I know I repeat this Maya Angelou quote all the time but it’s particularly relevant for this blog post. I promise!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Our value add to our students’ lives is not our connections or even the skills we teach. It’s about how we make our students feel. And that is what will keep them coming back for more. When you create a safe, welcoming, magical experience for your students they will feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. You can create a beautiful safe haven for your students and they will never want to leave!
Here’s how to create a one of a kind experience for every student who steps through your doors.
1. First impressions last
Make sure each student is greeted at the door, by name, with a warm smile. You want to create an environment where the students feel welcomed. The most successful studios I’ve seen are the ones where the students feel like it’s a home away from home. Make sure you regularly train your teachers in welcome service. It’s a small thing that can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your classes full.
2. Practice Anticipatory Service
I first heard this term from a pilates studio owner and I think the concept is genius. It means you anticipate issues before they arise. If one of your students is going through a major life change, offer anticipatory service. For this studio owner that meant preparing different exercises for pregnant or postpartum students in her class or researching stretching options for students who are recovering from surgery. You can incorporate this into any studio. For younger students you might want to think about planning classes around term times, being aware of older students and their exam timetables. Anything you can do to anticipate the needs of your students will be an absolute winner.
3. Keep it light and uplifting
Always think about the way you communicate with your students and staff and make sure your manner is bright and sparkling. Being a studio owner is tiring but your students will remember your delight and how lovely it is to be at your studio and they’ll keep coming back for more.
4. Make new students feel welcome and valued
A hand written thank you note can go a long way in making someone feel special. Perhaps consider a small piece of studio merchandise like a key chain or branded towel. Anything that will make a new student feel like they’re a part of your club. Don’t forget to introduce your new students to the class. That will give your existing students an opportunity to welcome the newer classmate and solidify those community bonds.
5. Think about how you can make every touch point magic
This will truly be the thing that sets your studio apart from the others. Start asking yourself ‘How can I make this magic?’. There might be a beautiful ritual you do at the beginning of your classes, you might have an oil burner with a signature scent, there might be lovely ambient music playing in the foyer, a water dispenser with ice and lemon in it. You need to make sure these magic points are sustainable and don’t add stress to your workload but have a think about the little things you can do to make your student’s experience extra special at your studio.
What you want is make sure that your students are leaving your studio feeling better than when they arrived. It’s the most impactful way to nurture studio loyalty.
Happy magic making!
All my best,