It's All About The Comeback: How To Attract, And Keep Clients
"...the "it factor" that made me love or hate a class had nothing to do with how much experience the instructor had, or how well they moved."
I have been on a "group class" binge for several months now, and it has brought me to studios and gyms all over the city to work with all types of instructors: yoga, spinning, boot camp, whatever... Offer it, and I will take it.
As a Pilates teacher, it has been really interesting to experience group classes from the student's perspective, and as a beginner.
It has been eye-opening to experience the raw anxiety of arriving at a new studio in a foreign environment to move your body around in unfamiliar ways with a bunch of strangers... It can be nerve racking!
There are so many thoughts going through a new student's head; "Where will I park", "What if I can't find the studio and I am late and I walk in during meditation?", What if everyone can do it except me and I look stupid?", "I forgot my mat!", "My stomach kind of hurts... oh my God what if I have to poop?! NOOOOOOO!"
I noticed that the "thing," the "it factor" that made me love or hate a class had nothing to do with how much experience the instructor had, or how well they moved.
Here are my top three tips for being an instructor that people want to come back to:
1. Be likable. Welcome your students the second they walk in.
Even if you are with another student, try make eye contact, smile, and give them the "one minute" signal.
Look at your roster before class and use student's names.
Tell them you are happy they are there. Talk to new clients about their goals, try to find something in common, make them feel part of the inner circle, and ask them how they liked it after.
Invite them back. It is simple: If you don't like the instructor, you won't take their class again.
2. Put the clients needs first.
The students are the star of the show, not the instructor. Nothing turns me off more that a diva instructor who talks about their personal life during class, looks at themselves in the mirror the whole time, or shows the students up.
A teacher's efforts should be concentrated on making their students feel successful.
Remember that this is a competitive business and people do not put up with poor customer service (just ask the taxi drivers what happened when Uber showed up on the scene).
The difference between "my assistant will have to see where I can find time for you in my schedule" and "you're an important client, and I will make sure we find a time that works for you" is night and day.
A studio should accommodate paying clients, not the other way around.
Further, online reviews are the ultimate payback for bad service, so be humble and choose your moves and words, wisely. You are, replaceable.
3. Make it easy to attend.
It is shocking how many studios still don't have a working phone, website, and electronic booking.
The phone should be answered in working hours, emails and messages should be returned as soon as possible and always within 24 hours MAX, the website should work and have a clear link with schedule and prices, and a very prominent button to book a class.
The site should be mobile friendly. If you don't have this, you're losing business.
Do you have any tips to add? Comment below!