell Your Customers

Type:

Studio Owner Article

Category:

Success with Marketing and Sales

Dance Studio Owner Exclusive...Customer Retention: Now more than ever retention is where you should put your focus.

Did you know that many major corporations have decided to take more than 60% of their marketing dollars and spend it on retaining, upselling or regaining lost customers? They have ascertained that retention is the new growth engine.

They also have come to the conclusion that it is much easier, and cost effective to upsell customers who are already buying.  As a matter of fact, they have found that they can increase revenue by almost 50% selling to their current or past customers with very little out of pocket expense to do so. No wonder they have decided to shift marketing dollars to their current customers.

There is also substantial data that shows it is much easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you but for whatever reason has stopped. So, let me ask you, have you every bought from some business like a restaurant, boutique, deli, hardware store or hairdresser/ barber shop but for whatever reason stopped going? I know I have but, in many cases, there was no bad reason I can’t remember in most cases as to why I stopped going and doing business with these establishments. Maybe I just found something else or didn’t need that service anymore. However, if they bothered to reach out to me to say hello, and offered me some special incentive I would at least be interested in hearing about or reading about their offer. Especially if they could position their offer as to something that I need to have.  And isn’t that the point here? Getting someone to show at least some interest in what it is you are selling.

So how can you as a dance studio owner use these retention tactics to bring back students into your business?

Let’s say that you had a student whose name is Sally and Sally took ballet with you for 3 years and then stopped last year. So, you give Sally’s mom a call and see how she is doing and find out if she would be interested in dancing again.” Oh, Sally isn’t into ballet anymore” she tells you but you find out that she is into doing her school musicals. Well then you can invite Sally in to try out a Musical Theatre class for free. Once she tries that out you can then recommend that she also try a beginner tap class because there are a lot of shows with tap dancing in them and it would be helpful to learn the basics. Always have something new to offer them.

Now will this work every time? No, but you know that. However, let’s say over the next 30 days you call 4 former students each day 5 days a week which will total 80 calls and you can get even 20 of them to re-sign up would it be worth your while to do that? If you trained your front desk person to make the calls in between classes when there is down time, I am sure that they could make 4 calls a night over a 4-hour period. This way it would not cost you anything extra since you are already paying them their hourly rate during that same time. And what revenue would those 20 students bring into your dance studio business?

If it works well why not do it for the next 4 months and try to bring back 80 former customers. At no additional cost to you! I like that kind of advertising and plan on doing it over these next 4 months.

Now use the same plan to call your current customers to see how their child is enjoying classes and let them know about your expanded schedule that includes private lessons and semi-private lessons especially during this time of part time virtual learning.

I recommend calling because you can get details and find out what your customers love, want more of or why they left. Maybe there was some perceived slight that your customer felt or they were unhappy with a faculty member. Wouldn’t that information be valuable to you as a business owner? If you do not get many folks on the phone live you could leave a message and then send them an email letting them know that you are trying to reach them. You could also send them a special invite by mail with some specific time sensitive promotion. I would still follow that mailing up with a phone call. People love the personal touch!

Calling Tips for the Dance Studio Owner:

When you get someone on the phone state who you are and always ask if this a good time for you to have a quick talk.  I do not appreciate it when someone just calls me and doesn’t find out if it is a good time to talk. It shows me that they have no respect for my time.

Ask questions and let them talk. Keep in mind the more they talk the better it is for you. People love to talk, especially about their kids. For former customers, take it all in and then invite them to come in and try as many classes as they would like to try for a week.

For past customers try to always get a commitment for them to schedule a free class. If they don’t commit find out a time you can call them back when they think they can give you a day and class to try and then follow up with a call.

Use these same techniques to upsell your current customers. Find out from your faculty which students are working well in class and have shown ability that they could excel at another style or by adding another class in the same subject. Make the call and give the good news to the parent on how their child is standing out in class. Music to a parent’s ears.

So, there you have it. Yes, as a dance studio owner we will always need new customers coming in the door but don’t forget to work the ones you already have or have had. Sometimes past customers will eagerly come back once they know that you noticed them, are thinking about them and that they mattered.

The fact of the matter is people don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care.

Author

Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Steve is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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